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Teaching Staff

Professor WILLIAMS, Gray A

Professor WILLIAMS, Gray A

Director of SWIMS and Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, HKU

BSc (Manchester, UK) PhD (Bristol, UK)

  • 3917 3604
  • 2858 3477
  • KBSB 3S-02

Teaching Areas

  • Marine Biology
  • Experimental ecology
  • Experiential fieldcourses
  • Environmental Management

Research Interests

  • Ecology, with focus on intertidal ecology
  • Ecophysiology
  • Behavioural ecology of invertebrates

Current Research

  • Intertidal ecology of SE Asia
  • Thermal biology and physiology of intertidal species
  • Adaptation and acclimation of species to climate change




Research Team

Dr Sam Crickenberger

Dr Tommy Hui

Ms Sarah LAU Lok Yee

Ms Alicia TAN

Mr Adrian WONG





  • 2015-2018     UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE SAO PAULO / UNIFESP, BRAZIL, CNPq, Brazilian Government - Senior Visiting Fellowship
  • 2014               Northeastern University, USA - Visiting Research Professor
  • 2013               Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil - Visting Researcher in Marine Ecology      
  • 2010 to date  XIAMEN UNIVERSITY, CHINA - Guest Professor
  • 1999                THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, UK - Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences.

                                THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, UK - Universitas 21 Fellow, School of Biological Sciences.

  • 1997                THE UNIVERSITY OF FIRENZE, ITALY - Visiting Professor, The Department of Animal Biology and Genetics.

Publications and News

  • TY HUI & GA WILLIAMS Experience matter: context dependant decisions explain foraging patterns in the deposit feeding crab Scopimera intermedia. 2018 Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284:20171442
  • Y-W DONG, LI X-X, FMP CHOI, WILLIAMS GA, SOMERO G HELMUTH BS 2017 Untangling the roles of microclimate, behavior and physiological polymorphism in governing vulnerability of intertidal snails to heat stress.  Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284: 20162367
  • BS HELMUTH, BD RUSSELL, SD CONNELL, Y-W DONG, CD HARLEY, F LIMA,  SARÁ, GA WILLIAMS and N MIESZKOWSKA 2014  Beyond long-term averages: Making biological sense of a rapidly changing world.  Climate Change Responses 1, 6
  • G SANTINI, A NGAN, MT BURROWS, G CHELAZZI and GA WILLIAMS (2014) What drives foraging behaviour of the intertidal limpet Cellana grata? A quantitative test of a dynamic optimization model.  Functional Ecology 28: 963–972
  • WILLIAMS GA, De PIRRO M, CARTWRIGHT SR, KHANGURA HK, NG WC, LEUNG TY and MORRITT D 2011. Come rain or shine: the combined effects of physical stresses on physiological and protein-level responses of an intertidal limpet in the monsoonal tropics, Functional Ecology, 25: 101-110
  • MARSHALL DJ, MCQUAID CD and WILLIAMS GA 2010 Non-climatic thermal adaptation: implications for species' responses to climate warming, Biol. Lets, 6: 669-673
  • LITTLE, C, WILLIAMS, GA and C TROWBRIDGE 2009 The Biology of Rocky shores 2nd ed The biology of habitats series: Oxford University Press
  • WILLIAMS, GA, M De PIRRO, KMY LEUNG and D MORRITT 2005 Physiological responses to heat stress in a tropical limpet, Cellana grata: the benefits of mushrooming behaviour.  Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 292: 213-224
  • WILLIAMS, GA, MS DAVIES, and S NAGARKAR 2000 Primary succession on a seasonal tropical rocky shore: relative roles of spatial heterogeneity and herbivory. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 203:81-94
  • WILLIAMS, GA and D MORRITT 1995 Habitat partitioning and thermal tolerance in a tropical limpet, Cellana grata. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.  124: 89-103