Jennifer Smith is an Associate Professor in marine ecology and conservation in the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Smith’s research focuses on understanding the factors that influence community structure in marine ecosystems. Her research often goes beyond basic ecology by integrating conservation, restoration, management, and sustainability. While much of the Smith lab is focused on addressing pressing issues in marine ecology with the impending increase in human populations, lab members are increasingly interested in seafood sustainability, coastal aquaculture and habitat restoration.

While Smith has worked in a number of different environments, both pristine and degraded, her primary interests lie in determining how different human impacts affect coral reef and kelp forest community structure. She has focused on investigating the impacts of overfishing, pollution, climate change, ocean acidification and species invasions on marine communities. The results of this work are critical to effective management, conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems around the globe.

She received dual B.S. degrees in zoology and biology from Humboldt State University and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Hawaii in 2003.

She has received numerous awards and honors, including Henry L. & Grace Doherty Career Development Award, best paper honor for junior scientists, postdoctoral fellowship from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, the Mia Tegner Award from the Western Society of Naturalists for the best paper in conservation and ecology, the Coastal America Partnership Award, and the Harold C. Bold Award from the Phycological Society of America for best paper.

Last updated August 2008