The Fire Ecology Program at Tall Timbers

Wade Tract burn, March 2009

Prescribed Burn at Wade Tract old growth longleaf pine preserve

The mission of the Fire Ecology Program at Tall Timbers is to produce reliable knowledge regarding the ecology and conservation of fire-dependent ecosystems in the southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain and surrounding areas. Research is conducted in collaboration with private land owners, universities, state and government agencies, and other not-for-profit organizations. Information is shared through publications, conferences and seminars, extension services to private and public landowners, conservation workshops, advisory committees, public outreach activities, and mentoring of graduate students and other university activities. Research is supported by institutional endowments, external grants, and private donations.

The Fire Ecology Program promotes the use of prescribed fire (controlled burning) as an essential tool for managing natural ecosystems in the southern U.S. Many native plant and animal species depend on fire to maintain their habitat and have become rare and threatened because of the lack of fire in most places. Our program seeks knowledge on how to use fire in such a way that is most effective in maintaining native biodiversity while minimizing smoke and wildfire risks that impact the general public. In pursuing these goals, we conduct research focusing on both plant ecology and fire science.

In 2015, the Fire Ecology Program launched the Southeastern Coastal Plain Tree-Ring Laboratory. Click here for more information about this research.

The full-time staff consists of Dr. Kevin Robertson (Fire Ecology Program Director) and Cinnamon Morrison (Fire Ecologist).