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Latest News


 Chelsea selected as BioBOne Ambassador for her PhD work on Crawfish Frogs - Congrats Chelsea!

Python Synthesis is out! Monumental Work by Jackie Guzy and many co-authors!

Paper - Box Turtle thermal biology in remnant prairies - J Herp- Yerdon et al.


Paper - Trap escape in aquatic snakes - Herpetologica - Royal et al.


Paper - Prairie Herp Occupancy in NW AR - Landscape Ecology - Royal et al.

Crawfish Frog research featured on TWS news!

Ethan Royal successfully defends his dissertation on reptile communities - Congrats Ethan!


Paper - Crawfish Frog Population Dynamics - Animal Conservation

Paper - Fire Ant Predation on Snakes - Herpetologica - Swartwout and Willson

Paper - Crawfish Frog Occupancy - Ichthyology & Herpetology - Kross and Willson - Cover Photo!


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


UArk Herpetology iNaturalist citizen science project featured in UArk Newswire


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


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

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



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
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