William W. Murdoch

William W. Murdoch (born 1939) is a Charles A. Storke II professor of population ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[2] Over the years, his research has focused primarily on the subjects of population regulation, predator–prey dynamics, and biological control.[3] He has also contributed extensively to understanding the scientific and socioeconomic ramifications caused by human overpopulation and environmental degradation.[4] He was the recipient of the 1990 Robert H. MacArthur Award granted by the Ecological Society of America. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Ecological Society of America (ESA).

William W. Murdoch
United Kingdom
Alma mater University of Glasgow, University of Oxford
Known for Population regulation, predator–prey dynamics, biological control
Awards Guggenheim Fellowship, Robert H. MacArthur Award, and AAAS Fellow
Scientific career
Fields Population Ecology
Institutions UC Santa Barbara
Doctoral advisor Charles Sutherland Elton
Influences Charles Sutherland Elton and Dennis H. Chitty
Influenced H. Godfray, I. Valiela, A. Shmida, G. Peterson, and P. Abrams.

. . . William W. Murdoch . . .

William W. Murdoch received his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology (with honors) at the University of Glasgow. After graduation, he headed to the University of Oxford to study insect population dynamics at the Bureau of Animal Population under Charles Sutherland Elton. Upon obtaining his doctorate in population ecology, Murdoch won a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him to undertake postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.[3][5]

In 1965, Murdoch joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has conducted research until the present. He has held visiting professorships at various universities around the world including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University College London. Murdoch has also been a McMaster Fellow in Australia, a Miller Research Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the University of California Natural Reserve System, and editor in chief of the journal Issues in Ecology.[3]

Murdoch’s main research studies focus on understanding what regulates populations in abundance. He is interested in the mechanisms that maintain the stability of interacting consumer and resource populations when the consumer keeps the resource population far below the level set by its resources. His research objective is to develop models of particular systems, do experiments to understand these systems and test these models, as well as to develop more general theory. Two experimental systems are used in Murdoch’s research: the Aphytis-California Red Scale and daphnia-algae systems.[6] Murdoch’s work in biological control has been instrumental in demonstrating that stability of parasitoid-host interactions in pest control can be achieved by non-equilibrium mechanisms.[7] For example, his examination of the parasitoid-host relationship between Aphytis and the California red scale has elucidated that stability does not arise from metapopulation dynamics and that the regulating mechanism may, instead, lie in size-related interactions, in small-scale spatial heterogeneity, or mixtures of these mechanisms.[8]

. . . William W. Murdoch . . .

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. . . William W. Murdoch . . .

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