College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

William Fagan

Bill Fagan

Professor/Department Chair


Office Phone: 301.405.4672
Lab: 301.405.4512
Fax: 301.314.9358
Office Address: 1200-A Bio-Psych
3235 Bio-Psych


Gemstone Program Advisor for Team PATH (GEMS 296, 297, 396, 397, 496, 497)

HONR 238N  Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar:   Extinction Risk: Where Biology, Geography, and Mathematics Meet

BIOL 708T   Theoretical Ecology

BIOL 708U   Practicum in Data Analysis

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences (MEES)
  • BISI - BISI-Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, & Genomics (CBBG)
  • BISI - BISI-Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)
  • Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation (AMSC) Program

Research Interests

My research involves meshing field biology with theoretical models to address critical questions in community ecology and conservation biology. I believe that ecological theory will be strengthened if it is forced to help solve real-world problems, and that conservation biology involves difficult choices that demand quantitative approaches. My ongoing research falls in several areas that illustrate this melding of theory and problem-solving, including 1) spatial ecological dynamics, 2) ecoinformatics, biodiversity databases, and conservation planning, and 3) biological stoichiometry and paleoecostoichioproteomics.

Current Research

Please see my lab website ( for information on current projects. 

Recent Publications

  • Kennedy, C., P. Marra, W. Fagan, and M. Neel. 2010. Landscape matrix and species traits mediate responses of Neotropical resident birds to forest fragmentation in Jamaica. Ecological Monographs 80:651-669.
  • Grant, E.H.C., J.D. Nichols, W.H. Lowe and W.F. Fagan. 2010. Use of multiple dispersal pathways facilitates amphibian persistence in stream networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1000266107.
  • Fagan, W.F., C. Cosner, E.A. Larsen and J.M. Calabrese. 2010. Reproductive asynchrony in spatial population models: How mating behavior can modulate Allee effects arising from isolation in both space and time. American Naturalist 175: 362-373.
  • Lynch, H.J. and W.F. Fagan. 2009. Survivorship curves and their impact on the estimation of maximum population growth rates. Ecology 90: 1116-1124.
  • Hambäck, P.A., J. Gilbert, K. Schneider, H.M. Martinson, G. Kolb, and W.F. Fagan. 2009. Effects of body size, trophic mode and larval habitat on dipteran stoichiometry: A regional comparison. Oikos 118: 615-623.
  • Fagan, W.F., R.S. Cantrell, C. Cosner, and S. Ramakrishnan. 2009. Interspecific Variation in Critical Patch Size and Gap-Crossing Ability as Determinants of Geographic Range Size Distributions. American Naturalist 173: 363-375.
  • Muneepeerakul, R., E. Bertuzzo, H.J. Lynch, W.F. Fagan, A. Rinaldo and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe. 2008. Neutral metacommunity models predict fish diversity patterns in Mississippi-Missouri basin. Nature 453: 220-222.


  •  University of Maryland Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award, 2010.
  • University of Maryland College of Chemical and Life Sciences Research Award, 2009.

  • Presidential Award, The American Society of Naturalists, for best paper in American Naturalist in 2005 for:  Fagan, W.F., M.A. Lewis, M. Neubert, C. Aumann, J. Apple, and J.G. Bishop. 2005. When can herbivores reverse the spread of an invading plant? A test case from Mount St. Helens. American Naturalist. 166: 669-686.

  • Guggenheim Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2001-2002. 


Ph.D., University of Washington, 1996. Conservation Biology, Community Ecology, Theoretical Ecology.