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Kelly Williams

Kelly Williams, portrait outdoors
Associate Professor of Instruction
Irvine 430

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Ph.D., Ohio University


  • BIOS 3010/3015/5010: Human Anatomy
  • BIOS 3030: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
  • BIOS 3760 – Field Ecology
  • BIOS 8700 – Multivariate Statistics
  • BIOS 1710 - Ecology, Evolution and Body Systems

Research Interests

  • Lab: 419 Irvine Hall

My research interests are primarily in avian behavioral and physiological ecology. I am broadly interested in how organisms respond to environmental variation. More specifically, I am interested in how habitat structure affects the distribution and availability of resources (e.g., arthropods) and how individual behavioral and physiological variation affects the acquisition and allocation of resources.

Parents face trade-offs between providing resources for the development and survival of their offspring and acquiring resources for their own survival. Nesting birds must maintain incubation temperatures adequate for embryonic and nestling development, while providing food resources for nestlings and meeting their own energetic needs. Habitat structure and quality including the availability of food may alter parental time and energy budgets. Individual differences in behavior may also result in variation in the acquisition and allocation of resources. My research employs a variety of field and analytic techniques to determine how individual variation in behavioral strategies (combinations of behaviors) and environmental conditions affect variation in reproduction and survival. Understanding how organisms respond to environmental variation will allow us to better predict responses to anthropogenic disturbance, including climate change, and better inform management decisions.


Sherry, T. W., Johnson, M. D., Williams, K. A., Kaban, J. D., McAvoy, C. K., Hallauer, A. M., ... & Xu, S. (2016). Dietary opportunism, resource partitioning, and consumption of coffee berry borers by five species of migratory wood warblers (Parulidae) wintering in Jamaican shade coffee plantations. Journal of Field Ornithology, 87(3), 273-292.

Williams, K. A., & Miles, D. B. (2016). Demographic Costs Associated with Differences in Habitat Space Occupancy. PloS one, 11(11), e0165472.

Williams, Kelly A. 2017. β€œThe Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Ohio.” The Condor 119(2).