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manager of conservation programs
Rebecca Hufft Kao, Ph.D.
Manager of Conservation Programs
PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz, 2006
BA, Biology, University of Chicago, 2000
Conservation and restoration of native plants
Plant reproductive biology
Invasive species monitoring and management
I manage the research component of the Gardens responsible for conservation efforts. The main focus of this work is the ecology and demography of rare plant species, including collection and preservation of seeds from rare Colorado species. I am also interested in integrating studies of biodiversity, invasive species and phenology into the conservation program.
I have a broad background in plant ecology, evolution, and conservation. My research has focused on exploring the link between plant morphological and genetic variation, focusing on evolution in novel environments and the evolution of species interactions. My work has included polyploidy, reproductive systems, phenology, grassland restoration, invasive species, biodiversity, and plant-animal interactions. I am committed to linking basic evolutionary and ecological research to important issues of concern for species management and conservation.
Selected Peer-Reviewed Publication:
Kao, RH, C Gibson, R Gallery, et al. 2012. NEON Terrestrial Field Observations: Designing Large-Scale, Standardized Sampling. Ecosphere 3(12):115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES12-00196.1.
Gibson CM, RH Kao, KK Blevins, PD Travers. 2012. Integrative taxonomy for continental-scale terrestrial insect observations. PLoS ONE. 7(5): e37528.
Davies, N, D Field, The Genomic Observatories Network. 2012. A genomic network to monitor Earth. Nature 481: 145
Kanarek, AR and RH Kao . 2011. The relationship among plant cover, density, seed rain and dispersal of Bromus tectorum in high elevation populations. Western North American Naturalist. 71(1): 131-136.
Schimel, D, M Keller, S Berukoff, B Kao, H Loescher, H Powell, T Kampe, D Moore, W Gram. 2011. 2011 Science Strategy: Enabling Continental-Scale Ecological Forecasting. http://www.neoninc.org/sites/default/files/NEON_Strategy_2011u2.pdf
Kao, RH and IM Parker. 2010. Coexisting Cytotypes of Arnica cordifolia: Morphological differentiation and local scale distribution. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 171(1): 81-89.
Kao, RH, C Brown, RA Hufbauer. 2008. High Phenotypic and Molecular Variation in Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum). Invasive Plant Science and Management. 1: 216-225.
Kao, RH. 2008. Implications of polyploidy in the host plant of a Dipteran seed parasite. Western North American Naturalist. 68(2): 225-230.
Kao, RH. 2008. Origins and widespread distribution of coexisting polyploids in Arnica cordifolia. Annals of Botany. 101:145-152. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcm271
Kao, RH. 2007. Asexuality and the coexistence of cytotypes. New Phytologist. 175(4): 764-772. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02145.x..
Selected Poster & Presentation:
Kao, RH and B Johnson. 2011. Neon Ordway-Swisher Pathfinder Mission: Developing scaling strategies to link ecosystem structure and function across space using ground and airborne remote sensing data. Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Seminar Series. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Kao RH, C Gibson, R Gallery, CL Meier, DT Barnett, K Docherty, Y Springer, E Azuaje, K Blevins and P Travers. 2011. NEON Terrestrial Field Sampling: Designing Large-Scale, Standardized Sampling. Ecological Society of America. Austin, TX.
Docherty K, R Gallery, K Blevins, P Travers and RH Kao. 2011. Continental Scaling of Bacterial, Archaeal and Fungal Communities: Preliminary Results from the NEON Soil Microbe Prototype. Ecological Society of America. Austin, TX.
Kao, RH. 2010. An Introduction to The National Ecological Observatory Network and Its Continental Scale Measurement Suites. Center for Disease Control, Fort Collins, CO.
Gibson C, Blevins K, Travers P, Gallery R, Kao RH. 2010. NEON Fundamental Sentinel Unit's insect DNA barcode prototype for a national network. Ecological Society of America, Pittsburgh, PA.
Gibson, CM, KK Blevins, RE Gallery, RH Kao and PH Martin. 2009. The NEON Fundamental Sentinel Unit: Organismal measurements and DNA barcoding in a national network. Mexico City, DF. Mexico
Stohlgren, TJ; Kao, RH; Barnett, DT; Evangelista, P. Scaling. 2009. NEON Biological Data from Points to the Continent. Ecological Society of America, Albuquerque, NM.