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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

William Conner

Professor Emeritus
Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department, Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science

Office: Georgetown SC
Phone: 843-546-6323
Fax: 843-546-6296

Vita: Download CV
Personal Website:


Educational Background

Ph.D. Forestry
Louisiana State University 1988

M.S. Marine Science
Louisiana State University 1975

B.S. Biology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University 1973

Courses Taught

Forested Wetland Ecology


1. Outstanding Dissertation in the LSU College of Agriculture in 1989.
2. The Taking Wing Award: awarded by USDA Forest Service for Collaborative Research of Iatt Creek Ecosystem in 2000.
3. The Clemson University Board of Trustees 2000 Award for Faculty Excellence.
4. Natural Resouces Graduate Student Association 2016 Teacher of the Year.
4. Served on Louisiana Governor’s Coastal Wetland Forest Conservation and Use Science Working Group member (2004-2005); Work that is widely recognized as being important and becoming an important contribution to changing the way the Southern U.S. manages and conserves cypress and tupelo forests.
5. Garnered over $4 million in research grants and contracts as PI or Co-PI.
6. Authored or edited 3 books, 1 special issue of Wetland Ecology and Management, 32 book chapters; 93 refereed journal papers; and 80 other scientific papers and reports; given 310 presentations as presenter or co-author.
7. Served as Associate Editor of Wetlands (Society of Wetland Science journal) 1996-1998.
8. Chaired, co-chaired, organized or officer in over 39 organizations; including Program committee for Wetland Restoration: Addressing Asian Issues Through International Collaboration (2002 in Nanjing, China) and Organizer and Chair of Symposium on Effect of Climate and Sea Level Changes on Coastal Wetlands (Cairns, Australia 2006).
9. Major Professor for seven Ph.D. students, six M.S. students and served on 25 other student committees.
10. Fellow, Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) (elected 2007)
11. Secretary-General Society ofWetland Scientists (2008-2011)
12. Member of SWS, Society for Ecological Restoration, Association of Southeastern Biologists, Estuarine Federation, Southern Appalachian Botany Society
13. Clemson University's Highest Agricultural Honor, the Godley-Snell Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research (2010)
14. LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources Alumnus of the Year (2010)
15. Selected as Fellow of the Clemson University Institute for Parks (2012)
16. SWS President's Service Award (2013)
17. Natural Resources’ Graduate Student Association Teacher of the Year (2016)
18. Society of Wetland Scientists 40th Anniversary Award (2020)

Research Interests

Fresh and Salt Water Forested Wetlands, Wetland Management, Wetland Creation and Restoration, Effects of Man and Nature on Natural Environments, Dendrochronology, Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment, Estuarine/Upland Connections, Changing Land-Use Impacts on Natural Systems, Historical Ecology


Lockaby, B.G., W.H. Conner, and J. Mitchell. 2008. Floodplains. Pages 1616-1626 In S.E Jorgensen and B. Fath (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ecology. Elsevier, Oxford.

Krauss, K.W., T.W. Doyle, T.J. Doyle, C.M. Swarzenski, A.S. From, R.H. Day, and W.H. Conner. 2009. Water levels observations in mangrove swamps during two hurricanes in Florida. Wetlands 29(1):142-149.

Krauss, K.W., J.A. Duberstein, T.W. Doyle, W.H. Conner, R.H. Day, L.W. Inabinette, and J.L. Whitbeck. 2009. Site condition, structure, and growth of baldcypress along tidal/non-tidal salinity gradients. Wetlands 29(2):505-519.

Duberstein, J.A. and W.H. Conner. 2009. Use of hummocks and hollows by trees in tidal freshwater forested wetlands along the Savannah River. Forest Ecology and Management 258:1613-1618.

Doyle, T.W., K.W. Krauss, W.H. Conner, and A.S. From. 2010. Predicting the retreat and migration of tidal forests along the northern Gulf of Mexico under sea level rise. Forest Ecology and Management 259:770-777.

Keim, R.F., T.J. Dean, J.L. Chambers, and W.H. Conner. 2010. Stand density relationships in baldcypress. Forest Science 56(4):336-343.

Conner, W. H., B. Song, T.M. Williams, and J.T. Vernon. 2011. Community structure and aboveground productivity in a longleaf pine-swamp blackgum forest drainage, South Carolina, USA. Journal of Plant Ecology 4: 67–76. doi: 10.1093/jpe/rtq036

Conner, W.H., K.W. Krauss, and G.P. Shaffer. 2012. Restoring coastal freshwater forested wetlands following severe hurricanes. Pages 423-442 In J. Stanturf, D. Lamb, and P. Madsen, eds. A Goal-Oriented Approach to Forest Landscape Restoration. World Forests 16, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-5338-9_16, Springer Science+Business Media, Dordrecht.

Jones, S.G., W.H. Conner, B. Song, D. Gordon, and A. Jayakaran. 2012. Comparing spatio-temporal clusters of arthropod-borne infections using administrative medical claims and state reported surveillance data. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology 3:205-213.

Jones, S.G., S. Coulter, and W.H. Conner. 2012. Using administrative medical claims data to supplement state disease registry systems for reporting zoonotic infections. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Online 18 July 2012.

Jones, S.G., W.H. Conner, and B. Song. 2012. Spatially explicit non-linear models for explaining the occurrence of infectious zoonotic diseases. ISRN Biomathematics, vol. 2012, Article ID 132342, 12 pages.

Chow, A.T., J. Dai, W.H. Conner, D.R. Hitchcock, and J. Wang. 2013. Dissolved organic matter and nutrient dynamics of a coastal freshwater forested wetland in Winyah Bay, South Carolina. Biogeochemistry 112(1):571-587.

Conner, W.H. and J.A. Cherry. 2013. Plant productivity – bottomland hardwood forests. Pages 225-242. In: DeLaune, R.D., K.R. Reddy, C.J. Richardson, and P. Megonigal (eds.), Methods in Biogeochemistry of Wetlands. Soil Science Society of America, Inc., Madison, WI.

Cormier, N., K.W. Krauss, and W.H. Conner. 2013. Periodicity in stem growth and litterfall in tidal freshwater forested wetlands: influence of salinity and drought on nitrogen recycling. Estuaries and Coasts 36:533–546.

Duberstein, J.A., K.W. Krauss, W.H. Conner, W.C. Bridges, Jr., and V.B. Shelburne. 2013. Do hummocks provide a physiological advantage to even the most flood tolerant of tidal freshwater trees? Wetlands 33:399-408.

Noe, G.B., K.W. Krauss, B.G. Lockaby, W.H. Conner, C.R. Hupp. 2013. The effect of increasing salinity and forest mortality on soil nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization in tidal freshwater forested wetlands. Biogeochemistry 114:225–244.

Euliss, N.H., Jr., M.M. Brinson, D.M. Mushet, L.M. Smith, W.H. Conner, V.R. Burkett, D.A. Wilcox, M.W. Hester, and H. Zheng. 2013. Ecosystem services: developing sustainable management paradigms based on wetland functions and processes. Pages 181-227. In: Anderson, J.T. and C.A. Davis (eds.), Wetland Techniques: Volume 3: Applications and Management. Springer Science+Business Media, Dordrecht.

deGravelles, W.W., S. Hutchinson, and W.H. Conner. 2014. Suppressed baldcypress growth response to artificial canopy gap creation in a North Carolina, USA Swamp. Wetlands 34:79–87.

Duberstein, J.A., W.H. Conner, and K.W. Krauss. 2014. Woody vegetation communities of tidal freshwater swamps in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (US) with comparisons to similar systems in the US and South America. Journal of Vegetation Science 25:848-862.

Conner, W.H., J.A. Duberstein, J.W. Day, Jr., and S. Hutchinson. 2014. Impacts of changing hydrology and hurricanes along a flooding/elevation gradient in a south Louisiana forested wetland from 1986-2009. Wetlands 34(5):803-814. (DOI) 10.1007/s13157-014-0543-0.

Conner, W.H., K.W. Krauss, A.H. Baldwin, and S. Hutchinson. 2014. Wetlands: Tidal. Pages 575-588. In: Encyclopedia of Natural Resources: Land. Taylor and Francis: NY, Published online: 21 Oct 2014.

Dai, J., J. Wang, A.T. Chow, and W.H. Conner. 2015. Electrical energy production from forest detritus in a forested wetland using microbial fuel cells. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 7:244–252.

Krauss, K.W., J.A. Duberstein, and W.H. Conner. 2015. Assessing stand water use in four coastal swamp forests under different settings using sapflow techniques. Hydrological Processes 29:112-127.

Ricker, M.C., B.G. Lockaby, G.D. Blosser, and W.H. Conner. 2016. Rapid wood decay and nutrient mineralization in an old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. Biogeochemistry 127:323-338DOI: 10.1007/s10533-016-0183-y.

Stagg, C.L., K.W. Krauss, D.R. Cahoon, N. Cormier, W.H. Conner, and C.W. Swarzenski. 2016. Processes contributing to resilience of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise. Ecosystems 19(8): 1445-1459. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-016-0015-x.

Liu, X., W.H. Conner, B. Song, and A.D. Jayakaran. 2017. Forest composition and growth in a freshwater forested wetland community in response to increased soil salinity in South Carolina, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 389:211-219.

Pierfelice, K.N., B.G. Lockaby, K.W. Krauss, W.H. Conner, G.B. Noe, and M.C. Ricker. 2017. Salinity influences on above- and belowground net primary productivity in tidal wetlands. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 22(1):5015002. DOI:10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001223.

Liu, X., B. Song, J. Xing, A. Ruecker, A.T. Chow, and W.H. Conner. 2017. Effects of salinity and wet–dry treatments on C and N dynamics in coastal forested wetland soils: implications of sea level rise. Soil Biology and Biogeochemistry 112:56-67.

Stagg, C.L., D.R. Schoolmaster, K.W. Krauss, N. Cormier, and W.H. Conner. 2017. Causal mechanisms of soil organic matter decomposition: deconstructing salinity and flooding impacts in coastal wetlands. Ecology 98:2003–2018. doi: 10.1002/ecy.1890

Hunter, R.G., J.W. Day, R.R. Lane, G.P. Shaffer, J.N. Day, W.H. Conner, J.M. Rybczyk, J.A. Mistich, and J-Y. Ko. 2018. Using natural wetlands for municipal effluent assimilation: a half-century of experience for the Mississippi River delta and surrounding environs. Chapter 2 in N. Nagabhatla and C.D. Metcalfe, eds. Multifunctional Wetlands: Pollution Abatement and Other Ecological Services from Natural and Constructed Wetlands. Springer, Environmental Contamination Remediation and Management Series.

Krauss, K.W., G.B. Noe, J.A. Duberstein, W.H. Conner, C.L. Stagg, N. Cormier, M.C. Jones, C.J. Bernhardt, B.G. Lockaby, A.S. From, T.W. Doyle, R. Day, S.H. Ensign, K.N. Pierfelice, C.R. Hupp, A.T. Chow, and J.L. Whitbeck. 2018. The role of the upper tidal estuary in wetland blue carbon storage and flux. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 32:817-839.

Zhai, L., K.W. Krauss, X. Liu, J.A. Duberstein, W.H. Conner, D.L. DeAngelis, and L. Sternberg. 2018. Growth stress response to sea level rise in species with contrasting functional traits: A case study in tidal freshwater forested wetlands. Environmental and Experimental Botany 155:378-386.

Chen, H., G. Blosser, H. Majidzadeh, X. Liu, W.H. Conner, and A.T. Chow. 2018. Integration of an automated identification-quantification pipeline and statistical techniques for pyrolysis GC/MS tracking of the molecular fingerprints of natural organic matter. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 134:371-380.

Battaglia, L.L. and W.H. Conner. 2018. Old-growth in southern swamp and bottomland hardwood forests. Pages 21-37. In: Barton, A.M. and W.S. Keeton, eds. Ecology and Recovery of Eastern Old-growth Forests. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Krauss, K.W., J.A. Duberstein, W.H. Conner, N. Cormier, and M.J. Baldwin. 2019. Water level and soil pore water salinity, temperature, and conductivity data in tidally influenced forested wetlands in South Carolina and Georgia (2004-2016): U.S. Geological Survey data release. (release date, 3/29/2019).

Williams, T., D. Amatya, W.H. Conner, S. Panda, G. Xu, J. Dong, C. Trettin, M., C. Dong, X. Gao, H. Shi, K. Yu, H. Wang. 2019. Tidal forested wetlands: Mechanisms, threats, and management tools. Pages 129-158 In: S. An and J. Verhoven, eds. Wetlands: Ecosystem Services, Restoration and Wise Use. Ecological Studies 238, Springer Nature, Switzerland. Technical Contribution No. 6654.

Conner, W.H. 2019. Monthly litterfall, monthly tree band, and annual tree growth of a South Carolina coastal wetland forest. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science Data Package release, EDI Data Portal. doi:10.6073/pasta/87e25c8383eb7f857f38fe532e408775. (release date, 8/19/2019).

Ricker, M.C., G.D. Blosser, W.H. Conner, and B.G. Lockaby. 2019. Wood biomass and carbon pools within a floodplain forest of the Congaree River, South Carolina, USA. Wetlands 39:1003–1013.

Conner, W.H. 2020. Reflections from the swamp. Pages 44-48 in D.A. Wilcox, ed. Legends of Wetland Science. Amazon Print-On-Demand. ISBN #9798668260232. Technical Contribution No. 6835.

Conner, W.H. A.H. Baldwin, and J.A. Duberstein. 2020. Wetlands: Tidal. Pages 165-186. In: Y. Wang, ed. Handbook of Natural Resources, Vol. 3, Wetlands and Habitats. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Chen, H., X. Liu, G.D. Blosser, A.M. Rüecker, W.H. Conner, and A.T. Chow. 2020. Molecular dynamics of foliar litter and dissolved organic matter during the decomposition process. Biogeochemistry 150:17-30.

Chen, H., A.M. Rüecker, Q. Su, G.D. Blosser, X. Liu, W.H. Conner, and A.T. Chow. 2020. Dynamics of dissolved organic matter and disinfection byproduct precursors along a low elevation gradient in woody wetlands - An implication of hydrologic impacts of climate change on source water quality. Water Research 181.

Duberstein, J.A., K.W. Krauss, M.J. Baldwin, S.T. Allen, W.H. Conner, J.S. Salter, Jr., and M. Miloshis. 2020. Small gradients in salinity have large effects on stand water use in freshwater wetland forests. Forest Ecology and Management 473.

Godfrey, S.T., J.H. Waddle, R.F. Baldwin, W.H. Conner, W.C. Bridges Jr & J.A. Duberstein. 2020. Herpetofauna occupancy and community composition along a tidal swamp salinity gradient. Wetlands 40:1561-1575.

Wang, H., K.W. Krauss, G.B. Noe, C.L. Stagg, C.M. Swarzenski, J.A. Duberstein, W.H. Conner, and D.L. DeAngelis. 2020. Modeling soil porewater salinity response to drought-induced saltwater intrusion in tidal freshwater forested wetlands. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 125(2): e2018JG004996. 17p.

Lumibao, C.Y., E.R. Kimbrough, S. Formel, R.H. Day, A.S. From, W.H. Conner, K.W. Krauss, and S.A. Van Bael. 2020. Salinity, water level, and forest structure contribute to baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) rhizosphere and endosphere community structure. Wetlands 40:2179–2188.

Day, J.W., W.H. Conner, R.D. DeLaune, C.S. Hopkinson, R.G. Hunter, G.P. Shaffer, D. Kandalepas, R.F. Keim, G.P. Kemp, R.R. Lane, V.H. Rivera-Monroy, C.E. Sasser, J.R. White, I. Vargas-Lopez. 2021. A review of 50 years of study of hydrology, wetland dynamics, aquatic metabolism, water quality and trophic status, and nutrient biogeochemistry in the Barataria Basin, Mississippi Delta – System functioning, human impacts and restoration approaches. Water 13, 642.

Lumibao, C.Y., E.R. Kimbrough, R.H. Day, W.H. Conner, K.W. Krauss, and S.A. Van Bael. 2021. Divergent biotic and abiotic filtering of root endosphere and rhizosphere soil fungal communities along ecological gradients. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 96(7). doi:10.1093/femsec/fiaa124.


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