Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Ecological, Evolutionary Physiology
Dr. Williams is passionate about integrating physiology with evolutionary biology to understand the mechanisms behind reproductive traits in birds. His research program involves applied and basic science projects that continue to demonstrate how a physiological approach can answer longstanding questions in evolutionary biology.
What motivated you to dedicate your research to avian species?
I've always been fascinated by animals. I knew I wanted to be a biology professor but as a student, I had no idea what that really meant. For my Ph.D., I thought I wanted to work on mammals – in particular, badgers or foxes – but ended up volunteering with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; from then on, my CV had a “bird stamp” to it and the rest is history.
Birds are an awesome group of animals to work on: a) they are mainly diurnal, which is ideal for fieldwork, b) members of the general public love them so there's lots of funding available, and c) people have been studying them for a long time so there’s lots information available.