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Natalie Madeleine Howe


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    At the USDA, I work at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to prevent the spread of pests of and diseases in international food trade.

    As a teacher, I try lots of different activities and projects to help inspire students to care about maintaining and increasing biodiversity, especially in urban areas.

    My recent research centers on urban ecology. I am working with the U.S. Forest Service to determine how the Philadelphia urban forests will respond to the invasion of the emerald ash borer. I am also studying how lichen distributions respond to different urban conditions in the Phildelphia-Camden Urban Matrix. In my dissertation research, I studied how soil lichens influence soil structure, chemistry and biological communities.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    Frullania eboracensis:
    It is my favorite plant because barely anyone knows it's a plant! It's an epiphytic liverwort that grows all over the trees of the northeastern US and under a microscope, you can see it's a spectacular ladder of liverwort leaves making delicate traces across the bark.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    That a plant-fungual mutualism might have been involved in the plant transition to the land!

  • Profile Question 3
    What was the first science experiment you ever designed? How did it turn out?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    I was trying to study the state of a lichen community on a polluted mountainside; I thought there is no way I can learn to identify all these lichens, and do so much repetitive data collection, but then I did, and we found out there was a lichen community recovery underway, which was really exciting!

  • Availability
    I am currently available for mentoring, please send me team match invitations

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

Recent Posts

pvhsapplemanposfall2023 project 3 Natalie Madeleine Howe

Those sound like really neat experiments that show how leaves interact with their environment while they photosynthesize and respire! What are the next experiments you're planning?  

pvhsapplemanposfall2023 project 3 Natalie Madeleine Howe

Hi! My name's Natalie Howe! I'm a scientist at the US Department of Agriculture. Besides plants, I am also interested in mushrooms, soils, wetlands, parks, bike riding, running, and crafts!

SES Team 5 Natalie Madeleine Howe

So glad to hear you've got plants growing in most of the pots! I was worried maybe something was wrong with the seeds you were using, but after all, they seem fine. It will be neat to see whether the pot 3 plant growth…


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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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