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Dr. T. Adam Coates

Assistant Professor of Forest Fire Ecology and Management
  • Ph.D. Forest Resources, Clemson University (2017), M.S. Forest Resources, Clemson University (2006), B.S. Forest Resource Management, Clemson University (2003)
228F Cheatham Hall
310 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Research focuses on the impacts of wildland fire on ecosystem processes and properties. The study of these impacts is linked to topics such as restoration ecology, fuels, fire behavior, silviculture, soils, wildlife habitat, and water quality.  

  • Potential impacts of biomass burning at differing levels of fire intensity and severity (i.e. soil impacts, potential smoke emissions, etc.)
  • The use of prescribed fire in the Appalachian Mountains
  • Fire and global carbon cycling
  • Wildland fire education opportunities
  • FOR 2514 Wildland Fire Ecology and Management
  • FOR 4414 Advanced Wildland Fire Ecology and Management
  • Copenheaver CA, van de Gevel SL, Downing AK, Coates TA. 2022. Reducing the risk of sexual misconduct at dendrochronology conferences and workshops. Tree-Ring Research (in press)
  • Garren AM, Bolding MC, Barrett SM, Aust WM, Coates TA, Hawks EM. 2022. Best management practices, erosion, residual woody biomass, and soil disturbances within biomass and conventional clearcut harvests in Virginia’s Mountain region. Forest Science (in press).
  • Vaughan MC, Hagan DL, Bridges WC, Barrett K, Norman S, Coates TA, Klein R. 2022. Effects of season of burn on fire-excluded plant communities in the southern Appalachians, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 516, 120244. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120244.
  • Beasley C, Carter D, Coates TA, Keyser T, Greenberg C. 2022. Impacts of oak-focused silvicultural treatments on the regeneration layer nine years post treatment in a productive mixed-oak southern Appalachian forest. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 149(2). doi: 10.3159/TORREY-D-21-00031.1.
  • Copenheaver CA, Coates TA, Downing AK, van de Gevel SL. 2021. Best instructional practices for outdoor laboratories: reducing sexual harassment risk. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Journal 65: 322-327. https://www.nactateachers.org/index.php/journal-sp-1148215168.
  • Garren AM, Bolding MC, Barrett SM, Aust WM, Coates TA. 2021. Evaluating the productivity and costs of five energywood harvesting operations in the lower Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. International Journal of Forest Engineering. doi:10.1080/14942119.2021.2015676.
  • Hahn G, Coates TA, Aust MW, Bolding MC, Thomas-Van Gundy MA. 2021. Long-term impacts of silvicultural treatments on wildland fuels and modeled fire behavior in the Ridge and Valley Province, Virginia (USA). Forest Ecology and Management 496: 119475. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119475.
  • Hahn G, Coates TA, Aust MW. 2021. Soil chemistry following single-entry, dormant season prescribed fires in the Ridge and Valley Province of Virginia, USA. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. doi: 10.1080/00103624.2021.1908327.
  • Vaughan MC, Hagan DL, Bridges WC, Dickinson MB, Coates TA. 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. doi: 10.1186/s42408-021-00108-1. 10.1186/s42408-021-00108-1. 
  • Coates TA, Johnson A, Aust WM, Hagan DL, Chow AT, Trettin CC. 2020. Forest composition, fuel loading, and soil chemistry resulting from 50 years of forest management in two southeastern Coastal Plain watersheds, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 473: 118337. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118337.
  • Dukes C, Coates TA, Hagan DL, Aust WM, Waldrop TA, Simon DM. 2020. Long-term effects of repeated prescribed fire and fire surrogate treatments on forest soil chemistry in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA). Fire 3, 20. doi: 10.3390/fire3020020
  • Uzun H, Zhang W, Olivares C, Erdem CU, Coates TA, Karanfil T, Chow AT. 2020. Effect of prescribed fires on the export of dissolved organic matter, precursors of disinfection by-products and water treatability. Water Research 187:116385. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116385.
  • Hahn GE, Coates TA, Latham RE, Majidzadeh H. 2019. Prescribed fire effects on water quality and freshwater ecosystems in moist-temperate eastern North America. Natural Areas Journal 39(1):46. doi: 10.3375/043.039.0104.
  • Majidzadeh H, Chen H, Coates TA, Tsai K, Olivares C, Trettin C, Uzun H, Karanfil T, Chow A. 2019. Long-term watershed management is an effective strategy to reduce organic matter export and DBP precursors in source water. International Journal of Wildland Fire 28,822. doi: 10.1071/WF18174_CO.
  • Thompson EG, Coates TA, Aust WM, Thomas-Van Gundy MA. 2019. Wildfire and prescribed fire effects on forest floor properties and erosion potential in the Central Appalachian region, USA. Forests 10, 493. doi:10.3390/f10060493.
  • Coates TA, Hagan DL, Aust WM, Johnson A, Keen JC, Chow AT, Dozier JH. 2018. Mineral soil chemical properties as influenced by long-term use of prescribed fire with differing frequencies in a southeastern Coastal Plain pine forest. Forests 9,739. doi:10.3390/f9120739.
  • Coates TA, Waldrop TA, Shelburne VB, Hill HS. 2018. Does sampler size affect southeastern Piedmont forest soil bulk density estimation? Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 49:701-707. doi: 10.1080/00103624.2018.1432640.
  • Coates TA, Chow AT, Hagan DL, Waldrop TA, Wang GG, Bridges WC, Rogers MF, Dozier JH. 2018. Thermocouple probe orientation affects prescribed fire behavior estimation. Journal of Environmental Quality 47:170-176. doi: 10.2134/jeq2017.02.0055.
  • Coates TA, Chow AT, Hagan DL, Wang GG, Bridges WC, Dozier JH. 2017. Frequent prescribed fire as a long-term practice in longleaf pine forests does not affect detrital chemical composition. Journal of Environmental Quality 46:1020-1027. doi: 10.2134/jeq2017.03.0112.
  • Coates, T.A., Chow, A.T., Hagan, D.L., Waldrop, T.A., Wang, G.G., Bridges, W.C., Rogers, M.F., Dozier, J.H. 2017. Thermocouple probe orientation affects prescribed fire behavior estimation. Journal of Environmental Quality (in press). 
  • Coates, T.A., Chow, A.T., Hagan, D.L., Wang, G.G., Bridges, W.C., Dozier, J.H. 2017. Frequent prescribed fire as a long-term practice in longleaf pine forests does not affect detrital chemical composition. Journal of Environmental Quality 46:1020-1027.
  • Coates, T. A., Shelburne, V.B., Waldrop, T.A., Smith, B.R., Hill, H.S. Jr., Simon, D.M. 2010. Forest soil response to fuel reduction treatments in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In: Stanturf, John A., ed. 2010. Proceedings of the 14th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–121. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 283-287.
  • Yanai, R.D., R.H. Germain, N.M. Anderson, T.A. Coates, and A.K. Mishler. 2009. Heart Size of Sugar Maple Sawlogs across Six Northern States. Journal of Forestry. 107(2):95-100.
  • Yanai RD, Germain RH, Anderson NM, Coates TA, Mishler AK. 2009. Heart size of sugar maple sawlogs across six northern states. Journal of Forestry 107(2):95-100. doi: 10.5849/jof.14-004.
  • Boerner REJ, Coates TA, Waldrop TA, Yaussy DA. 2008. Assessing ecosystem restoration alternatives in eastern deciduous forests: the view from belowground. Restoration Ecology 16(3):425-434. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2007.00312.x.
  • Coates TA, Boerner REJ, Waldrop TA, Yaussy DA. 2008. Soil nitrogen transformations under alternative management strategies in Appalachian Mountain forests. Soil Science Society of America Journal 72:558-565. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2006.0313.
  • Coates, T.A., R.E.J. Boerner, T.A. Waldrop, and D.A. Yaussy. 2008. Soil Nitrogen Transformations Under Alternative Management Strategies In Appalachian Mountain Forests. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72:558-565.
  • Boerner, R., T. Coates, T. Waldrop, and D. Yaussy. 2007. Assessing Ecosystem Restoration Alternatives In Eastern Deciduous Forests: The View from Belowground. Restoration Ecology. 16(3):425-434.
  • Coates, T.A., Shelburne, V.B., Waldrop, T.A., Smith, B.R., Hill, H.S. Jr. 2006. Effects of fuel reduction treatments on soil nitrogen transformation in the southeastern piedmont. In: Dickinson, Matthew B., ed. 2006. Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers, proceedings of a conference; 2005 November 15-17; Columbus, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 272.