Dr. Howard S. Neufeld


  • Ph.D., University of Georgia
  • Postdoctoral, New Mexico State University and
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Corvallis, Oregon

For more information, see My Webpage

Dr. Neufeld, and the science of fall colors are featured in this amazing interactive website: http://www.exploreasheville.com/science-behind-fall-color/

Research in my laboratory is focused on the physiological ecology of plants, with an emphasis on adaptations of plants to the understory, mechanisms allowing the success of invasive plants, ecophysiological implications of polyploidy in goldenrods and niche differentiation, and responses of Fraser fir Christmas trees to elevation and drought.

Students in my lab develop skills in a variety of plant ecophysiological techniques such as gas exchange and plant water relations, as well as gaining expertise in the basic aspects of experimental design and ecological research. Students in my lab utilize a combination of both laboratory and fieldwork, and observational and experimental methodologies. Some students go on for their Ph.Ds., while others obtain positions as community college instructors, technicians in research labs, Peace Corps volunteers, or environmental consultants.

If you are interested in pursuing research in this area, please contact me via email. 

Lichen Growth

The figure above is from our latest publication. It shows that the growth of lichens on tree trunks after 10 years exposure to either elevated CO2 and/or O3 was highly dependent on how the host trees responded to these treatments. Increased tree growth in the elevated CO2 plots reduced incident light on the trunks, leading to less lichen growth on aspen, but not birch, trees. In the elevated O3 plots, reduced tree growth resulted in higher light levels, which stimulated lichen growth, but only on aspen trunks, not birch. This work is in press in the journal Science of the Total Environment (Neufeld and Perkins, 2020).

 Selected Publications:

Neufeld, Howard S., Jennifer Johnson* and Robert Kohut. 2017. Comparative ozone responses of cutleaf coneflowers (Rudbeckia laciniata var. digitata, var. ampla) from Rocky Mountain and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, USA. Science of the Total Environment 610:591-601.

 Lefohn, Allen S., Christopher S. Malley, Luther Smith, Benjamin Wells, Milan Hazucha, Heather Simon, Vaishali Naik, Gina Mills, Martin G. Schultz, Elena Paoletti, Alessandra De Marco, Xiaobin Xu, Li Zhang, Tao Wang, Howard S. Neufeld, Robert C. Musselman, David Tarasick, Michael Brauer, Zhaozhong Feng, Haoye Tang, Kazuhiko Kobayashi, Pierre Sicard, Sverre Solberg and Giacomo Gerosa. 2018. Tropospheric ozone assessment report: Global ozone metrics for climate change, human health, and crop/ecosystem research. Elementa Science of the Anthropocene 6: 28. DOI: https//doi.org/10.1525/elementa279.

 Mills, Gina, Håkan Pleijel, Christopher S. Malley, Baerbel Sinha, Owen Cooper, Martin Schultz, Howard S. Neufeld, David Simpson, Katrina Sharps, Zhaozhong Feng, Giacomo Gerosa, Harry Harmens, Kazuhiko Kobayashi, Pallavi Saxena, Elena Paoletti, Vinayak Sinha and Xiaobin Xu. 2018. Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report: Present day tropospheric ozone distribution and trends relevant to vegetation. Elementa Science of the Anthropocene 6: 47.

DOI: https//doi.org/10.1525/elementa302.

 Chappelka, Arthur H. and Howard S. Neufeld. 2018. A link between physical and chemical climate change: the enhancement of vegetative water loss by atmospheric aerosols. New Phytologist 219: 9-11.

 Neufeld, Howard S., Alyssa Sullins*, Barkley Sive and Allen S. Lefohn. (2019). Spatial and temporal patterns of ozone at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and implications for plant responses. Atmospheric Environment X 2: 100023 (14 pgs).

 Neufeld, Howard S. and Fern S. Perkins*. 2020. Host tree species mediate corticolous lichen responses to elevated CO2 and O3 after 10 years exposure in the Aspen-FACE system. Science of the Total Environment (in press).

Title: Professor , Physiological Plant Ecology, Plant Water Relations Ecosystem Ecology, and Air Pollution Effects on Plants
Department: Department of Biology

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-2683

Office address
Rankin Science South 220