Publications & CV

Curriculum vitae (pdf)


I am happy to send articles by email upon request.

Kitzes, J., Berlow, E., Conlisk, E., Erb, K., Iha, K., Martinez, N., Newman, E.A., Plutzar, C., Smith, A.B., and Harte, J.  2017.  Consumption-based conservation targeting: Linking biodiversity loss to upstream demand through a global wildlife footprint.  Conservation Letters 10:531-538. (article)

In the first analysis of its kind we estimate the amount of biodiversity (number of birds, amount of bird range) displaced by economic consumption of various goods (beef, gasoline, milk, etc.) across the world.  Ergo, which is worse for biodiversity, buying a dollar of hamburger or a dollar of gasoline?

Smith, A.B., Alsdurf, J., Knapp, M. and Johnson, L.C.  2017.  Phenotypic distribution models corroborate species distribution models: A shift in the role and prevalence of a dominant prairie grass in response to climate change.  Global Change Biology 23:4365-4375. (article)

An extension of the “species” distribution modeling paradigm to phenotype predicts widespread decline in stature, biomass, and leaf width of a currently dominant prairie plant.

Newspaper coverage: The Manhattan Mercury and The Topeka Capital Journal (10-16 October 2017).

Television coverage: Wichita’s KWCH12 (16 October 2017).

Radio coverage: St. Louis’s KWMU 90.7 on 16 October 2017 (repeated by Kansas City’s KCUR 89.3, and Columbia’s KBIA 91.3).

Hernández-Yáñez, H., Kos, J.T., Bast, M.D., Griggs, J.L., Hage, P.A., Killian, A.,Whitmore, M.B., Loza, M. L., Smith, A.B.  2016.  A systematic assessment of threats affecting the rare plants of the United States.  Biological Conservation 203:260-267. (article page | kudos)

Across the continental US the most common threat to rare plants is recreation (35% of species), followed by livestock (33%), residential development (28%), non-native invasive species (27%), and construction and maintenance of roads, railroads, and utility lines (21%). Evidence suggests that the proportion of species affected by each threat has increased through time.

Reported by Eli Chen of St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU (20 October 2016)
Covered in Inside Science by Gabriel Popkin (3 November 2016)

Huntley, B., Foden, W.B., Smith, A.B., Platts, P., Watson, J. and Garcia, R.A. 2016. Chapter 5. Using CCVAs and interpreting their results. In W.B. Foden and B.E. Young, editors. IUCN SSC Guidelines for Assessing Species’ Vulnerability to Climate Change. Version 1.0. Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 59. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. pp 33–48. (web site & pdf)

Huntley, B., Foden, W.B., Pearce-Higgins, J., and Smith, A.B. 2016. Chapter 6. Understanding and working with uncertainty. In W.B. Foden and B.E. Young, editors. IUCN SSC Guidelines for Assessing Species’ Vulnerability to Climate Change. Version 1.0. Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 59. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. pp 49–56. (web site & pdf)

Ulrey, C., Quiantana-Ascencio, P.F., Kauffman, G., Smith, A.B., and Menges, E.S.  2016.  Life at the top: Long-term demography, microclimatic refugia, and responses to climate change for a high-elevation southern Appalachian endemic plant.  Biological Conservation 200:80-92. (article page)

Climate change refugia should be identified based on the survivorship of species within candidate areas, not just the ability of the physical nature of the site to buffer macroclimate.  Here we examine the ability of wet, sheltered, high-altitude habitats to foster positive population growth in an endangered plant species–and find it does not either in the present or under scenarios of future climate change.

Smith, A.B., Long, Q.G., and Albrecht, M.A.  2016.  Shifting targets: spatial priorities for ex situ plant conservation depend on interactions between current threats, climate change, and uncertainty.  Biodiversity & Conservation 25:905-922. (article page)

We combine trait-based and niche modeling approaches to prioritize rare species for conservation seed banking.

Karger, D.N., Cord, A.F., Kessler, M., Kreft, H., Kühn, I., Pompe, S., Sandel, B., Cabral, J.S., Smith, A.B., Svenning, J-C., Tuomisto, H., Weigelt, P., and Wesche, K. 2016. Delineating probabilistic species pools in ecology and biogeography. Global Ecology & Biogeography 25:489-501. (open access)

Instead of assuming species in species pools are either “in” or “out” of the pool we propose a probabilistic pool in which species are assessed for their ability to live in and disperse to focal areas.

Brandt, L., He, H., Iverson, L., Thompson, F., Butler, Patricia, Handler, S., Janowiak, M., Swanston, C., Albrecht, M., Blume-Weaver, R., Dijak, B., Deizman, P., DePuy, J., Dinkel, G., Fei, S., Jones-Farrand, T., Leahy, M., Matthews, S., Nelson, P., Oberle, B., Perez, J., Peters, M., Prasad, A., Schneiderman, J.E., Shuey, J., Smith, A.B., Studyvin, C., Tirpak, J., Walk, J., Wang, W., Watts, L., Weigel, D., Westin, S. 2014. Central Hardwoods ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: A report from the Central Hardwoods Climate Change Response Framework project. General Technical Report NRS-124, Newtown Square, PSA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. (pdf)

Smith, A.B., M.J. Santos, M. S. Koo, K.C. Rowe, K.M.C. Rowe, J.L. Patton, S. Beissinger, and C. Moritz.  2013.  Evaluation of species distribution models by resampling of sites surveyed a century ago by Joseph Grinnell.  Ecography 36:1017-1031. (article page)

SDMs can predict accurately across a century of climate change, but you can’t predict future performance by performance against current test data.  Pseudoabsences cannot stand in for high-quality absences for model testing.

Smith, A.B.  2013.  On evaluating species distribution models with random background sites in place of absences when test presences disproportionately sample suitable habitat.  Diversity and Distributions 19:867-872. (open access)

Apparent AUC can actually have a negative relationship with real AUC, so making choices during modeling of species’ distributions to increase AUC can actually decrease real performance of the model!

Smith, A.B.  2013.  The relative influence of temperature, moisture, and their interaction on range limits of mammals over the past century.  Global Ecology and Biogeography 22:334-343. (article page)

Species’ ranges are overwhelmingly limited by combinations of temperature and moisture within the species’ tolerance range for these factors but where the particular combination of both is prohibitive.

Smith, A.B., Sandel, B., Kraft, N., and Carey, S. 2013. Characterizing scale-dependent community assembly using the functional-diversity–area relationship. Ecology 94:2392–2402. (article page)

The spatial scaling of functional diversity provides a diagnostic tool for testing alternative mechanisms of community assembly.

Morelli, T.L., A.B. Smith, C. Kastely, I. Mastroserio, C. Moritz, and S. Beissinger.  2012.  Anthropogenic refugia ameliorate the severe climate-related decline of a montane mammal along its trailing edge.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 279:4279-4286.  (open access)

Belding’s ground squirrel has retracted its range by >40% over the past century except in places supplemented by irrigation.

Barnosky, A.D, E.A. Hadly, J. Bascompte, E.L. Berlow, J.H. Brown, M. Fortelius, W.M. Getz, J. Harte, A. Hastings, P.A. Marquet, N.D. Martinez, A. Mooers, P. Roopnarine, G. Vermeij, J.W. Williams, R. Gillespie, J. Kitzes, C. Marshall, N. Matzke, D.P. Mindell, E. Revilla, A.B. Smith.  2012.  Approaching a state-shift in Earth’s biosphere.  Nature 486:52-58. (article page | kudos)

Like the atmosphere, the living biosphere may have irreversible tipping points.

Served as basis of consensus statement on sustainability signed by 1400+ scientists and presented to: the White House, Secretary of State John Kerry, President Xi Jinping (China), Governor Ichiro Matsui (Osaka, Japan), Energy & Climate Change Minister Gregory Barker, (United Kingdom), Governor Eruviel Avila (Mexico), Right Honourable Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman (Minister  of the State of Sabah, Malaysia), and others.

Initiated policy brief requested by Governor Jerry Brown (California; press releases: UC Berkeley, Stanford).  Served as supporting document for MOU on climate change between China’s National Development and Reform Commission and California.

Article covered by: New York Times, BBC News, Los Angeles Times, WIRED, Bill Moyers, and Al Jazeera (op-ed).

Featured in documentary Demain (English-language release title Tomorrow) shown at COP21 and UNESCO.

F1000 review.

Used as basis for Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications’ 2013 Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling.

Smith, A.B.  2011.  “Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals,” “International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling,” and “Sea Shepherd Conservation Society” in Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues, Salem Press, Pasadena.

Smith, A.B.  2010.  Caution with curves: Caveats for using the species-area relationship in conservation.  Biological Conservation 143:555-564. (article page)

The species-area relationship only ensures that one individual of a species is present in an area, so conservation prioritization methods like Return on Investment can miscalculate species expected to be protected by conservation actions.

Harte, J., A.B. Smith, and D. Storch.  2009.  Biodiversity scales from plots to biomes with a universal species-area curve.  Ecology Letters 12:798-797. (article page)

The form of any species-area relationship can be specified simply by knowledge of the total number of species and individuals at one scale.

Sandel, B. and A.B. Smith. 2009. Scale as a lurking factor: Incorporating scale-dependence in experimental ecology.  Oikos 118:1284-1291. (article page)

Most experiments are implemented at one spatial scale, but incorporating multi-scale measurements can uncover erstwhile hidden mechanisms.

Smith, A.B.  2009.  “Internation Union for the Conservation of Nature” and “Dolphins and Porpoises” in Ducth, S.I (ed.) Encyclopedia of Global Warming, Salem Press, Pasadena.

Harte, J., Z.T. Zillo, E. Conlisk, and A.B. Smith.  2008.  Maximum entropy and the state variable approach to macroecology.  Ecology 89:2700-2711. (article page)

Maximization of the entropy of information in statistical distributions provides a powerful method for predicting many key patterns in macroecology: the species-abundance distribution, the species-area relationship, the endemics-area relationship, and the abundance of individuals of a species across space.

F1000 review

Srinivasan, U.T., S.P. Carey, E. Hallstein, P.A.T. Higgins, A.C. Kerr, L.E. Koteen, A.B. Smith, R. Watson, J. Harte, and R.B. Norgaard.  2008.  The debt of nations and the distribution of ecological impacts from human activities.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105:1768-1773. (article page | kudos)

Rich nations owe poor nations more in damages from consumption that harms the environment than poor nations owe rich nations in bank debt.

Article covered by: Nature, The Guardian, MongaBay

Harte, J., E. Conlisk, A. Ostling, J.L. Green, A.B. Smith.  2005.  A theory of  spatial structure in ecological communities at multiple spatial scales.  Ecological Monographs 75:179-197. (article page)

A simple statistical rule adapted from statistical mechanics predicts many macroecological properties: the species-area relationship, the endemics-area relationship, and the abundance of individual species across space.

Lloyd-Smith, J.O., P.C. Cross, C.J. Briggs, M. Daugherty, W.M. Getz, J. Latto, M.S. Sanchez, A.B. Smith, and A. Swei.  2005.  Should we expect population thresholds for wildlife disease?  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20:511-519. (article page)

Models of disease presume hard thresholds for the establishment and persistence of diseases, but in reality these boundaries are not abrupt.


Matelach, G.K.  2015.  How the pika is key to measuring climate change.  Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.  (web page)

Featured project on Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, February 2014  (web page).

Covered by Nature: Gewin, V.  2013.  Plan seeks ‘chaperones’ for threatened species: Botanical gardens proposed as stopping-off points for plant species as climate warms. (article page)

Featured in Scitable (Nature Education) blog: Wittington, K.  2013.  Plant pioneers: Assisting the migration of climate-endangered species. (web page)