Dr. Dean A. Williams
My past training was primarily in population biology and behavioral ecology (M.S. University of Alabama Huntsville, Ph.D. Purdue University), and my research involved a long-term (1988-2002) study of cooperatively breeding brown jays in Monteverde, Costa Rica. During a stint of postdocs at the University of Miami (2001-2007) my research interests were diverted into the fields of conservation and invasion genetics. I now use molecular tools to inform the management of pests and species of conservation concern. Some current conservation projects include understanding the population structure and dispersal of Texas horned lizards for reintroduction efforts, monitoring endangered marine otters through non-invasive genetic sampling, and genetic monitoring of bats killed by wind turbines. Current invasive species research includes studying the phylogeography of Brazilian peppertree and hydrilla to determine their origins and gain insight into their success as invaders. These studies are also being conducted to improve the search for biological control insects. The discovery of cryptic species in these candidate control agents has led to further systematic studies of these insect groups. Click here to visit my lab website.
I teach a non-majors biology course, Contemporary Issues in Biology (BIOL 10003), and a portion of the lectures in Ecology and the Environment (BIOL 30403) during the fall. In the spring I teach Avian Biology (BIOL 40163/60163) and alternate this with Conservation Genetics (BIOL 40153/60153) and Tropical Biology (BIOL 50903).