Assistant Professor in Marine Ecology and Conservation
Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Jennifer Smith is an assistant 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 ocean bottom marine ecosystems. Her research often goes beyond basic ecology by integrating conservation, restoration, management, and sustainability.

While she has worked in a number of different environments, both pristine and degraded, her primary interests lie in determining how different human-produced impacts affect coral reef community structure. She has focused on understanding the importance of overfishing versus pollution in maintaining a competitive balance between algae and coral. The results of this work are critical to effective management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems around the globe.

Smith also studies introduced and invasive marine species. She has a long-term interest in seaweed invasions, especially as related to intentional introductions for the global aquaculture industry.

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

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