Patterson, Will

Professor, Marine Fisheries Ecology
Florida Sea Grant Affiliate Faculty

Areas of research in the Marine Fisheries Laboratory include population dynamics, trophic dynamics, and population structure of marine fishes. Will is interested in how populations are structured in space and time and in describing factors that affect population dynamics and demographics, as well as population connectivity. Many of the questions his team work on have direct implications for fisheries management. However, techniques they have developed or employed to examine these questions in exploited species also have been applied to non-exploited species to gain greater insight into the ecology of the systems in which they work.

  • Population dynamics
  • Habitat utilization
  • Population connectivity
  • Food web structure
  • Fisheries assessment
  • Fisheries management
    7922 NW 71st Street, PO Box 110600
    Gainesville, FL 32653
    (352) 273.3647


  • PhD, University of South Alabama, Department of Marine Sciences, 1999
  • MS, Old Dominion University, Biological Sciences, 1995
  • BA, University of Virginia, History, 1991
  • Murawski, S.A., J. Fleeger, W.F. Patterson III, C. Hu, K.L. Daly, I. Romero and G.A. Toro-Farmer. 2016. How did the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill affect nearshore ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico? Oceanography 29:160–173.
  • Dahl, K.A, W.F. Patterson III, and R.A. Snyder. 2016. Experimental assessment of lionfish removals to mitigate reef fish community shifts on northern Gulf of Mexico artificial reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 558:207-221.
  • Addis, D.T., W.F. Patterson III and M.A. Dance. 2016. The potential of unreported artificial reefs to serve as refuges from fishing mortality for Gulf of Mexico reef fishes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 36:131-139.
  • Lewis, J.A. W.F. Patterson III, J.K. Carlson and K. McLachlin. 2016. Vertebral chemical signatures distinguish juvenile blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) nursery regions in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Freshwater Research 67:1014-1022.
  • Barnett, B.K., W.F. Patterson III, T.D. Kellison, S.B. Garner and A.M. Shiller. 2016. Nursery sources of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) off the southeastern USA simulated with otolith chemical signatures. Marine and Freshwater Research 67: 992–1001.
  • Tarnecki, J.H. and W.F. Patterson III. 2015. Changes in red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, diet and trophic ecology in the northern Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 7:135–147.
  • Garner, S.B. and W.F. Patterson III. 2015. Direct observation of charterboat effort, catch, and discarding of northern Gulf of Mexico reef fishes. US Fishery Bulletin 113:157-166.
  • Dahl, K.A. and W.F. Patterson III. 2014. Density and diet of rapidly expanding invasive lionfish populations in the northern Gulf of Mexico. PLoS ONE 9(8): e105852. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105852
  • Garner, S.B., W.F. Patterson III, C.E. Porch, and J.H. Tarnecki. 2014. Experimental assessment of circle hook performance and selectivity in the northern Gulf of Mexico recreational reef fish fishery. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 6:235–246.
  • Patterson, W.F., III, B.K. Barnett, M.Z. Sluis, J.H. Cowan Jr., and A.M. Shiller. 2014. Interspecific variation in juvenile snapper otolith chemical signatures. Aquatic Biology 21:1-10.
  • Scharer, R.M., W.F. Patterson III, J.K. Carlson and G.R. Poulakis. 2012. Age and growth of smalltooth sawfish verified with LA-ICP-MS analysis of vertebrae. PLoS ONE 7(10): e47850.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047850.
  • Patterson, W.F., III, C.E. Porch, J.H. Tarnecki and A.J. Strelcheck. 2012. Effect of circle hook size on reef fish catch rate, size distribution, and selectivity in the northern Gulf of Mexico recreational fishery. Bulletin of Marine Science 88:647-665.
  • Patterson, W.F., III, J.H. Cowan, Jr., D.A. Nieland, and G.R. Gitzhugh, editors. 2007. Population Ecology and Fisheries of U.S. Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper. American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, Maryland. 361 pp.