Thomas C. Smith

Taxon Contributor
Ph.D. Student, University of California, Santa Barbara, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology

Smith, Kathryn


Spaulding, Sarah

What kind of scientists do this kind of work? Other scientists are working on cancer, etc., but these guys are going ‘No, I want to focus more on melon. Sure, thousands are dying needlessly, but this


I am a community ecologist, with interests in aquatic ecology, disease ecology, and California’s Sierra Nevada. Knowledge of diatom ecology and diversity can help answer questions about species coexistence, community composition, and responses to disturbances. For example, I study how diatom communities in Sierra Nevada lakes respond to the decline and extinction of an endemic amphibian. As mountain-yellow legged frogs are driven extinct by an emerging pathogen, diatom communities may respond to the loss of top-down grazing and bottom-up nutrient cycling provided by tadpoles. Diatoms can be an important tool to help us learn about the mechanisms that drive the patterns we see in nature.

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Tom Smith, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara
My blog about the joys of doing science in the backcountry