Areas of Expertise
Evolutionary developmental biology, comparative genomics, comparative morphology
B.S. University of Rhode Island (2007)
Ph.D. University of Connecticut (2013)
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2013-2017)
My research focuses on the origin and diversification of body plans found in the superphylum Panarthropoda (Arthropoda, Onychophora, Tardigrada)--a lineage renowned for its diversity of segmental body plans. In order to investigate body plan evolution in this lineage, I have built an integrative research program that combines comparative approaches to developmental genetics, genomics, and morphology. My approach allows me to reconstruct body plans of ancient panarthropod ancestors and elucidate the developmental changes that led to modern forms. My goal is to identify the developmental principles that govern the origin and diversification of segmented body plans. My recent studies have focused on the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini. At UNF, I am continuing my investigations of H. dujardini and working to establish distant tardigrade relatives of this species for comparative studies.
2012 Introductory Biology Teaching Assistantship Award (excellence in teaching), University of Connecticut
2011, 2012 Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Connecticut
2011 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Connecticut
2008 Mentoring Fellowship, Northeastern Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate
2007 Brett Santoro Scholarship, University of Rhode Island
2007 Alpha Award, University of Rhode Island
European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology
Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology
Society for Developmental Biology
Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
Society for the Study of Evolution
Grants and Contracts Awarded
2011 Research exchange grant, Evo-Devo-Eco Network, NSF/EDEN grant no. IOS-0955517
2010 Society for the Study of Evolution, Rosemary Grant Award
2010 Sigma Xi, Grant-in-Aid of Research
2010-2012 UConn EEB and James A. Slater Endowment Fund
2008 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, honorable mention
Publications & Presentations
Smith, F.W., Cumming, M., Goldstein, B. 2018. Analyses of nervous system patterning genes in the tardigrade Hypsibius exemplaris illuminate the evolution of panarthropod brains. EvoDevo 9:19.
Smith, F.W. 2018. Embryonic In Situ Hybridization for the Tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 2018 (11), pdb. prot102350.
Smith, F.W., Gabriel, W. 2017. Embryonic Immunostaining for the Tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 2018 (11), pdb. prot102343.
Smith, F.W. and Goldstein, B. 2017. A Hypothesis for the Composition of the Tardigrade Brain and its Implications for Panarthropod Brain Evolution. Integrative and Comparative Biology 57: 546-559.
Smith, F.W. and Goldstein, B. 2017. Segmentation in Tardigrada and diversification of segmental patterns in Panarthropoda. Arthropod Structure & Development 46: 328-340.
Smith, F.W., Boothby, T.C., Giovannini, I., Rebecchi, L., Jockusch, E.L., Goldstein, B. 2016. The compact body plan of tardigrades evolved by the loss of a large body region. Current Biology 26: 224-229.
Boothby, T.C., Tenlen, J.R., Smith, F.W., Wang, J.R., Patanella, K.E., Osborne Nishimura, E., Tintori, S.C., Li, Q., Jones, C.D., Yandell, M., Messina, D.N., Glassock, J., Goldstein, B. 2015. Evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer from the draft genome of a tardigrade. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112: 15976-15981.
Jockusch, E.L., Smith, F.W., 2015. Hexapoda: Comparative aspects of later embryogenesis and metamorphosis. In: Evolutionary Developmental Biology of Invertebrates volume 5, Wanninger, Andreas (Ed.), Springer, 2015, pp. 111-208.
Smith, F.W., Jockusch, E.L., 2014. The Metameric pattern of Hypsibius dujardini (Eutardigrada) and its relationship to that of other panarthropods. Frontiers in Zoology 11: 1-16.
Smith, F.W., Jockusch, E.L., 2014. Hox genes require homothorax and extradenticle for body wall identity specification but not for appendage identity specification during metamorphosis of Tribolium castaneum. Developmental Biology 395: 182-197.
Smith, F.W., Angelini, D.R., Jockusch, E.L., 2014. A Functional genetic analysis in flour beetles (Tenebrionidae) reveals an antennal identity specification mechanism active during metamorphosis in Holometabola. Mechanisms of Develoment 132: 13-27.
Smith, F.W., Angelini, D.R., Gaudio, M.S., Jockusch, E.L., 2014. Metamorphic labral axis patterning in the beetle Tribolium castaneum requires multiple upstream, but few downstream, genes in the appendage patterning network. Evolution & Development 16: 78-91.
Angelini, D.R., Smith, F.W., Jockusch, E.L., 2012. Extent with modification: Leg patterning in the beetle Tribolium castaneum and the evolution of serial homologs. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics 2: 235-248.
2017 Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Meeting, New Orleans, LA
2016 Biology Department Seminar, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
2015 Society for Developmental Biology Meeting, 4th EDEN Symposium, Snowbird, UT
2104 Biology Lunch Bunch Seminar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2014 Evo-Devo Seminar, Duke University
2014 Developmental Biology Club, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2012 Wellesley Science Center Summer Research Program, Wellesley College
2011 Community College Institute, Brookhaven National Laboratory
2018 14th International Symposium on Tardigrada, Coppenhagen, Denmark
2015 13th International Symposium on Tardigrada, Modena, Italy
2015 Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Meeting, West Palm Beach, FL
2012 4th Euro Evo Devo Conference, Tribolium Satellite Meeting, Lisbon, Portugal
2012 Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Meeting, Charleston, SC
2011 2nd International Congress of Invertebrate Morphology, Cambridge, MA
2011 Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
2018 Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Meeting, Tampa, FL
2015 13th International Symposium on Tardigrada, Modena, Italy
2013 Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Meeting, San Francisco, CA
2013 Evolution 2013, Snowbird, UT
2012 4th Euro Evo Devo Conference, Lisbon, Portugal