Research in Progress
My research lies at the intersection of wildlife ecology, conservation science, and science outreach. I utilize a variety of tools, including stable isotopes, genetics, and computational approaches, to answer fundamental questions about wildlife biodiversity and ecology, anthropogenic drivers of ecosystem change, and the human dimensions of wildlife conservation. My current projects include exploring the dimensions of tourist-driven human-wildlife interactions, investigating the relationship between sexual selection and immune function in primates, utilizing stable isotope analysis to generate fundamental ecological data on beaked whales, and human-primate zoonotic disease transfer.
PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso
MS in Marine Biology, Texas A&M University
BS in Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston
Smith, KJ, Trueman CN, France CAM, Sparks JP, Brownlow AC, Dähne M, Davison NJ, Guðmundsson G, Khidas K, Kitchener AC, Langeveld BW, Lesage V, Meijer HJM, Ososky JJ, Sabin RC, Timmons ZL, Víkingsson GA, Wenzel FW, and Peterson MJ. 2021. Stable isotope analysis of specimens of opportunity reveals ocean-scale site fidelity in an elusive whale species. Frontiers in Conservation Science 2:653766. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcosc.2021.653766
Smith, KJ, Mead, JG, and Peterson, MJ. 2021. Specimens of opportunity provide vital information for research and conservation regarding elusive whale species. Environmental Conservation 48(2):84-92. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892920000521
Smith, KJ, Trueman, CN, France, CAM, and Peterson, MJ. 2020. Evaluation of two lipid removal methods for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis in whale tissue. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 34:e8851. https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.8851
Smith KJ, Sparks, JP, Timmons, ZL, and Peterson, MJ. 2020. Cetacean skeletons demonstrate ecologically relevant variation in intraskeletal stable isotopic values. Frontiers in Marine Science 7:388. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00388
O’Hern, JE, Sculley, M, Smith, KJ, Biggs, D, Slowey, N, Ruales, DA, and Duncan, R. 2017. Marine mammal distribution in Ecuador: surveys aboard a ship of opportunity as a means of monitoring relative abundance. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 12(1-2):28-39.
Wang, J, Yang, E, Smith, KJ, Connon, RR, Fangue, NA, and Cai, JJ. 2014. Gene expression responses of threespine stickleback to salinity: implications for salt-sensitive hypertension. Frontiers in Genetics 5:312. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2014.00312
Alava, JJ, Smith, KJ, O’Hern, JE, Alarcόn, D, Denkinger, J, and Merlen, G. 2013. Observations of killer whale (Orcinus orca) attacks on Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera edeni) in the Galápagos Islands. Aquatic Mammals 39(2):196-201. https://doi.org/10.1578/AM.39.2.2013.196