Dr. Robert Howarth

Bob Howarth earned his BA from Amherst College biology in 1974 and his Ph.D. jointly from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in oceanography in 1979. From 1979-1985, he worked in Woods Hole, MA, at the Marine Biological Lab as a research scientist. In 1985, Howarth joined the faculty at Cornell University. In 1993, he was given the David R. Atkinson Professorship in Ecology & Environmental Biology at Cornell. From 2000 through the fall of 2002, Howarth has been on leave from Cornell while holding positions as an adjunct research scientist in Woods Hole and as director of the Oceans Program for Environmental Defense. In addition to these primary appointments, Howarth has had visiting and adjunct appointments at the University of Georgia, the University of Aarhus in Denmark, the University of Rhode Island, the Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, the University of Stockholm, and the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Howarth’s research interests have included how wetlands interact with coastal waters, the ecological effects of oil spills, nutrient pollution and nutrient cycles in both lakes and coastal marine ecosystems, and human alteration of biogeochemical cycles (nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur) at regional to global scales. He has edited 6 books and published over 120 research papers.

Howarth has served on several dozen national and international science advisory committees and boards. From 1994-2002, he co-chaired the International SCOPE Nitrogen Project, an effort by 250 scientists from over 20 countries to synthesize information on human acceleration of the nitrogen cycle. From 1998-2000, he chaired the National Academy of Sciences’s Committee on Causes and Management of Coastal Eutrophication. Currently, he serves on another NAS Committee to evaluate the water projects of the US Army Corps of Engineers. He is also the lead author on nutrient pollution for the international Millenium Assessment. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biogeochemistry since its founding in 1983.

Howarth and his family own a small farm in Trumansburg, NY.