Jen’s research focuses on understanding how benthic marine communities are structured and how they function under different natural and anthropogenic disturbance regimes.








  • Ph.D. University of Hawai’i, Manoa, Honolulu, HI, December 2003
    Department of Botany & Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    Dissertation Title: Algal Blooms on Coral Reefs: Assessing the impacts of nutrients, herbivores and invasive species on community structure.
  • B.S. Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, May 1997
    Dual degree in Zoology & Biology



  • July 2008- Present AssociateProfessor
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Ocean Bioscience, Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, University of California, San Diego

  • 2005-2008 Postdoctoral Scholar
    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara. Investigating the relative importance of herbivores and nutrients on coral reef community structure
  • 2005 Researcher
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Benthic marine ecologist on the Line Islands Research Expedition.
  • 2004-2005 Faculty Researcher
    Department of Botany, University of Hawai’i. Investigating the causes and consequences of macroalgal blooms on Maui.



  • Haas, A.F., A. Gregg, J.E. Smith, F.L. Rohwer (In Press) Visualization of oxygen distribution patterns facilitated by coral and algae. Peer J
  • Haas, A., F.L. Rohwer, C. Carlson, C. Nelson, L. Wegley, J. Leichter and J.E. Smith (In Press) Influence of coral and alga exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism. PeerJ
  • Williams, G, J.E. Smith, E. Conklin, J. Gove, S.A. Sandin, E. Sala (2013) Benthic communities at two remote Pacific coral reefs: effects of reef habitat, depth,and horizontal wave energy gradients on spatial patterns. PeerJ 1:e81
  • Smith, J.E., N.N Price, A. Haas (2013) Coupled changes in dissolved oxygen and pH associated with metabolism of bethic reef organisms. Marine Biology 160(9):2437-2447. doi: 10.1007/s00227-013-2239-z
  • Borer, E.T, M.E S. Bracken, E.W. Seabloom, J.E. Smith, J. Cebrian ,E.E. Cleland, J.J. Elser, W. Fagan, D.S. Gruner, W.S. Harpole, H. Hillebrand, A.J. Kerkhoff, J.T. Ngai (2013) Global biogeography of autotroph chemistry: is insolation a driving force? Oikos
  • Nelson, C.E., S.J. Goldberg, L. Wegely-Kelly, A.F. Haas, J.E. Smith, F.L. Rohwer, C.A. Carlson (2013) Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages. ISME 7: 962-979
  • Mcleod, E., K.R.N. Anthony, A. Andersson, R. Beeden, Y. Golbuu, J. Kleypas, K. Kroeker, D. Manzello, R. Salm, H. Schuttenberg, J.E. Smith (In Press) Preparing to manage coral reefs for ocean acidification: Lessons from coral bleaching. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11: 20-27. doi:
  • Vermeij, M.A., R.A. van der Heijden, J.G. Olthuis, K.L. Marhaver, P.M. Visser, J.E. Smith (2012) Survival and dispersal of turf algae and macroalgae consumed by herbivorous coral reef fishes. Oecologia 171(2):417-25. doi: 10.1007/s00442-012-2436-3
  • Price, N.N., T.R. Martz, R.E. Brainard, J.E. Smith (2012) Diel Variability in Seawater pH Relates to Calcification and Benthic Community Structure on Coral Reefs. PLoS ONE 7(8): e43843. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043843.
  • Barott, K. G.J. Williams, M.A. Vermeij, J. Harris, J.E. Smith, F.L. Rohwer, S.A. Sandin (2012). Natural history of competition between corals and algae across a gradient of human activity in the Line Islands of the Central Pacific. MEPS 460: 1-12
  • Choi H., S.J. Mascuch, F.A. Villa, T. Byrum, M.E. Teasdale, J.E. Smith, L.B. Preskitt, D.C. Rowley, L. Gerwick, W.H. Gerwick (2012) Honaucins A-C, potent inhibitors of eukaryotic inflammation and bacterial quorum sensing: synthetic derivatives and structure-activity relationships. Biology and Chemistry 19(5): 589-598
  • Dailer, M. L., J.E. Smith and C.M Smith (2012) Responses of bloom forming and non-bloom forming macroalgae to nutrient enrichment in Hawaii, USA. Harmful Algae 17: 111-125
  • Barott, K., B.R. Brito, M. Youle, K. Marhaver, M. Vermeij, J.E. Smith, F.L. Rohwer (2012) Microbial to reef scale interactions between the reef-building coral Montastraea annularis and benthic algae. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biology doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.2155
  • Kelly, L. W., K. L. Barott, E. Dinsdale, A. M. Friedlander, B. Nosrat, D. Obura, E. Sala, S. A. Sandin, J. E. Smith, M. J. A. Vermeij, G. J. Williams, D. Willner, and F. Rohwer (2012) Black reefs: iron-induced phase shifts on coral reefs. ISME Journal 6:638-649.
  • Freeman, L., A.J. Miller, R.D. Norris and J.E. Smith (2012) Classification of remote Pacific coral reefs by physical oceanographic environment. JGR117: C02007
  • Hofmann, G.E., J.E. Smith, K.S. Johnson, U. Send, L.A. Levin, F. Micheli, A. Paytan, N.N. Price, B. Peterson, Y. Takeshita, P.G. Matson, E. Derse Crook, K.J. Kroeker, E.B. Rivest, C.A. Tanner, P.C. Yu, T.R. Martz (2011) High frequency dynamics of ocean pH: A multi-ecosystem comparison. PloS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028983
  • Haas, A., F.L. Rohwer, C. Carlson, C. Nelson, L. Wegley, J. Leichter and J.E. Smith (2011) Effects of coral reef benthic primary producers on dissolved organic carbon and microbial activity. PLoS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027973
  • Price, N.P., S.L. Hamilton, J. Tootle and J.E. Smith (2011) Species specific consequences of ocean acidification for the calcareous tropical green algae Halimeda. MEPS 440: 67-78
  • Harpole,W.S., J. Ngai, E. Cleland, E. Seabloom, E. Borer, M. Bracken, J. Elser, D. Gruner, H. Hillebrand, J. Shurin, J.E. Smith (2011) Nutrient co-limitation of plant communities. Ecology Letters 14: 852-862
  • Barott, K.L., B. Rodriguez-Brito, J. Janouškovec, K. Marhaver, J.E. Smith, P. Keeling, F.L. Rohwer (2011) Microbial diversity associated with four functional groups of benthic reef algae and the reef-building coral Montastraea annularis. Environmental Microbiology 13: 1192-1204
  • Knapp, I.S., L.S. Godwin, J.E. Smith, J.J Bell (2011) Records of non-indigenous marine species at Palmyra Atoll in the US Line Islands. Marine Biodiversity Records. doi: 10.1017/S1755267211000078;Vol 4; e3
  • Smith, J.E. (2011) Invasive Introduced Algae. Encyclopedia of Invasive Species. Edited by Simberloff and Rejamnek. University of California Press.
  • Barott, K.L., Caselle, J.E., Dinsdale, E.A., Friedlander, A.M., Maragos, J.E., Obura, D., Rohwer, F.L., Sandin, S.A., Smith, J.E. & Zgliczynski, B., (2010) The lagoon at Caroline/Millennium atoll, Republic of Kiribati: natural history of a nearly pristine ecosystem. PLoS ONE, 5(6), e10950.
  • Carilli, J., J. Godfrey, R. Norris, S.A. Sandin, J.E. Smith. (2010) Periodic endolithic algal blooms in Montastraea faveolata corals represent periods of low-level stress. Bulletin of Marine Science.
  • McCauley, D.J.,F. Micheli,H. Young,D.P. Tittensor, D.R. Brumbaugh, E. Madin, K.E. Holmes, R. Dunbar, J.E. Smith, H.K. Lotze, and B. Worm (2010) Acute effects of removing large fish from a near-pristine coral reef. Marine Biology 157(12):2739-2750.
  • Smith, J.E., C.L Hunter and C.M Smith (2010) The effects of top-down and bottom-up factors on benthic coral reef community structure. Oecologia 163(2): 497-507
  • Dailer, M.L., Knox, R.S., Smith, J.E., Napier, M., Smith, C. M. (2010) Using delta-15N values in algal tissue to map locations and potential sources of anthropogenic nutrient inputs on the island of Maui, Hawai‘i. Marine Pollution Bulletin 60: 655-671
  • Salomon, A.K., S.K. Gaichas, N.T. Shears, J.E. Smith, E.M.P. Madin, S.D. Gaines (2010) Cascading Consequences of Fishing: Navigating Towards Resilient Marine Ecosystems. Conservation Biology 24: 382-394
  • Choi, H., N. Engene, J.E. Smith, L.B. Preskitt, and W.H. Gerwick (2010) Crossbyanols A-D, Toxic Brominated Polyphenyl Ethers from the Hawaiian Bloom-Forming Cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya crossbyana. Journal of Natural Products 73:517-522
  • Barott, K., J.E. Smith, E. Dinsdale, M. Hatay, S. Sandin, and F.L. Rohwer (2009) Hyperspectral and physiological analyses of coral-algal interactions. PLoS ONE 4(11): e8043. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008043
  • Braun, C., P.S. Vroom and J.E. Smith (2009) Examination of algal diversity and benthic community structure at Palmyra Atoll, U.S. Line Islands. Proceedings of the 11th Coral Reef Symposium
  • Hillebrand, H., D.S. Gruner, M.E. Bracken, E.E. Cleland, J.J. Elser, W.S. Harpole, J.T. Ngai, E.W. Seabloom, J.B. Shurin, J.E. Smith (2009) Herbivore metabolism and stoichiometry each constrain herbivory at different organizational scales across ecosystems. Ecology Letters 12: 516-527
  • Smith, J.E., Kuwabara, J. Coney, J. Flanagan, K., Beets, J., Brown, D. Stanton, F., Takabayashi, M. duPlessis, S. Griesemer, B.K., Barnes, S., Turner, J. (2009) An unusual cyanobacterial bloom in Hawaii. Coral Reefs 27: 851
  • Vermeij, M.J.A., J.E. Smith, S.A. Sandin, C.M. Smith (2009) Survival and settlement success of coral planulae: synergistic and independent effects of macroalgae and microbes. Oecologia 159(2):325-336
  • Smith, J.E., et al. (2008) An unusual cyanobacterial bloom in Hawaii. Coral Reefs 27(4):851
  • Smith, J.E., H. Spalding, R. Okano & C. M. Smith (2009) Seaweed communities of Molokai. In An Atlas of Molokai’s Marine Ecosystems. USGS publication.
  • Gruner, D.S., J.E. Smith, E.W. Seabloom, S.A. Sandin, J.T. Ngai, H. Hillebrand, W.S. Harpole, J.J. Elser, E.E. Cleland, M.E.S. Bracken, E.T. Borer & B.M. Bolker (2008) A cross-system synthesis of consumer and nutrient resource control on producer biomass. Ecology Letters 11: 740-755.
  • Sandin, S.A., J.E. Smith, E.E. DeMartini, E.A. Dinsdale, S.D. Donner, A.M. Friedlander, T. Konotchick, M. Malay, J.E. Maragos, D. Obura, O. Pantos, G. Paulay, M. Richie, F.L. Rohwer, R.E. Schroeder, S. Walsh, J.B.C. Jackson, N. Knowlton, E. Sala (2008) Changes in coral reef communities across a gradient of human disturbance. PLoS ONE
  • Smith, J.E., E.J. Conklin, C.L. Hunter, C.M. Smith (2008) Response to “Fighting alien algae in Kane’ohe Bay”. Science 319: 157-158.
  • Elser, J.J., M.E. Bracken, E.E Cleland, , D.S Gruner, W.S. Harpole, Hillebrand, H., J.T. Ngai, E.W. Seabloom, J.B. Shurin, J.E. Smith (2007) A global analysis of nitrogen and phosphorus limitation of primary producers in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. Ecology Letters 10: 1135-1142.
  • Williams, S.L. and J.E. Smith (2007) A global review of the distribution, taxonomy & ecological impacts of introduced seaweeds. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 38: 327-359.
  • Diaz-Pulido G., McCook L.J., Larkum A.W.D., Lotze H.K., Raven J.A., Schaffelke B., Smith J.E., Steneck R.S. (2007) Vulnerability of macroalgae of the Great Barrier Reef to climate change. Marshall PA, Johnson J (Ed) Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, pp 153-192.
  • Hillebrand, H., D.S. Gruner, M.E. Bracken, E.E. Cleland, J.J. Elser, W.S. Harpole, J.T. Ngai, E.W. Seabloom, J.B. Shurin, J.E. Smith (2007) Plant community structure and ecosystem productivity regulate the intrinsic control of plant diversity across major ecosystem types. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 10904-10905.
  • Smith, J.E., M. Shaw, R.A. Edwards, D. Obura, D., O. Pantos, E. Sala, S. A. Sandin, S. Smriga, M. Hatay, F.L. Rohwer (2006) Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae-mediated, microbe-induced coral mortality. Ecology Letters 9: 835-845.
  • Schaffelke, B., J.E. Smith & C.L. Hewitt (2006) Introduced macroalgae- a growing concern. Proceedings of the International Seaweed Symposium. Journal of Applied Phycology 18: 529-541.
  • Zuccarello, G.C., A.T. Critchley, J.E. Smith & J.A. West (2006) Systematics and genetic variation in commercial Kappaphycus and Eucheuma (Solieriaceae, Rhodophyta). Proceedings of the International Seaweed Symposium. Journal of Applied Phycology 18: 643-651.
  • Zemke-White, W.L. and J.E. Smith (2006) Environmental impacts of seaweed farming in the tropics. In: Editors A.T. Critchley, M. Ohno and D.B. Largo, World Seaweed Resources: An authoritative reference system.
  • Vroom P, L. Walters, K. Beach, J. Coyer, J.E. Smith, M. Abgrall, D. Byron, K. DeAngelis, B. Konar, J. Liss, R. Okano, C. Roberts, L. Herren, M. Woo, C.M. Smith et al. (2005) Hurricane-induced propagation and rapid regrowth of the weedy brown alga Dictyota in the Florida Keys. Florida Scientist 68(3):161-174
  • Smith, J.E., J.W. Runcie and C.M. Smith (2005) Bloom dynamics and physiological ecology of the invasive green alga Cladophora sericea on West Maui. Marine Ecology Progress Series 302: 77-91.
  • Conklin, E.J. and J.E. Smith (2005) Increases in abundance and development of management options for the invasive red alga Kappaphycus in Kane’ohe Bay, Hawai’i. Biological Invasions 7: 1029-1039.
  • Friedlander, A. , G. Aeby, E. Brown, A. Clark, S. Coles, S. Dollar, D. Gulko, C. Hunter, P. Jokiel, J.E. Smith, B. Walsh, I. Williams and W. Wiltse (2005) The Status of the Coral Reef Ecosystems of the Main Hawaiian Islands. In The Status of the Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2004.
  • Smith, J.E., C. Smith, P. Vroom, K. Beach, S. Miller (2004) Nutrient dynamics of the green alga Halimeda tuna on Conch Reef, Florida Keys: possible influence of internal tides on nutrient status and physiology. Limnology and Oceanography. 49(6): 1923-1936.
  • Smith, J.E., R. Most, T. Sauvage, C. Hunter, C. Squair and E. Conklin (2004) Ecology of the invasive red alga Gracilaria salicornia in Waikiki and possible mitigation strategies. Pacific Science 58(2) 325-343.
  • Vroom, P.S., C.M. Smith, J.A. Coyer, L.J. Walters, C.L. Hunter, K.S. Beach, J.E. Smith (2003) Field biology of Halimeda tuna (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta) across a depth gradient: comparative growth, survivorship, recruitment, and reproduction. Hydrobiologia 501(1): 149-166.
  • Runcie, J.W. and J.E. Smith (2003) Introduction to special issue: Nutrient dynamics in coastal ecosystems-linking physical and biological processes. Journal of Marine Systems 42(3-4): 81-82.
  • Smith, J.E., C.L. Hunter and C.M. Smith (2002) Distribution and reproductive characteristics of nonindigenous and invasive marine algae in the Hawaiian Islands. Pacific Science 56(3): 299-315.
  • Vroom, P. S., J.E. Smith and C.M. Smith (2001) Observations of reproduction in Rhipidosiphon javensis (Halimedineae, Bryopsidales) in Hawai’i. Phycologia 40(1): 97-100.
  • Smith, J.E., C.L. Hunter and C.M. Smith (2001) The effects of herbivory and nutrient enrichment on benthic community structure and development on a Hawaiian Reef. Coral Reefs 19: 332-342.