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Rod N Williams

Forestry and Natural Resources 

  • Associate Professor of Wildlife Science
FORS Room 101
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033

Rod Williams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University.  He received his B.S. in Wildlife Science in 1996, his M.S. in Conservation Genetics in 1998, and his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Genetics in 2007 from Purdue University.  Before joining the faculty in 2008, he served as the vertebrate curator and coordinator of laboratory instruction for eight years.  During that time he managed the vertebrate teaching collection, taught five courses related to ecology and systematics of vertebrates, and co-authored two field guides: the Salamanders of Indiana and the Turtles of Indiana.

Rod is broadly interested in the ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles.  His research interests focus on using a combination of field and laboratory methods to: 1) investigate habitat selection and use in both aquatic and terrestrial systems, 2) characterize amphibian and reptile mating systems, 3) examine the factors influencing amphibian malformations, and 4) measure population structure and inbreeding in threatened or endangered herpetofaunal species.  At present, his lab is involved with projects that include an investigation of population size, movement, and habitat use of endangered hellbenders in Indiana; examining the food habits, genetic diversity and population structure of eastern hellbenders; developing baseline hematological and blood chemistry panels for aquatic salamanders; and studying the effects of timber harvests on terrestrial salamanders.

View Help the Hellbender, educational/resource web site.

Research Group - Wildlife Science, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Genetics

Facilities - Animal Care Facility, Aquatic Ecology Research Lab, Genetics Lab

Areas of Excellence - Sustaining Hardwood Ecosystems, Applied Ecological Genetics

Related Centers - The Nature of Teaching, Everything Wildlife, Center for the Environment, Purdue Interdisciplinary Center for Ecological Sustainability

Awards & Honors

(2013) Exemplary Faculty Service Award. Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

(2013) Richard L Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Selected Publications

MacGowan, B., & Williams, R. N. (2013). Appreciating reptiles and amphibians in nature.

MacNeil, J., MacGowan, B., Currylow, A., & Williams, R. N. (2013). Forest management for reptiles and amphibians: a technical guide for the midwest.

Currylow, A., Tift, M. S., Meyer, J. L., Crocker, D. E., & Williams, R. N. (2013). Seasonal variation in plasma vitellogenin and sex steroids in male and female eastern box turtles. General and Comparatie Endocrinology, 180.

MacNeil, J., & Williams, R. N. (in press). Effectiveness of two artificial cover objects in sampling terrestrial salamanders.. Herpetological Conservation and Biology.

Mullendore, N., Saylor Mase, A., Mulvaney, K., Perry-Hill, R., Reimer, A., Behbehani, L., . . . Prokopy, L. S. (in press). Conserving the eastern hellbender salamander. Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

Unger, S. D., Sutton, T., & Williams, R. N. (2013). Projected population persistence of eastern hellbenders using a stage-structured life-history model and population viability analysis. Journal for Nature Conservation, 21.

Olson, Z., Burgmeier, N., Zollner, P., & Williams, R. N. (2013). Survival estimates for adult eastern hellbenders and their utility for conservation. Journal of herpetology, 47.

Currylow, A., Johnson, A. J., & Williams, R. N. (in press). Ranavirus infections among sympatric population of larval amphibians and eastern box turtles. Journal of herpetology.

Currylow, A., MacGowan, B., & Williams, R. N. (2013). HIbernal thermal ecology of eastern box turtles within a managed forest landscape. Journal of wildlife management, 77.

Unger, S., Rhodes, O. E., Sutton, T., & Williams, R. N. (2013). Population genetics of the eastern hellbender across multiple spatial scales. PLOS ONE, 8.