Fire Ecology Program

The mission of the Fire Ecology Program at Tall Timbers is to produce science-based knowledge regarding the ecology and conservation of fire-dependent ecosystems with an emphasis on the southeastern US Coastal Plain.

Research is conducted in collaboration with the other research programs at Tall Timbers, private land owners, universities, state and government agencies, and other not­for­profit organizations. Information is shared through publications, conferences, seminars, and workshops, extension services to landowners, advisory committees, professional training courses, public outreach activities, mentoring of graduate students and interns, and guest lecturing at universities. Research is supported by institutional endowments, external grants, and private donations.

Pine Forest Undergrowth
Oak Leaves

Full-Time Staff

Kevin Robertson, PhD

Kevin Robertson, PhD

Director (CV)

Cinnamon Dixon

Cinnamon Dixon

Fire Ecologist (CV)

Selected Fire Ecology Program Publications

Robertson, K.M. and M.T. Rother. 2019. Provision of ecosystem services through pine savanna restoration on privately owned agroecosystems in the southeast U.S. Coastal Plain. Final Report to the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, award no. 2017-67019-26512.

Shearman, T.M., J.M. Varner, K. Robertson, and J.K. Hiers. 2018. Allometry of Aristida beyrichiana and A. stricta in fire-maintained longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystems. American Journal of Botany. DOI:10.1002/ajb2.1215

Hsieh, Y. P., G. C. Bugna and K. M. Robertson 2018. Thermochemical properties of PM2.5 as indicator of combustion phase of fires. Atmosphere 9:230-244.

Rother, M. T., J. M. Huffman, G. L. Harley, W. J. Platt, N. Jones, K. M. Robertson and S. L. Orzell 2018. Cambial phenology informs tree-ring analysis of fire seasonality in Coastal Plain pine savannas. Fire Ecology 14:164-185.

Nowell, H.K., C.D. Holmes, K. Robertson, C. Teske, and J.K. Hiers. 2018. A new picture of fire extent, variability, and drought interaction in prescribed fire landscapes: Insights from Florida government records. Geophysical Research Letters 45:7874-7884.

Godwin, D.R., L.N. Kobziar, and K.M. Robertson 2017 Effects of fire frequency and soil temperature on soil CO2 efflux rates in old-field pine-grassland forests. Forests 8 DOI:10.3390/f8080274

Huffman, J.M. and Rother, M.T. (2017). Dendrochronological field methods for fire history in pine ecosystems of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Tree-Ring Research 73:42–46.

Hsieh, Y.P., G.C. Bugna and K.M. Robertson. 2016. Examination of two assumptions commonly used to determine PM2.5 emission factors for wildland fires. Atmospheric Environment 147:274-283.

Hu, X.F., C. Yu, D. Tian, M. Ruminski, K. Robertson, L.A. Waller, and Y. Liu. 2016. Comparison of the hazard mapping system (HMS) fire product to ground-based fire records in Georgia, USA. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres 121:2901-2910.

Stewart, J.F., R.E. Will, K.M. Robertson, and C.D. Nelson. 2015. Frequent fire protects shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) from introgression by loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Conservation Genetics 16:491-495.

Bried, J., N.J. Gifford, and K.M. Robertson. 2015. Predicted crown fire risk adds incentive to restore open-canopy pine barrens at the wildland-urban interface. 2014. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 34:147-167.

Robertson, K.M., H.M. Poulos, A. Camp, and M. Tyrell. 2015. Introduction: Fire ecology of the Northeast – Restoring native and cultural ecosystems. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 34:1-5.

Hmielowski, T.L., K.M. Robertson, and W.J. Platt. 2014. Influence of season and method of topkill on resprouting characteristics and biomass of Quercus nigra saplings from a southeastern U.S. pine-grassland ecosystem. Plant Ecology 215:1221-1231.

Robertson, K.M., Y.P. Hsieh, and G.C. Bugna. 2014. Fire environment effects on particulate matter emission factors in southeastern U.S. pine-grasslands. Atmospheric Environment 99:104-111.

Robertson, K.M. and T.L. Hmielowski. 2013. Effects of frequency and season of resprouting of woody plants in south-eastern US pine-grassland communities. Oecologia 174:765-776.

Reid, A.M., K.M. Robertson, and T.L. Hmielowski. 2012. Predicting litter and live herb fuel consumption during prescribed fires in native and old-field upland pine communities of the southeastern United States. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 42:1611-1622.

Reid, A.M. and K.M. Robertson. 2012. Energy content of common fuels in upland pine savannas of the southeastern U.S. and their application to fire behavior modeling. International Journal of Wildland Fire 21:591-595.

Glitzenstein, J.S., D.R. Streng, R.E. Masters, K.M. Robertson, and S.M. Hermann. 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264:197-209.

Picotte, J.J. and K.M. Robertson. 2011. Timing constraints on remote sensing of wildland fire burned area in the southeastern U.S. Remote Sensing 3:1680-1690, doi:10.3390/rs3081680.

French, N.H.F., W. de Groot, L.K. Jenkins, E. Alvarado, B. Amiro, B. de Jong, S. Goetz, E. Hoy, E. Hyer, E.S. Kasischke, R. Keane, B.E. Law, D. McKenzie, S.G. McNulty, R. Ottmar, D.P. Salicrup, J. Randerson, K.M. Robertson, B.M. Rogers, M. Turetsky, and G. van der Werf. 2011. Estimating wildland fire emissions for carbon cycle science. Journal of Geophysical Research 116, G00K05, doi:10.1029/2010JG001469.

Picotte, J.J. and K.M. Robertson. 2011. Validation of remote sensing of burn severity in south-eastern U.S. ecosystems. International Journal of Wildland Fire 20:453-464.

Hsieh, Y.P., G. Bugna, and K.M. Robertson. 2010. Chemical signature of biomass burning emitted PM2.5 and the detection of its presence in the air by a rapid method. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings 24:73-78.

Picotte, J.J. and K.M. Robertson. 2010. Remote sensing of wildland fire burned area in southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain habitats. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings 24:86-93.

Carr, S.M., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2009. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.

Carr, S.M., K.M. Robertson, W.J. Platt, and W. Peet. 2009. A model of geographic, environmental, and regional variation in vegetation composition of pyrogenic pinelands of Florida. Journal of Biogeography 36:1600-1612.

Robertson, K.M. and T.E. Ostertag. 2009. Biomass equations for hardwood resprouts in fire-maintained pinelands in the southeastern U.S. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 33:121-128.

Ostertag, T.E. and K.M. Robertson. 2007. A comparison of native versus old-field vegetation in upland pinelands managed with frequent fire, south Georgia, USA. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings 23:109-120. [link to]

Robertson, K.M. and T.E. Ostertag. 2007. Effects of land use on fuel characteristics and fire behavior in pinelands of southwest Georgia. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings 23:181-191. [link to]

Robertson, K.M. and T.E. Ostertag. 2004. Problems with Shurbon and Fauth’s test of effects of prescribed burning on amphibian diversity. Conservation Biology 18:1154-1155.