2016 – 2020
University of New Mexico
Ph.D. in Biology; Awarded May 2020
Reconstructing modern and historical energy flow through marine communities: insights from amino acid isotope analysis
Primary advisor Dr. Seth Newsome
2014 – 2017
University of New Mexico
M.S. Plan II in Biology; Awarded May 2018
Primary advisor Dr. Seth Newsome
2009 – 2013
University of California, Santa Cruz
B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Awarded June 2013
Awarded Summa Cum Laude and Highest Honors in the Major
Elliott Smith EA, Fox MD. (2021). Characterizing energy flow in kelp forests: a review of the biogeochemical evidence and a call for additional research. Ecography. 44:1-16.
Elliott Smith EA, Harrod C, Docmac F, Newsome SD. (2020). Intraspecific variation and energy channel coupling in a Chilean kelp forest. Ecology. e03198.
Dombrosky JD, Besser AC, Elliott Smith EA, Conrad C, Pagès Barceló, L, Newsome SD. (2020). Resource Risk and Stability in the Zooarchaeological Record: The Case of Pueblo Fishing in the Middle Rio Grande. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 12:1-11.
Elliott Smith EA, Tinker MT, Whistler EL, Kennett DJ, Hylkema M, Vellanoweth RL, Gifford-Gonzalez D, Newsome SD. (2020).Reductions in the dietary niche of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) from the Holocene to the Anthropocene. Ecology and Evolution 10:3318-3329.
Phillips ND*, Elliott Smith EA*, Newsome SD, Houghton JDR, Carson C, Alfaro Shigueto J, Mange lJ, Eagling LE, Kubicek L, Harrod C. (2020). Bulk & amino acid stable isotope analysis reveal global ontogenetic patterns in ocean sunfish diet and habitat-use. Marine Ecological Progress Series 633:127-140.
*Denotes joint first authors
Tomé CP, Smith FA, Elliott Smith EA, Lyons SK, Newsome SD, Stafford Jr TW. (2019). The response of a small herbivorous mammal (Sigmodon hispidus, hispid cotton rat) to the Late Pleistocene megafauna extinction. Ecography 42:1-16.
Fox MD, Elliott Smith EA, Smith JE, Newsome SD. (2019). Trophic plasticity in a common reef-building coral: Insights from δ13C analysis of essential amino acids. Functional Ecology 00:1-12.
Whiteman JP, Elliott Smith EA, Besser AC, Newsome SD. (2019). Using compound-specific stable isotope analysis to study molecular and ecological diversity. Diversity 11:8.
Elliott Smith EA, Harrod C, Newsome SD. (2018). The importance of kelp production to an intertidal ecosystem varies by trophic level – insights from amino acid δ13C analysis. Ecosphere 9:e02516.
Hixon SW, Elliott Smith EA, Crowley BE, Perry GH, Kennett DJ, Newsome SD. (2018). Patterns in δ15N Values for Amino Acids in Lemur Bone Are Inconsistent with Aridity Driving Megafaunal Extinction in Southwestern Madagascar. Journal of Quaternary Science 33:958-968.
Braje TJ, Rick TC, Szpak P, Newsome SD, McCain JM, Elliott Smith EA, Glassow M, Hamilton SL (2017). Historical ecology and the conservation of large, hermaphroditic fishes in Pacific Coast kelp forest ecosystems. Science Advances 3.
Elliott S, Jeffery N, Hunke E, Deal C, Jin M, Wang S, Elliott Smith EA, Oestreicher S (2017). Strategies for the simulation of sea ice organic chemistry: Arctic tests and development. Geosciences 7:52.
Yeakel JD, Bhat U, Elliott Smith EA, Newsome SD (2016). Exploring the isotopic niche: isotopic variance, physiological incorporation, and the temporal dynamics of foraging. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4:2188
Smith FA, Tomé CP, Elliott Smith EA, Lyons SK, Newsome SD, Stafford TW (2015). Unraveling the consequences of the terminal Pleistocene megafauna extinction on mammal community assembly. Ecography 39:223-239.
Elliott Smith EA, Newsome SD, Estes JA, Tinker MT (2015). The cost of reproduction: differential resource specialization in female and male California sea otters. Oecologia 178:17-29.
Fellowships, Grants, Honors and Awards
Smithsonian Institution – Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship. Human-ecosystem dynamics of kelp forest ecosystems across the Holocene (March 2022-2023) $64,000
National Science Foundation – Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology. Defining a preindustrial baseline for kelp forest ecosystems (March 2019-2021) $138,000
Smithsonian Institution – Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship. Human-ecosystem dynamics of kelp forest ecosystems across the Holocene (March 2019-2021) $104,000
National Science Foundation – Graduate Research Fellowship. A historical perspective on the foraging ecology of Enhydra lutris and implications for future conservation efforts (July 2015-2018) $138,000
Student Research and Travel Grants
UNM Graduate and Professional Student Association Research Grant. (October 2019) $470
UNM Biology Graduate Student Association Travel Award. (October 2019) $300
UNM Department of Biology Grove Summer Scholarship. (April 2018) $2,500
UNM Latin American Iberian Institute Field Research Grant. (April 2017) $3,360
UNM Graduate and Professional Student Association Research Grant. (April 2017) $500
American Society of Mammalogists Travel Award. (April 2016) $400
UNM Biology Graduate Student Association Research Award. (October 2015) $400
Society for Marine Mammalogy Travel Award. (September 2015) $200
UNM Department of Biology Joseph Gaudin Scholarship. (April 2015) $3,000
American Association of University Women Scholarship. (April 2015) $2,000
American Society of Mammalogists Travel Award.(April 2015) $300
North Pacific Research Board Graduate Student Research Award. (May 2014-2016) $25,000
Historical Ecology and Archaeology of Point Conception, California. The Nature Conservancy (10/2021 – 12/2022). Principal Investigators: Torben C. Rick, Courtney Hofman, Todd Braje. $451,667.
Role – Senior Personnel responsible for conducting stable isotope analysis on (1) modern materials to construct Point Conception hydrologic and terrestrial isoscapes and (2) archaeological remains to evaluate historical connectivity among marine and terrestrial food webs.
Honors and Awards
Ph.D. Dissertation Defense – Passed with Distinction (November 2019)
Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation – UNM Biology Research Day (March 2019)
Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation – 11th International Conference on the Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies (August 2018)
Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination – Passed with Distinction (December 2017)
Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation – UNM Biology Research Day (March 2017)
Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation – UNM Biology Research Day (April 2016)
UC Santa Cruz Bachelor's Summa Cum Laude and Highest Honors in the Major (June 2013)
Scientific Workshops in Isotope Ecology
With colleagues, I have developed and taught several short courses on the use of stable isotope analysis in marine systems. These include:
I am currently advising a female undergraduate student who is conducting independent research using stable isotope analysis to understand physiological processes in sea otters.
Bosque Ecological Monitoring Program (BEMP)
Based out of Albuquerque, NM, BEMP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging citizen scientists and especially middle school and high school students from all backgrounds in natural history and scientific research. Facilitated through a BEMP coordinator, I helped develop and teach a two-day workshop to high school students on the use of stable isotope analysis in ecological studies. This involved hands on experience with designing research questions, conducting field sampling, and preparing samples for analysis. (September 2018, October 2019), Albuquerque, NM.
Expanding Your Horizons Workshop (EYH)
Hosted and organized annually by the Santa Fe chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), EYH is a conference which seeks to engage middle and high school girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers by providing role models and hands-on workshops and activities. I gave two one-hour workshops on paleontology and its relevance to modern conservation biology. (September 2015), Santa Fe, NM
Ecology Letters, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Food Webs, Hydrobiologia, Journal of Mammalogy, Limnology and Oceanography, Marine Biology, Marine Ecological Progress Series, Marine Mammal Science, Oecologia, Polar Biology, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
UNM Biology Assistant Professor Search – Emerging Animal Models (Fall 2018)
American Society of Mammalogists Marine Mammal Conservation Committee (July 2015-present)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Service
Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) – member of the UNM Earth and Planetary Sciences Pod (January 2021 - September 2021)