Latest News


Paper - Stream salamander survival and movement in working forests - Ecosphere


UArk Herepetology iNaturalist citizen science project featured in UArk Newswire

Meredith Swartwout successfully defends her dissertation on ant-reptile interactions - Congrats Meredith!

Hannah Warner successfully defends her honors research on fire ants and hatchling snakes - Congrats Hannah!


Elliot Lassiter joins the lab to pursue an MS on spatial ecology of Crawfish Frogs - Welcome Elliot!


Paper Published - Context-dependent effects of Fescue on Crawfish Frog larval development - Oecologia! Congrats Chelsea!


Chelsea Kross successfully defends her dissertation on the conservation of Crawfish Frogs - Congrats Chelsea!




Savannah Morning News - Natural Georgia article on DoD Snake Research

Paper Published - Riparian Herp Communities in Managed Forests - Eco Apps! Great paper Jackie!


Paper -  Salamander Communities in Managed Forests  - Forest Ecology and Management


Paper -  Road-based Density Estimation  - Wildlife Research. Cover Photo!

Paper - Introduced Seal Salamanders in NW Arkansas - Copeia



DoD Snake Research featured in UA Newswire

J.D. Awarded the Conservation Hero Award by Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)!

Paper - Indirect effects of pythons on turtle nesting success - Journal of Applied Ecology.

Singapore Snake Research Featured in UArk Research Frontiers.



Research in our lab at the University of Arkansas focuses on understanding factors that drive population and community dynamics of reptiles and amphibians including inter- and intraspecific interactions, environmental variation, and anthropogenic impacts such as land-use change, pollution, and invasive species. Our work uses a combination of descriptive, experimental, and theoretical approaches to integrate responses from the level of the individual organism to the landscape. We are also interested in basic aspects of reptiles and amphibian ecology that set them apart from other vertebrates.

Current research areas in the Willson Lab include:

1) Evaluating population and landscape-scale effects of anthropogenic stressors (pollution, land-use change, intensive forestry, invasive species) on amphibians and reptiles.

2) Understanding the ecology, impacts, and management of Burmese pythons and other invasive snakes.

3) Assessing biotic and abiotic drivers of aquatic snake population and community dynamics within wetland ecosystems.

4) Development of novel field and analytical methods to understand reptile and amphibian distribution and abundance.

Please contact Dr. Willson if you are interested in research or graduate student opportunities.

Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus)

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About Us
J.D. Willson
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Office: SCEN 630
Phone: 479-575-2647