Research Expertise and Interest

evolution, physiology, ecophysiology, metabolism, insect, winter, adaptation, thermal biology

Research Description

Caroline Williams is an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology.  The CM Williams Lab focuses on:


They are working to understand how changes in seasonality affect insect's physiology, population dynamics, and evolution.  

Their research uncovers the drivers, mechanisms, and consequences of evolutionary change in energy pathways and metabolism. They explore physiological changes across invertebrate species, and how physiology interacts with environmental variability. Their work combines cutting edge techniques in metabolic biochemistry and physiology with a strong focus on theory, natural history, and fieldwork. They collaborate widely with quantitative geneticists, ecological modelers, protein biochemists, computational biologists and bioinformaticians, systematists and taxonomists.

We believe that understanding how physiology responds to environmental variability allows us to predict the bigger consequences of human-driven climate change.

In the News

Tropical species are moving northward as winters warm

Notwithstanding last month’s cold snap in Texas and Louisiana, climate change is leading to warmer winter weather throughout the southern U.S., creating a golden opportunity for many tropical plants and animals to move north, according to a new study appearing this week in the journal Global Change Biology.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
March 19, 2021
As climate change leads to warmer winters, many tropical plants and animals are moving north, according to a new study appearing this week in the journal Global Change Biology. "Quite a few mosquito species are expanding northward, as well as a lot of forestry pests: bark beetles, the southern mountain pine beetle," said Caroline Williams, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-author of the paper. "In our study, we were really focusing on that boundary in the U.S. where we get that quick tropical-temperate transition. Changes in winter conditions are one of the major, if not the major, drivers of shifting distributions." For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
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