facebook pixel Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home



Rick Williams

Charles F. Rick Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Plant Evolutionary Ecology

Office: Idaho Museum of Natural History Herbarium

(208) 282-2815


Plant Evolutionary Ecology Lab

We study genetics and evolutionary ecology of plant reproduction, evolution of gynodioecy, pollination and seed dispersal biology, functional ecology of mating systems, molecular population genetics, quantitative genetics, and animal behavior.


1991, Ph.D. Botany, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
1985, M.S. Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
1979, B.S. Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

1991-1992, NSF Postdoctoral fellow, Spatial genetic structure and genetic demography of Delphinium nelsonii, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, University of California, Riverside, CA

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Williams has been on the faculty at ISU since 1999, after teaching at Nebraska Wesleyan University from 1993-1998. Rick's broad interests in ecology and evolutionary biology are reflected in his varied research experiences, ranging from social behavior of birds and bats to population genetics of seed dispersal, pollination biology, and plant and animal mating systems. His current research concentrates on the evolution of floral form and how it is shaped by plant-pollinator interactions, as well as the functional aspects of plant and insect mating systems. His research emphasizes both ecological field experiments and laboratory analysis of molecular markers. He works with graduate and undergraduate students on a wide variety of evolutionary and ecological topics. Dr. Williams and his students have worked at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory since 1991.

Selected Publications

Williams, C.F. 1986. Social organization of the bat, Carollia perspicillata (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae). Ethology 71:265-282.

Fleming, T.H., and C.F. Williams. 1990. Phenology, seed dispersal, and recruitment in Cecropia peltata (Cecropiaceae) in Costa Rican tropical dry forest. J. Trop. Ecol. 6:163-178.

Williams, C. F. and R. P. Guries. 1994. Genetic consequences of seed dispersal in three sympatric forest herbs. I. Hierarchical population genetic structure. Evolution 48(3):791-805.

Williams, C. F., M. A. Kuchenreuther, and A. Drew. 2000. Floral dimorphism, pollinator attraction and self-fertilization in gynodioecious Geranium richardsonii. (Geraniaceae). American Journal of Botany 87:661-669.

Williams, C. F., Ruvinsky, J., Scott, P. E., and D. K. Hews. 2001. Pollination, breeding system, and genetic structure in two sympatric Delphinium (Ranunculaceae) species. American Journal of Botany 88(9):1623-1633.