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Rebecca J Howard , Ph.D.

Rebecca Howard is a Scientist Emeritus at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center. 

Rebecca Howard directed a research program on wetland plant community dynamics, including the effects of stressors and disturbances on plant community structure and function. She also conducted research on seed bank ecology, wetland restoration ecology, and plant response to factors associated with climate change. 

Her research program centered on plant community dynamics in coastal wetlands of the northern Gulf of Mexico and inland wetlands of the southeastern U.S. The major goals of Howard's research were to: (1) determine how wetland plants respond to physicochemical stressors and disturbance, (2) develop an understanding of how biotic and abiotic factors affect plant community structure and composition, and (3) determine the mechanisms responsible for spatial and temporal variation in plant communities. Specific studies have included determining the effects of increased flooding and salinity on the growth of common perennial marsh macrophytes in field and greenhouse experiments, detailing vegetation succession patterns and seed bank characteristics on exposed soils of a large freshwater reservoir, describing soil and plant community response to disturbance associated with oil and gas exploration, and identifying intraspecific variation in stress tolerance of wetland plant species with the goal of identifying plants for use in restoration projects.