Join the lab



Smith Lab News

May 27, 2023: Lizz has a paper published in JXB!

Former postdoc Lizz Waring, along with Evan and Nick, published a new paper in Journal of Experimental Botany entitled "Soil nitrogen fertilization reduces relative leaf nitrogen allocation to photosynthesis". The paper details the results of a study examining plant acclimation responses to a factorial combination of light and nitrogen availability. Interestingly, plants grown under increasing levels of soil nitrogen availability allocated relatively less nitrogen in their leaves to photosynthesis. This, along with large increases in biomass, suggest that plant responses to soil nitrogen are primarily associated with allocation of leaf nitrogen to non-photosynthetic processes as well as the building of new tissue.

The full article can be found on the Journal's website here.

Figure 3 from the paper showing that the fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to different photosynthetic components is reduced with increased soil nitrogen components in both species and under all light treatments.

May 15, 2023: A botanical legacy continues

Nick, Snehanjana, Isa, Rafael, and Garrison joined members of the Johnson and Schwilk labs to sample plants along an elevational gradient at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This sampling, in part, replicates efforts by TTU researchers in the 1970s and allows us to compare plant genetic and trait information from then to now. Herbarium samples were also collected to support future studies. The project will support the PhD work of Johnson lab member Madison Bullock.

May 12, 2023: Evan gets his PhD!!!

Evan graduated with his PhD entitled Drivers of plant nutrient acquisition and strategy and their influence on plant responses to environmental change. It was a great defense that showed off all the amazing work Evan has done since joining the lab in 2018. Evan will be sticking around in the lab, starting as a postdoc working on the garlic mustard invasion project.

April 25, 2023: Nick and Evan attend EGU 2023

Nick and Evan attended the 2023 meeting of the European Geophysical Union. Evan presented his work on the influence of nitrogen availability and acquisition strategy on plant acclimation to elevated CO2. Evan's abstract can be found here. Nick presented work that former postdoc Brad Posch led examining the temperature response of the quantum efficiency of photosystem II. Brad's abstract can be found here.

Asteraceae spotting in Vienna courtesy of Gustav K.!

April 11, 2023: Lab undergrads present at the TTU Undergraduate Research Conference

Five lab undergrads, Hannah German, Andrea Hidalgo, Gwen Wagner, Garrison Garza, and Cameron Merryman, presented at the 2023 TTU Undergraduate Research Conference.

Andrea (no photo) presented her independent work on the impacts of temperature, water, and nitrogen on potato leaf nitrogen allocation (collaboration with Borlaug Fellow Dinah Borus).

Hannah (pictured above) presented her independent project examining the interactive effects of light and nitrogen availability on photosynthesis.

Gwen (pictured above) presented her independent project examining leaf trait variability over time at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Garrison (pictured above) presented his project idea to examine the impact of woody encroachment on grassland carbon sequestration.

Cameron (pictured above) presented his independent project examining difference in common models of C4 photosynthesis.

March 25, 2023: The lab does some fertilizing

Every Spring the lab heads out to the local lbb.us Nutrient Network site to apply its yearly allotment of fertilizer. The experiment is a fully factorial N by P by K addition experiment. The fertilizer is applied in the Spring at rates of 10 g m-2 year-1. Core data are collected eery year in support of this globally distributed experiment. For data and more information about the lubb.us site, see our GitHub site.

March 1, 2023: The lab has some new faces

Since the start of the Fall 2022 semester, the lab has welcomed a number of new people. The new graduate students are Snehanjana Chatterjee (PhD), Monika Kelley (MS), Eve Gray (MS), Isabella Beltran Triana (MS), and Rafael Freitas (MS). Alissar Cheiab also joined us as a postdoc in early 2023. And Kelly Carroll joined as our lab manager around the same time.
Check out our People page to learn more about these fine folks!