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Jeffrey Smith

Humanities and Sciences Deans Fellow
Jeffrey Smith (he/him) is a Humanities and Sciences Deans Fellow based in the Stanford Biology Department. He works both with the Natural Capital Project and the Stanford Center for Conservation Biology on understanding the impacts of human land use on biodiversity. His primary research focus is on understanding how the conversion of natural habitats to human uses (either agriculture or residential development) impacts biodiversity. Jeffrey principally studies insect biodiversity, but given their importance in food webs and ecosystems, he also considers patterns of plant diversity and bird diversity regularly. He studies these impacts using classical field research methods, emerging lab-based genetic techniques, and computer models. Recognizing the the need to scale local results to relevant to management and policy decisions, Jeffrey seeks to complement empirical work with spatial models of biodiversity; including; the distribution of species, the spatial patterns of habitat types, and variability in ecosystem structure. This work pulls both from primary data collected in the field as well as publicly available data and spans spatial scales from national (Costa Rica) to regional (the neotropics) to global. Jeffrey holds a PhD from Stanford, a MESc from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a BS from the University of Delaware.