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

  • Fleming, C.H., J.M. Calabrese, T. Mueller, K.A. Olson, P. Leimgruber, and W.F. Fagan. 2014. From fine-scale foraging to home ranges: A semi-variance approach to identifying movement modes across spatiotemporal scales. American Naturalist. E154-E167.
  • Mueller, T., R. O'Hara, R. Urbanek, S. Converse, and W. F. Fagan. 2013. Social learning and migratory performance. Science. 341: 999-1002.  (Cover Article)
  • Fagan, W.F., M. A. Lewis, M. Auger-Méthé, T. Avgar, S. Benhamou, G. Breed, L. LaDage, U. Schlägel, W. Tang, Y. Papastamatiou, J. Forester, and T. Mueller. 2013. Spatial memory and animal movement. Ecology Letters. 16: 1316-1329.
  • Fagan, W.F., Y. Pearson, E. Larsen, J.B. Turner, H.J. Lynch, H.Staver, J. Turner, A. E. Noble, S. Bewick, and E. Goldberg. 2013. Phylogenetic prediction of the maximum per capita rate of population growth. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 280: 20130523
  • Berbert, J.M., and W.F. Fagan. 2012. How the interplay between individual spatial memory and landscape persistence can generate population distribution patterns. Ecological Complexity. 12: 1-12.
  • Lynch, HJ, R Naveen, PN Trathan, WF Fagan. 2012. Spatially integrated assessment reveals widespread changes in penguin populations on the Antarctic Peninsula. Ecology 93:1367-1377.

Click here for the complete list of publications.


  •  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.