Andrew Smith is a conservation biologist whose work includes the behavioral ecology of mammals, effects of habitat fragmentation, and ecosystem services provided by small mammals. He primarily works in the mountains of western United States and on the Tibetan plateau. His research focuses on the pika, a small relative of rabbits.
Smith is involved in global conservation issues and has served since 1991 as Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Lagomorph Specialist Group. He has also served as an advisor to the Chinese government on issues concerning biodiversity. His “A Guide to the Mammals of China” is the first comprehensive treatment of the 556 mammal species found in China.
He teaches mammalogy; conservation of biodiversity; conservation in practice; and field techniques in conservation biology and ecology. The American Society of Mammalogists chose Smith as the recipient of its 2015 Aldo Leopold Conservation Award.
- Harris, R. B., W. Y. Wang, Badingqiuying, A. T. Smith, and D. J. Bedunah. 2015. Herbivory and competition of Tibetan steppe vegetation in winter pasture: effects of livestock exclosure and plateau pika reduction. PLoS One 10(7): e0132897: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132897.
- Li, W. D., and A. T. Smith. 2015. In search of the illusive and iconic Ili pika (Ochotona iliensis). Mountain Views (CIRMOUNT) 9:21-27.
- Smith, A. T., and J. D. Nagy. 2015. Population resilience in an American pika (Ochotona princeps) metapopulation. Journal of Mammalogy 96:394-404.
- Wilson, M. C., and A. T. Smith. 2015. The pika and the watershed: the impact of small mammal poisoning on the ecohydrology of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. AMBIO 44:16-22.
- Kessler, A. E., N. Batbayar, T. Natsagdorj, D. Batsuur, and A. T. Smith. 2013. Geographic variation in Great Bustard migration: satellite telemetry reveals long-distance migration in the Asian subspecies. Journal of Avian Biology 44:311-320. [Editor’s choice award]
Andrew Smith holding a juvenile panda at the Wolong Panda Breeding Center, Sichuan, China, while engaged in a biodiversity review of the region.
Conducting research on the American Pika at Mono Craters, Calif. Field team L-R: Liz Leon, Andrew Smith, Logan Monks, Cora McHugh and Sam Basso. Photo: John Nagy
A family of plateau pikas on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, China. Plateau pikas are a keystone species and ecosystem engineer in this ecosystem. Photo: Andrew Smith
Plateau Pika study area near Dawu, Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, China. Elevation: 3,844 m. Photo: Andrew Smith