Bill D. Wills
Department of Biological Sciences
Assistant Research Professor

Office: 344 Funchess Hall

Address: 101 Life Sciences Bldg.
Auburn University, AL 36849

Fax: (334) 844-1645



Postdoctoral Research Associate - Michigan State University
Postdoctoral Research Associate - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D. Animal Biology - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
B.S. Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity - University of California, Davis

Research and Teaching Interests

Insects are ubiquitous components of terrestrial ecosystems, often representing a significant proportion of the total animal biomass and serving important ecological roles. Disturbance events can alter insect abundance, diversity, and their interactions. Overall, my research utilizes insects to elucidate principles in community ecology, behavioral ecology, and invasion biology. I specifically use ants as model organisms to address a variety of questions related to ecology, behavior, and organismal biology. Ants are also useful subjects for use in undergraduate research projects. One goal of my research program is provide undergraduates experience with hypothesis-driven research. In assisting with or conducting their own research, students actively engage with the scientific process and develop valuable skills and experiences they use towards their future endeavors. Overall my research aims to improve our understanding how ecological disturbance impacts biodiversity, ecosystem services, and phenotypic variation.

Selected Publications

  1. Wills BD, Powell S, Rivera MD, and Suarez AV. 2018. Correlates and consequences of worker polymorphism in ants. Annual Reviews of Entomology. 63:575-598.

  2. Wills BD and Landis DA. 2018. The role of ants in north temperate grasslands: A review. Oecologia. 186:323-338.

  3. Kim TN, Fox AF, Wills BD, Meehan TD, Landis DA, and Gratton C. 2017. Harvesting biofuel grasslands has mixed effects on natural enemy communities and no effects on biocontrol services. Journal of Applied Ecology. 54:2011-2021. 

  4. Wills BD, Chong CD, Wilder SM, Eubanks MD, Holway DA, and Suarez AV. 2015. Influence of nutrition on investment in worker number, size, and condition in a polymorphic social insect. PLoS One. 10:e0132440.

  5. Wills BD, Moreau CS, Wray BD, Hoffman B, and Suarez AV. 2014. Body size variation in geographically distinct populations of the invasive ant Pheidole megacephala (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society. 113:423-438. 

  6. Tillberg CV, Edmonds B, Freauff A, Hanisch P, Paris C, Smith CR, Tsutsui ND, Wills BD, Wittman SE, and Suarez AV. 2014. Foraging and nesting ecology of the giant, queen-less ant Dinoponera australis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Biotropica. 46:229-237.

Google Scholar Page

Last updated: 10/05/2021