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Chris Williams - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Chris Williams

Professor, Wildlife Ecology | University of Delaware


Prof. Williams serves as Director of the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center.






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Dr  Chris Williams 2022 University of Delaware Commencement Address with President Joe Biden Goose Camp: Nesting Sites of the Atlantic Brant University of Delaware Waterfowl Hunter Education Course 2019 University of Delaware Commencement - Dr. Chris Williams Speech




Chris Williams is a Professor at the University of Delaware in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology. Chris serves as Director of the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center, and can speak authoritatively about waterfowl and upland gamebird populations and habitats. He also serves as the Associate Provost and Academic Director for the Office of Sustainability providing guidance to make the University and the world a more sustainable place.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)


Game Bird Ecology

Wildlife Ecology

Waterfowl Ecology

Bird Populations and Habitats

Media Appearances (4)

What Do Ducks Hear? And Why Do We Care?

The New York Times  online


It’s not easy to help ducks. Ask Kate McGrew, a masters student in wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. Over two seasons, 2016 and 2017, she spent months raising and working with more than two dozen hatchlings from three different species, all to determine what they hear underwater.

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Ready to roll

University of Delaware UDaily  online


Anchoring the work are two new leaders announced by Assanis earlier this month — Jeffrey Summerhays, who was appointed director of sustainable operations, and Chris Williams, professor of wildlife ecology, who was appointed associate provost and academic director of the new office.

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Sustainability office sends mixed messages about the university’s priorities

The Review  online


On Dec. 12, the Office of the Provost hosted a public town hall meeting to address the selection of the associate provost and academic director for the new Office of Sustainability, Chris Williams. Given recent student frustration regarding slow progress towards “going green” at the university, the meeting gave Wiliams a chance to talk about his vision for the new office, as well as address students’ questions regarding the timeline.

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Slow progress on sustainability office leads to student frustration

The Review  online


Chris Williams, entomology and wildlife ecology professor and sustainability council co-chair, emphasized the importance of a sustainability office, explaining how it would allow for an increase in productivity for the council.

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Articles (5)

Frequency and types of alternative breeding strategies employed by nesting American black ducks in North Carolina

PLoS One

2023 Although most birds are considered to be at least partially monogamous, molecular evidence continues to uncover that many species can have multiple sexual mates. Many species of Waterfowl (Order Anseriformes) consistently deploy alternative breeding strategies, and although cavity nesting species have been well studied, few attempts to understand rates of alternative breeding strategies exist in the Anatini tribe.

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Underwater hearing in sea ducks with applications for reducing gillnet bycatch through acoustic deterrence

Journal of Experimental Biology

2022 As diving foragers, sea ducks are vulnerable to underwater anthropogenic activity, including ships, underwater construction, seismic surveys and gillnet fisheries. Bycatch in gillnets is a contributing source of mortality for sea ducks, killing hundreds of thousands of individuals annually. We researched underwater hearing in sea duck species to increase knowledge of underwater avian acoustic sensitivity and to assist with possible development of gillnet bycatch mitigation strategies that include auditory deterrent devices.

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A lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) naturally infected with Eurasian highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus: Movement ecology and host factors

Transboundary and Emerging Diseases

2022 Despite the recognized role of wild waterfowl in the potential dispersal and transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus, little is known about how infection affects these birds. This lack of information limits our ability to estimate viral spread in the event of an HPAI outbreak, thereby limiting our abilities to estimate and communicate risk.

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A Consideration of Wildlife in the Benefit-Costs of Hydraulic Fracturing: Expanding to an E3 Analysis


2022 High-volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale (underlying about 24 mil ha in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, and Virginia) has become a politically charged issue, primarily because of concerns about drinking water safety and human health. This paper examines fracking in the Marcellus region, and the tradeoffs between the energy and economic potential of natural gas extraction and the environmental impacts on wildlife.

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Advancing Wildlife Policy of Eastern Timber Wolves and Lake Sturgeon through Traditional Ecological Knowledge


2022 Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is becoming more prominent in wildlife management decisions and policy making. The cooperation of TEK and Western science paradigms have been beneficial for conserving our natural resources and wildlife populations. However, there are still concerns with accepting TEK as part of wildlife management, policy, and regulations. With increasing challenges to wildlife conservation, it is vital to implement Indigenous TEK to form more robust and holistic approaches to wildlife management.

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Education (4)

University of Wisconsin: PhD, Wildlife Ecology 2001

University of Wisconsin: MS, Wildlife Ecology 1996

Miami University: BS, Zoology 1994

Miami University: BS, Botany 1994