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Smith, Stacey Dewitt Associate Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Dr. Smith's lab studies the evolution and genetics of floral diversification, with a focus on the tomato family, Solanaceae. They use molecular phylogenies and statistical comparative methods to infer the evolutionary history of floral traits and to test ecological factors that may have shaped their evolution. They also employ molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to understand the mechanisms underlying floral trait differences across species. Recent work has focused on the evolution of flower color, as this trait has a relatively simple genetic basis and is ecologically important. Results of their studies suggest that flower color changes can involve a range of genetic mechanisms (e.g., gene deletion, changes in gene expression, functional evolution) and may often be driven by competition for pollinators among sympatric species.

keywords

  • Evolutionary genetics, molecular phylogenetics, plant-pollinator interactions, comparative methods

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • EBIO 1220 - General Biology 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Provides a concentrated introduction to organisms, homeostasis, development, behavior, and ecology. Emphasizes fundamental principles, concepts, facts,and questions. Intended for science majors. Recommended prerequisite: EBIO 1210 (minimum grade C-).
  • EBIO 3590 - Plants and Society
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    A writing intensive course for majors and non-majors which acquaints students with the history of plant use in our society. Topics center on the evolving relationship between humans and plants as food sources, medicines, fuel, and other products, such as fibers and dyes.
  • EBIO 4290 - Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Reviews the principles and methodology of phylogenetic inference using molecular data. Emphasizes the application of comparative approaches to hypothesis testing in evolution, ecology and medicine and provides a broad foundation in both theory and practice of phylogenetics. Recommended prerequisite: EBIO 3080 (minimum grade C-) or instructor consent required. Same as EBIO 5290.
  • EBIO 5290 - Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Reviews the principles and methodology of phylogenetic inference using molecular data. Emphasizes the application of comparative approaches to hypothesis testing in evolution, ecology and medicine and provides a broad foundation in both theory and practice of phylogenetics. Same as EBIO 4290.
  • EBIO 6100 - Seminar in Environmental Biology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    Instructor consent required. May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours. Same as EBIO 6120.

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