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L. David Smith

Professor of Biological Sciences

email Send E–mail office Office: Sabin-Reed Hall 235 phone Phone: 585–3828

L. David Smith earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Research interests

Biological invasions occur when species establish populations outside their native range. The phenomenon is global in scale and typically results from human activities associated with trade. Introduced organisms threaten biodiversity by competing with or preying on native species, by altering habitat and by disrupting ecological processes. Despite their impacts, we have limited understanding of general patterns, transport processes, or ecological consequences associated with invasions, particularly in marine systems. To address this problem, research in my laboratory focuses on two aspects of marine biological invasions. First, we seek to identify shipping and non-shipping mechanisms that transfer non-native marine species and understand how they operate. For example, we are examining the movement of live marine species by the seafood, bait, and marine ornamentals industries. Second, we are testing for morphological and ecological responses by invaders and native organisms to each other after an introduction has occurred. In particular, we are interested in whether short-term arms races arise as introduced predators alter their feeding structures to counter induced defensive responses by native prey.

Representative Publications

Smith, L. D. 2009. "The role of phenotypic plasticity in marine biological invasions." Pp. 177–202 in G. Rilov and J. A. Crooks (eds.). "Biological Invasions in Marine Ecosystems: Ecological, Management, and Geographic Perspectives." Ecological Studies Series, Vol. 204. Springer.

Baldridge, A. K. and L. D. Smith. 2008. "Temperature constraints on phenotypic plasticity explain biogeographic patterns in predator trophic morphology." Marine Ecology Progress Series 365: 25–34.

Verling, E., G. M. Ruiz, L. D. Smith, B. Galil, A. W. Miller, and K. R. Murphy. 2005. "Supply-side invasion ecology: Characterizing propagule pressure in coastal ecosystems." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 272: 1249–56.

Weigle, S. W., L. D. Smith, J. T. Carlton, and J. Pederson. 2005. "Assessing the risks of exotic species introductions via the live marine species trade." Conservation Biology 19: 213–23.

Smith, L. D. 2004. "Biogeographic differences in claw size and performance in an introduced crab predator Carcinus maenas." Marine Ecology Progress Series 276: 209–222.

Smith, L. D., and J. A. Jennings. 2000. "Induced defensive responses by the bivalve Mytilus edulis to predators with different attack modes." Marine Biology 136: 461–469.

Trussell, G. C., and L. D. Smith. 2000. "Induced defenses in response to an invading crab predator: an explanation of historical and geographic phenotypic change." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97: 2123–2127.

Smith, L. D., M. J. Wonham, L. D. McCann, G. M. Ruiz, A. H. Hines, and J. T. Carlton. 1999. "Invasion pressure to a ballast-flooded estuary and an assessment of inoculant survival." Biological Invasions 1: 67–87.