UMass Boston

William Hagar

Associate Professor
ISC Floor 05

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Monitoring, Plant Biochemistry, Photobiology 


PhD, Temple University, 1972
BS, Widener University, 1962

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Teaching Interests

William Hagar is interested in all levels and aspects of science education: At the undergraduate level, he currently teaches a Freshman Seminar course each year, and depending on the academic schedule, teaches Introductory biology, Biochemistry, and Biochemistry laboratory. At the graduate level, he teaches photobiology, current literature topics, and teacher education courses. Included in all of these courses is a healthy input of multimedia assisted presentation programs and computer-assisted interactive tutorials which we have developed. Research and teaching interest overlap with the development of research grade environmental monitors. Director of Premedical Studies and Health- Related Careers Program.

Research Interests

Research is centered on an experimental approach to biochemical reactions and environmental perturbations. The biochemical studies involve the use of instrumentation to analyze plant protein complexes. The environmental monitoring work is centered on measuring anthropogenic inputs on water systems, such as acid precipitation on freshwater ponds and pools in Massachusetts. Environmental monitoring includes development of on-site instrumentation to monitor pH, temperature, and oxygen concentration, and also the collection and analysis of freshwater organisms.  We use techniques such as stable isotope composition of organisms to determine structure of food webs and possible effects of anthropogenic inputs. My laboratory group also is developing methods to measure methyl mercury in fish tissue using an enzyme-based analysis.

Recent Grant Support and Awards

  • Co-Director, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Degree Program, Department of Education, 2010-2015 P2171050214. 
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant “Acquisition of an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrophotometer”, Award # 0959666, PI’s Hannigan & Christian, $865,729 (12/2009).
  • Fulbright Scholarship (2003) for Research and Education, University of New Brunswick.
  • Recipient of Chancellor's Distinguish Teaching Award 2000.

Current Graduate Students

  • Barbara Crosby, PhD Candidate
  • Chris Levy, Master's Student