Dr. Jennifer Smith and the members of her laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego are focused on understanding how humans impact marine ecosystems in both tropical and temperate environments. They extend their science beyond the university setting and actively work to develop effective science based management and conservation strategies for restoring or preserving coastal marine habitats for future generations.
Members of the Smith Lab are collectively working to identify how local impacts such as overfishing, different forms of pollution and the introduction of invasive species, as well as global impacts such as warming and ocean acidification, independently and interactively affect marine biodiversity and community structure.
Jen and her students are performing experiments to identify ways to restore degraded environments and are participating in expeditions to remote parts of the world to document and describe pristine, unimpacted coral reefs to set baselines and targets for conservation. Research activities are currently underway both locally in California and on coral reefs in the central Pacific and Caribbean to document how one of the largest threats to our oceans: ocean acidification, is already, or will soon affect the calcification and growth of marine plants, corals and other invertebrate species.
The Smith Lab is comprised of postdoctoral researchers, PhD students, Master’s students from SIO and UCSD and several undergraduate interns and volunteers who are all interested in conducting research that is relevant to solving human induced problems in the ocean.