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About Frank S. Gilliam

Dr. Frank S. Gilliam has been a member of the faculty since 1990. He teaches courses in ecology and plant ecology. Dr. Gilliam earned a B.S. in biology from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. from Duke University. A recognized expert in plant ecology, Gilliam studies the movement and cycling of plant nutrients within land-based, or terrestrial, ecosystems. His research interests are broad-based within the general area of plant ecology, with most of what his work focused at the boundary between the levels of terrestrial plant communities and ecosystems. He is particularly interested in the movement and cycling of plant nutrients within terrestrial ecosystems. Directly related to this are interests in fire ecology and the effects of fire on nutrient cycling and on plants and soils in fire-prone ecosystems.
Related to his ecosystem approach to ecological research is an interest in atmospheric deposition and precipitation chemistry. This interest has led to the study of pollutant conditions (acid deposition and ozone) in forested areas.
His research has brought him international recognition, capped off by a trip to China where he was the guest of a team of Chinese scientists. Gilliam was privileged to study the pristine 400-yearold Dinghushan Forest, a rare tract which, under the supervision of Buddhist monks, has been protected from any kind of agriculture, forestry or other human activity. In addition, the extensive South China Botanical Garden, one of the largest of its type in the world, consists of a series of smaller gardens each with its own ecological stamp.
Gilliam has been studying a forest in Tucker County for over 20 years. The nearly 90-acre tract has been set aside so that the effect of nitrogen on a forested ecosystem can be studied on a large scale. With funding through the National Science Foundation and under the auspices of the National Forest Service, it has been an invaluable outdoor laboratory.


Present Professor, Biological Sciences, Marshall University

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Honors and Awards

  • 199-2000 Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award, Senior Recipient, Science and Technology
  • 2002 Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award
  • 1998 Outstanding Graduate Advisor, Marshall University
  • 1998-1999, Finalist for Professor of the Year in West Virginia
  • 1998-99 Finalist, Reynolds Teacher of the Year, Marshall University

Contact Information

phone: 304-696-3636
fax: 304-696-3243


Research Works (30)