Donald Hagan

Associate Professor of Forest Ecology
Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department

Office: 202 Lehotsky Hall
Phone: 864-656-7333
Vita: Download CV
Personal Website:


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Forest Ecology
University of Florida 2012

M.S. Forest Ecology
University of Florida 2008

B.S. Environmental Studies/Policy
University of West Florida 2002

 Courses Taught

FOR2050/2051 Dendrology
FOR2060/2061 Forest Ecology
FOR2210 Forest Biology
FOR2510 Forest Communities
FNR4700 Vegetative Succession in Restored Wetland and Stream Ecosystems (Creative Inquiry)
FNR4700 Japanese Stiltgrass Invasion in a Multi-Use Forest: Patterns, Mechanisms and Perceptions (Creative Inquiry)
FNR4700 Appalachian Fire Ecology (Creative Inquiry)
FOR4930 Wildland and Prescribed Fire Training
FOR4930 Winter Tree ID
FOR7070 Trees of the Southeastern US


Dr. Hagan is an ecologist who studies the effects of fire and plant invasions on population, community and ecosystem-level processes in forest ecosystems. He conducts most of his research in the southern Appalachian and Piedmont regions, but he has also worked extensively in the SE Coastal Plain, Florida, and in the tropical dry forests of coastal Ecuador. Current research projects are supported by the Joint Fire Science Program, the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant program. Hagan is passionate about teaching and mentoring and is heavily involved with Clemson's Creative Inquiry undergraduate research program. He serves as faculty advisor for the Student Association for Fire Ecology, and works closely with the "Fire Tigers" -- Clemson's wildland and prescribed fire crew. Since 2015 he has served on the board of the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists.

Dr. Hagan was the recipient of the Delta Alpha Phi Extraordinary Educator Award (2018), the Society of American Foresters Young Forester Leadership Award (2017), the Ansel E. Miller Faculty Teaching Award (2022, 2017 and 2015) and the CAFLS Teaching Award of Excellence (2014).

 Research Interests

Forest ecology, invasion ecology, fire ecology, forest soils



Hagan D.L., Malone R.H., and Strickland C.R. (2019). Winter Tree ID for the Southern Appalachians and Piedmont: A Photographic Guide. Clemson University Press.


Murray J., Baldwin R.F., Hagan D.L., and Hiesl P. (2023). Spatial multi-criteria decision modeling for Pinus palustris Mill. (Longleaf pine) restoration in the South Carolina sandhills wiregrass gap. Southeastern Naturalist 22(3): 419-444.

Wu S., Kunkel K.E., Hagan D.L., and Jachowski D.S. (2023). Evaluating riparian plant communities following bison reintroduction in the Northern Great Plains of Montana. Rangeland Ecology and Management 90: 186-194.

Melcher A., Hagan D.L., Barrett K., Ross B., and Lorber J. (2023). Changes in canopy cover and forest structure following dormant season and early growing season prescribed burns in the southern Appalachians, USA. Fire Ecology 19(1): 1-11.

Murray J., Hiesl P., Hagan D.L., and Baldwin R.F. (2023). Assessing productivity and cost of timber harvesting during longleaf pine ecosystem restoration. International Journal of Forest Engineering 34(2): 117-129.

Colenbaugh C. and Hagan D.L. (2023). After the fire: potential impacts of fire exclusion policies on historical Cherokee culture in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Human Ecology

Murray J., Hiesl P., Hagan D. and Baldwin R. (2022). The influence of slash management practices on water and nutrient dynamics in longleaf pine forests. Forests 13:1449.

Vaughan M.C., Hagan D.L., Bridges W.C., Barrett K., Norman S. and Coates T.A. (2022). Effects of burn season on fire-excluded plant communities in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 516.

Colenbaugh C. and Hagan D.L. (2022). Natural and cultural history of Xanthorhiza simplicissima. Castanea 86:2 151-172.

Vaughan M.C., Hagan D.L., Bridges W.C., Dickinson M.B. and Coates T.A. (2021). How do fire behavior and fuel consumption vary between dormant and early growing season prescribed burns in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Fire Ecology 17:27.

Coyle D.R., Williams B.M. and Hagan D.L. (2021). Fire can reduce thorn damage by the invasive Callery pear tree. HortTechnology 31(5): 625-629.

Phelps K., Hiesl P., Hagan D.L. and Hotaling Hagan A. (2021). The Harvest Operability Index (HOI): A decision support tool for mechanized timber harvesting in mountainous terrain. Forests 12(10).

Oakman E.C., Hagan D.L., Waldrop T.A., and Barrett K. (in review). Understory community shifts in response to repeated fire and fire surrogate treatments in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Fire Ecology 17(7).

Smith C., and Hagan D.L. (2020). Examining the relationship between fire severity and post-fire soil temperature regimes. Fire 3(4).

For a full list of publications please see my Google Scholar or ResearchGate pages (links provided).


The Fire Tigers