Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

J. Wilson White, Associate Professor

Dr. White

Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 2007
B.S., Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC, 2000
Friday Hall 1051 | (910) 962-3058 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5915 |

Our lab uses a variety of quantitative and empirical tools to investigate the dynamics of marine populations and communities across a range of spatial and temporal scales.

The overall goal of the lab is to investigate factors affecting the metapopulation dynamics of marine species across spatial scales. Consequently we work on topics ranging from small scales, focused on individual behavioral decisions (e.g., how do predators choose patches of prey?), to large scales, dealing with the influence of larval dispersal and fishery management strategies on source-sink dynamics and the design of marine protected areas. In all of these efforts we utilize quantitative approaches that allow us to "scale up" small-scale processes to examine their population-level consequences, and vice versa.

Current research topics in our lab include the spatial scale of predator foraging decisions, the effects of size-selective mortality on the population dynamics of sex-changing fish, the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds on population dynamics, and the role of environmental variability in structuring estuarine predator-prey interactions.

Dr. White is not currently recruiting graduate students for 2016.

Selected recent publications:

Marine reserves

White JW. 2015. Marine reserve design theory for species with ontogenetic migration. Biology Letters 11: 20140511

Easter EE, White JW. 2016. Spatial management for protogynous sex-changing fishes: a general framework for coastal systems. Marine Ecology Progress Series 543: 223-249

White JW, Schroeger J, Drake PT, Edwards CA. 2014. The value of larval connectivity information in the static optimization of marine reserve design. Conservation Letters 7: 533-544

White JW, Botsford LW, Hastings A, Baskett ML, Kaplan DM, Barnett LAK. 2013. Transient responses of fished populations to marine reserve establishment. Conservation Letters 6: 180-191

Larval connectivity

White JW, Morgan SG, Fisher JL. 2014. Planktonic larval mortality rates are lower than widely expected. Ecology 95: 3344-3353

Nickols KJ, White JW, Gaylord B, Largier JL. 2015. Marine population connectivity: reconciling large-scale dispersal and high self-retention. American Naturalist 185: 196-211

Fish behavioral ecology

McCarthy EK, White JW. 2016. Density-dependent prey mortality is determined by the spatial scale of predator foraging. Oecologia 180: 305-311

Heintz MM, Brander SM, White JW. 2015. Endocrine disrupting compounds alter risk-taking behavior in fish (Poecelia reticulata). Ethology 121:480-491