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Stan Smith

Associate Vice President for Research
Director of Research Infrastructure
Professor, School of Life Sciences
Office: SEB 2101
Phone: 702-895-3197
Fax: 702-774-4733


Dr. Stan Smith has served as Associated Vice President for Research since 2007. In that role, he leads several university units that provide specialized services to university researchers in the areas of research compliance and support. In 2013 he assumed additional duties as Director of Research Infrastructure, specifically oversight of UNLV’s interdisciplinary research buildings (SEB and HRC). As a faculty member, Stan is a Professor of Life Sciences, specializing in desert ecology and the effects of global change on desert ecosystems. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New Mexico State University and his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, two years as an assistant professor at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, and a visiting fellowship at the Australian National University in Canberra, he joined the UNLV faculty in 1986. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, brought major research grants to UNLV from the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation, and has received UNLV’s two highest research awards – the Harry Reid Silver State Research Award (2003) and the Barrick Distinguished Scholar Award (2006). During the 2000’s he was also an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.


Desert Ecology, Physiological Ecology, Global Change

Selected Publications

  • Smith SD, Huxman TE et al. (2000) Elevated CO2 increases productivity and invasive species success in an arid ecosystem.  Nature 408:79-82.
  • Smith SD, Monson RK, Anderson JE (1997) Physiological Ecology of North American Desert Plants. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Busch DE, Smith SD (1995) Mechanisms associated with decline of woody species in riparian ecosystems of the southwestern U.S.  Ecological Monographs 65:347-370.
  • Nowak RS, Ellsworth DS, Smith SD (2004) Tansley Review: Functional responses of plants to elevated atmospheric CO2 – Do photosynthetic and productivity data from FACE experiments support early predictions?  New Phytologist 162:253-280.
  • Huxman TE, Smith MD et al. (2004) Convergence across biomes to a common rain-use efficiency.  Nature 429:651-654.
  • Smith SD, Devitt DA et al. (1998) Water relations of riparian plants from warm desert regions.  Wetlands 18:687-696.
  • Newingham BA, Vanier CH, Charlet TN, Ogle K, Smith SD, Nowak RS (2013) No cumulative effect of ten years of elevated [CO2] on perennial plant biomass components in the Mojave Desert.  Global Change Biology 19:2168-2181.
  • Smith SD, Charlet TN et al. (2013) Long-term response of a Mojave Desert winter annual community to a whole-ecosystem atmospheric CO2 manipulation (FACE).  Global Change Biology (in press).