Texas Tech University

Nick Smith

Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences

Email: nick.smith@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-7363

  • Postodoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (2016-2017)
  • Ph.D. Biology, Purdue University (2016)
  • B.S. Biology, Purdue University (2010)


Dr. Nick Smith

Research Interests

I study the interaction between terrestrial plants and the global climate system. I am particularly interested in how plants respond to environmental conditions and how these responses affect projections of global environmental change moving forward. Some of the questions we are trying to answer include:

  • How do plants acclimate to long-term changes in environmental conditions, including temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, and drought?
  • How much carbon dioxide will plants take up from the atmosphere in the future and how does this affect climate projections?
  • How do human land management decisions, particularly within agricultural systems, influence future climate projections?

My lab uses a combination of plant physiological and ecological studies alongside computer simulations to answer these questions. For more information, visit www.smithecophyslab.com.

Selected Recent Publications (post 2019)

  • Paillassa, J, IJ Wright, IC Prentice, S Pepin, NG Smith, G Ethier, A Westerband, LJ Lamarque, H Wang, WK Cornwell, and V Maire (In Press). When and where soil is important to modify the carbon and water economy of leaves. New Phytologist.
  • Licht, J and NG Smith (In Press). Pyrogenic carbon increases pitch pine seedling growth, soil moisture retention and photosynthetic water use efficiency in the field. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.
  • Smith, NG and TF Keenan (2020). Mechanisms underlying leaf photosynthetic acclimation to warming and elevated CO2 as inferred from least-cost optimality theory. Global Change Biology 26(9): 5202-5216.
  • Chen, L, H Hänninen, S Rossi, NG Smith, S Pau, Z Liu, G Feng, J Gao, and J Liu (2020). Leaf senescence exhibits stronger climatic responses during warm than during cold autumns. Nature Climate Change 10: 777-780.
  • Smith, NG, RE McNellis, and JS Dukes (2020). No acclimation: Instantaneous responses to temperature maintain homeostatic photosynthetic rates under experimental warming across a precipitation gradient in Ulmus americana. Annals of Botany – Plants 12(4): plaa027.
  • Stocker, BD, H Wang, NG Smith, SP Harrison, TF Keenan, D Sandoval, T Davis, and IC Prentice (2020). P-model v1.0: An optimality-based light use efficiency model for simulating ecosystem gross primary production. Geoscientific Model Development 13: 1545-1581.
  • Wang, H, OA Atkin, TF Keenan, NG Smith, IJ Wright, K Bloomfield, J Kattge, PB Reich, and IC Prentice (2020). Acclimation of leaf respiration consistent with optimal photosynthetic capacity. Global Change Biology 26(4): 2573-2583.
  • Kattge, J and the TRY plant traits database contributors (including NG Smith) (2020). TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access. Global Change Biology 26(1): 119-188.
  • Liu, Z, L Chen, NG Smith, W Yun, X Chen, G Zhou, SA Alam, K Lin, T Zhao, P Zhou, C Chu, H Ma, and J Liu (2019). Global divergent responses of primary productivity to water, energy, and CO2. Environmental Research Letters 14(12): 124044.
  • Smith, NG, G Li, and JS Dukes (2019). Short-term thermal acclimation of dark respiration is greater in non-photosynthetic than in photosynthetic tissues. Annals of Botany – Plants 11(6): plz064.
  • Kumarathunge, DP, BE Medlyn, JE Drake, MG Tjoelker, MJ Aspinwall, M Battaglia, FJ Cano, KR Carter, MA Cavaleri, LA Cernusak, JQ Chambers, KY Crous, MG De Kauwe, DN Dillaway, E Dreyer, DS Ellsworth, O Ghannoum, Q Han, K Hikosaka, AM Jensen, JWG Kelly, EL Kruger, LM Mercado, Y Onoda, PB Reich, A Rogers, M Slot, NG Smith, L Tarvainen, DT Tissue, HF Togashi, ES Tribuzy, J Uddling, A Varhammar, G Wallin, JM Warren, and DA Way (2019). Acclimation and adaptation components of the temperature dependence of plant photosynthesis at the global scale. New Phytologist 222(2): 768-784.
  • Liang, M, J Chen, NG Smith, X Bai, C Jia, Z Li, and C Liang (2019). Changes and regulations of net ecosystem CO2 exchange across temporal scales in the Alxa Desert. Journal of Arid Environments 164: 78-84.
  • Smith, NG, TF Keenan, IC Prentice, H Wang, IJ Wright, Ü Niinemets, KY Crous, TF Domingues, R Guerrieri, FY Ishida, J Kattge, EL Kruger, V Maire, A Rogers, SP Serbin, L Tarvainen, HF Togashi, PA Townsend, M Wang, LK Weerasinghe, and S Zhou (2019). Global photosynthetic capacity is optimized to the environment. Ecology Letters 2(3): 506-517.
  • For a full, updated list of publications, please visit www.smithecophyslab.com/publications

Department of Biological Sciences

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    Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Box 43131 Lubbock, TX 79409
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