Staff Profiles

Brian T. Smith

Assistant Curator, Department of Ornithology, Division of Vertebrate Zoology
Principal Investigator, Sackler Institute for Comparative Biology
Assistant Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae (short version)
  • Education

      • University of Nevada, Ph.D., 2011
      • University of Nevada, B.S., 2005
  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      Dr. Smith studies the evolutionary history of birds by combining specimen-based research, phylogenomics, biogeography, and statistical modeling. His overriding research goal is to understand how the extraordinary bird diversity on Earth was generated and how this diversity has evolved across time and space. He is particularly interested in the systematics and phylogeography of birds distributed in the tropical habitats of Mexico, Central, and South America. Past projects have focused on the impact of the closure of the Isthmus of Panama on avian dispersal and diversification, the role of Andean uplift and the formation of the Amazon Basin on speciation, and the significance of niche conservatism on the formation of the latitudinal species diversity gradient. His current studies employ massively parallel sequencing to generate thousands of genetic markers to obtain an unprecedented picture of the temporal and spatial patterns of avian diversification.

  • Publications