Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Amanda Southwood Williard, Professor

Southwood WilliardPh.D., Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2002
M.S., Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1997
B.S., Marine Biology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 1993
Dobo Hall 108/109 | (910) 962-4064 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC, 28403-5915 |

My research projects are inspired by an interest in how animals respond physiologically and behaviorally to changes in environmental conditions. I have been involved in a wide variety of studies, ranging from diving physiology to chemical ecology, but am particularly interested in the thermal biology of sea turtles. Sea turtles may experience a wide range of temperatures seasonally, during long-distance oceanic migrations, and even during individual dives. I use a combination of laboratory and field techniques to study the effects of temperature on metabolic biochemistry, cardio-respiratory physiology, movements, and diving behavior of sea turtles. In my studies, I strive to integrate data collected from different levels of biological organization to better understand the organismal response to temperature change. For example, biochemical analyses of temperature effects on metabolic enzyme activity may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying seasonal changes in field metabolic rates and diving patterns.

I also have a strong interest in applying knowledge gained from objective scientific research to further the cause of marine conservation and foster responsible stewardship of the oceans, especially with regards to fisheries bycatch issues. I have participated in collaborative efforts to identify gear and bait modifications to reduce the incidental take of sea turtle and shark species in longline fisheries. Future research efforts will be directed towards determining the physiological and behavioral consequences for sea turtles captured in coastal fishing operations, with the ultimate goal of refining mortality estimates used in current fisheries management practice. Click here to view my lab poster (pdf).

Williard AS, Harden LA, Jones TT, Midway SR. 2019. Effects of temperature and salinity on body fluid dynamics and metabolism in the estuarine diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin). The Journal of Experimental Biology 222, jeb202390. doi:10.1242/jeb.202390

Barco SG, Burt ML, DiGiovanni RA Jr, Swingle WM, Williard AS. 2018. Loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta density and abundance in Chesapeake Bay and the temperate ocean  waters of the southern portion of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Endangered Species Research 37: 269-287.

 Yang T, Haas HL, Patel S, Smolowitz R, James MC, Williard AS. 2018. Blood biochemistry and hematological values for migrating loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Northwest Atlantic. Conservation Physiology 7: coy079; doi:10.1093/conphys/coy079

 Wildermann NE, Gredzens C, Avens L, Barrios-Garrido HA, Bell I, Blumenthal J, Bolten AB, Braun McNeill J, Casale P, Di Domenico M, Domit C, Epperly SP, Godfrey MH, Godley BJ, González-Carman V, Hamann M, Hart KM, Ishihara T, Mansfield KL, Metz TL, Miller JD, Pilcher NJ, Read MA, Sasso C, Seminoff JA, Seney EE, Williard AS, Tomás J, Vélez-Rubio GM, Ware M, Williams JL, Wyneken J, Fuentes MMPB. 2018. Informing research priorities for immature sea turtles through expert elicitation. Endangered Species Research 37: 55-76.

Williard AS, Hall AG, Fujisaki I, McNeill JB. 2017. Oceanic overwintering in juvenile green turtles Chelonia mydas from a temperate latitude feeding area. Marine Ecology Progress Series 564: 235-240. 

Barco S, Law M, Drummond B, Koopman H, Trapani C, Reinheimer S, Rose S, Swingle M, Williard AS. 2016. Loggerhead turtles killed be vessel and fisheries interactions in Virginia, USA are healthy prior to death. Marine Ecology Progress Series 555: 221-234. 

 Chavez SJ, Williard AS. 2016. The effects of bycatch reduction devices on diamondback terrapin and blue crab catch in the North Carolina commercial crab fishery. Fisheries Research 186: 94-101. 

Williard AS, Parga M, Sagarminaga R, Swimmer Y. 2015. Physiological ramifications for loggerhead turtles captured in pelagic longlines. Biology Letters 11: 20150607. 

 Harden LA, Midway SR, Williard AS. 2015. The blood biochemistry of overwintering diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 466: 34-41. 

Harden LA, Duernberger KA, Jones TT, Williard AS. 2014. Total body water turnover rates in the estuarine diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) during the transition from dormancy to activity. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 4406-4413. 

Casey, J. P., James, M. C., and Williard, A. S. 2014. Behavioral and metabolic contributions to thermoregulation in freely swimming leatherback turtles at high latitudes. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 2331-2337.

Williard, A. S. 2013. Physiology as Integrated Systems. In The Biology of Sea Turtles (vol. 3). Wyneken, J., Lohmann, K., and J. Musick (eds.). Boca Raton, FL. CRC Press. pp 1-30.

Harden, L. A., Williard, A. S. 2012. Using a spatially-explicit landscape risk model to investigate bycatch risk of terrapins in crab pots. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 467: 207-217

DeGregorio, B., Williard, A. S. 2011. Incubation temperatures and metabolic heating of relocated and in situ loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests at a northern rookery. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 10(1), 54-61.

Southwood Williard, A., Harden, L.A. 2011. Seasonal changes in thermal environment and metabolic enzyme activity in the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, 158(4), 477-484.

Casey, J.P., Garner, J., Garner, S., Southwood Williard, A. 2010. Diel foraging behavior of gravid leatherback sea turtles in deep waters of the Caribbean Sea. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 3961-3971.

Snoddy, J.E., Southwood Williard, A. 2010. Movements and post-release mortality of juvenile sea turtles released from gillnets in the lower Cape Fear River, North Carolina, USA. Endangered Species Research 12: 235-247.

Goshe, L., Avens, L. Scharf, F., Southwood A. 2010. Estimation of age at maturation and growth of Atlantic green turtles (Chelonia mydas) using skeletochronology. Marine Biology 157:1725-1740.

Southwood, A., Avens, L. 2010. Physiological, behavioral, and ecological aspects of migration in reptiles. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 180(1):1-23.

Snoddy, J. , Landon, M., Blanvillain, G., Southwood, A. 2009. Blood biochemistry of sea turtles captured in gillnets in the lower Cape Fear River, North Carolina, USA. Journal of Wildlife Management 73(8):1394-1401.

Southwood, A.L., Fritsches, K., Brill, R.W., Swimmer, J.Y. 2008. Sound, chemical, and light detection in sea turtles and pelagic fishes: sensory-based approaches to bycatch reduction in longline fisheries. Endangered Species Research 5: 225-238.

Southwood, A.L., Reina, R.D., Jones, V.S., Speakman, J.R., and Jones, D.R. 2006. Seasonal metabolism of juvenile green turtles at Heron Island, Australia. Can. J. Zool. 84 (3): 125-135.

Southwood, A.L., Andrews, R.D., Paladino, F.V., and Jones, D.R. 2005. Effects of diving and swimming behaviour on body temperatures of leatherback sea turtles in tropical seas. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 78(2): 285-297.

Jones, D.R., Southwood, A.L., Andrews, R.D. 2004. Energetics of Leatherback Sea Turtles. In Experimental Approaches to Conservation Biology. Gordon, M.S. and S. M. Bartol (eds). Berkeley. University of California Press, Ltd. pp 66-82.

Southwood, A.L., Darveau, C.A., Jones, D.R. 2003. Metabolic and cardiovascular adjustments of juvenile green turtles to seasonal changes in temperature and photoperiod. J. Exp. Biol. 206: 4521-4531.

Southwood, A.L., Reina, R.D., Jones, V.S., and Jones, D.R. 2003. Seasonal diving patterns and body temperatures of juvenile green turtles at Heron Island, Australia. Can. J. Zool. 81(6): 1014-1024.

Southwood, A.L., Andrews, R.D., Lutcavage, M.E., Paladino, F.V., West, N.H., George, R. H., and Jones, D.R. 1999. Heart rates and diving behaviour of leatherback sea turtles in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. J. Exp. Biol. 202:1115-1125.