Patrick McMillan

Hilliard Professor of Environmental Sustainability
Director of the SC Botanical Garden
Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department, Public Service Activities, Clemson Experimental Forest, SC Botanical Garden

Office: SC Botanical Garden
Phone: 864-506-5549


 Educational Background

PhD Biological Sciences
Clemson University 2006

BS Biology
University of North Carolina 1996

 Courses Taught

Plant Taxonomy
Forest Biology
Natural History


I am currently the Hilliard professor of environmental sustainability, producer, host, writer, director and co-editor of the Emmy award-winning television program “Expeditions with Patrick McMillan” aired on PBS affiliates across the nation. I also hosted a popular natural history/birding program on SCETV (NPR affiliate) Radio’s Your Day program. I have worked as a professional naturalist/biologist throughout the southeastern United States and the Neotropics for the past 22 years. I currently serve as director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden, director of the Clemson Experimental Forest, director of the Bob Campbell Geology Museum and have taught Plant Taxonomy (BIOSC 406/606) Forest Biology (FOR 221) and Natural History as a lecturer faculty member in Forestry and Environmental Conservation. My work experience has primarily involved Botany but has also included work in the fields of Ichthyology, Herpetology, Ornithology, and Mammalogy. My research has focused on endangered species biology, natural community ecology, species concepts and species boundary definitions and the relationship between man, society and nature. Currently my interests are centered on engaging the general public and youth in conservation issues and science. I served as director of natural resource programs for the Youth Learning Institute from 2009-2010 where I was involved in establishing a successful youth marine science camp in Awendaw, SC (Expeditions Sewee). My research has been featured in National Wildlife and South Carolina Wildlife Magazines as well as in numerous articles in USA Today, The State, Greenville News and other local and regional newspapers. I have been awarded the distinction of Conservation Partner of the Year by the Partnership for the Blue Ridge in 2005 and Outstanding Classified Employee, 2005 by Clemson University. Additionally, I was the first recipient of the Roland P. Alston Sr. Award for Excellence in Communication. My publications have received several awards. One such publication, a book titled "Life at the Waters Edge," received the distinction of 2005 Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, Outstanding Achievement Award ( and has been selected to receive one of ten Notable State Document Awards for 2005.

My “performances” are in demand both within my specific field and far outside of my professional experience. This is best seen by the multitude (over 400 since 2008) of invited presentations that I am asked to do annually. This includes many repeat invitations to organizations such as the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference, the SC Native Plant Society Annual Symposium, and the South Carolina Entomological Society. In January of 2009, I was selected as the first Clemson University faculty member to deliver the prestigious Calhoun Lecture, which drew an attendance of over 700, making it the most attended lecture in the series history.

 Research Interests

My research interests are in public education and mass communication of environmental science topics, management of rare and endangered species and habitats as well as questions pertaining to defining species boundaries and concepts in plants. My taxonomic expertise and research has focused on Rhynchospora, Carex, Begonia and the Asteraceae.

 Extension and Outreach

I am currently the director of the SC Botanical Garden which has a massive public education and outreach impact locally and state-wide. I also direct the Certificate in Native Plant Studies program at the SCBG. I am the director of the Bob Campbell Geology Museum which also hosts a large education/extension presence. My direction of the Clemson Experimental Forest also includes extension demonstration and education. In each of these areas we focus our efforts on within University education of undergraduate and graduate students as well as the general public.


McMillan, P.D. and A.H. Blackwell. 2015. Proposal to conserve the name Clethra alnifolia L. (Clethraceae) with a
conserved type. Taxon 64: 637-638.

McMillan, P.D. and A.H. Blackwell. 2013. The vascular plants collected by Mark Catesby in South Carolina: Combining
the Sloane and Oxford herbaria. Phytoneuron 2013-73: 1-32.

Blackwell, A.H., P.D. McMillan. 2013. Collected in South Carolina 1704-1707: The Plants of Joseph Lord. Phytoneuron
2013-59: 1-15.

McMillan, P.D., A.H. Blackwell, C. Blackwell, and M.A. Spencer. 2013. The vascular plants in the Mark Catesby collection
at the Sloane Herbarium, with notes on their taxonomic and ecological significance. Phytoneuron 2013-7: 1-37.

Livieri, Travis M., D.S. Licht, B. Moynahan, & P.D. McMillan. 2013. Prairie dog aboveground aggressive behavior towards
Black-footed Ferrets. American Midland Naturalist 169:422-425.

McMillan, P.D., B.A. Sorrie, B. vanEerden, R.J. LeBlond, P. Hyatt, L. Anderson. 2011. Carex austrodeflexa, (CYPRACEAE),
a new species of Carex sect. Acrocystis from the Atlantic coastal plain of the southeastern United States. J. Bot. Res.
Inst. Texas. 5:45-51.

Morris, R. & P.D. McMillan. 2010. Two newˆBegonia (Begoniaceae, section Gireoudia) species from Oaxaca, Mexico. The
Begonian 77:51-53; 88-92.

Jenkins, R. Austin & P.D. McMillan. 2008. Vascular flora of Sandhill Research and Education Center, Richland County,
South Carolina. Castanea 74:168-180.

Polomski, R., P.D. McMillan. 2008. General Botany, in South Carolina Master Gardener’s Training Manual. Clemson
University Publications. Clemson, SC. 829 pp.