Dr. W. Leo Smith

Natural Sciences and Mathematics - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU Biodiversity Institute
Associate Professor
Associate Curator
Primary office:
785.864.6874
Dyche Hall, 701C
University of Kansas
1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7561
Second office:



Summary

Dr. Smith's research focus is the comparative evolutionary biology of fishes.

Teaching

Dr. Smith teaches Principles in Organismal Biology, Ichthyology, and Systematics & Macroevolution.

Teaching Interests

  • Evolution
  • Ichthyology
  • Systematics
  • Animal Diversity
  • Ecology

Research

Dr. Smith is interested in the phylogenetics and macroevolution of fishes and systematic theory. He uses a combination of phylogenetic trees, field collections, and focused anatomical, morphometric, and genomic analyses to understand the evolution and diversification of freshwater and marine fishes.

Research Interests

  • Ichthyology
  • Evolution
  • Comparative morphology
  • Phylogenetics
  • Diversification
  • Venom
  • Bioluminescence

Selected Publications

Ghedotti, Michael J., W. Leo Smith, and Matthew P. Davis. “The First Evidence of Intrinsic Epidermal Bioluminescence within Ray-Finned Fishes in the Snaketooth Fish Pseudoscopelus Scriptus (Chiasmodontidae).” Journal Articles. Journal of Fish Biology 95 (2019): 1540–1543.
Smith, W. Leo, Chesney A. Buck, Greg S. Ornay, Matthew P. Davis, Rene P. Martin, Sarah Z. Gibson, and Matthew G. Girard. “Improving Vertebrate Skeleton Images: Fluorescence and the Non-Permanent Mounting of Cleared-and-Stained Specimens.” Journal Articles. Copeia 106 (2018): 427–435.
Martin, Rene P., Emily E. Olson, Matthew G. Girard, W. Leo Smith, and Matthew P. Davis. “Light in the Darkness: New Perspective on Lanternfish Relationships and Classification Using Genomic and Morphological Data.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 121 (2018): 71–85.
Ghedotti, Michael J., Josephine N. Gruber, Ryan W. Barton, Matthew P. Davis, and W. Leo Smith. “Morphology and Evolution of Bioluminescent Organs in the Glowbellies (Percomorpha: Acropomatidae) with Comments on the Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Acropomatiformes.” Journal Articles. Journal of Morphology 279 (2018): 1640–1653.
Smith, W. Leo, Elizabeth Everman, and Clara Richardson. “Phylogeny and Taxonomy of Flatheads, Scorpionfishes, Sea Robins, and Stonefishes (Percomorpha: Scorpaeniformes) and the Evolution of the Lachrymal Saber.” Journal Articles. Copeia 106 (2018): 94–119.
Gruber, D F, E R Loew, D D Deheyen, D Akkaynak, J P Gaffney, W L Smith, M P Davis, J H Stern, V A Pieribone, and J S Sparks. “Biofluorescence in Catsharks (Scyliorhinidae): Fundamental Description and Relevance for Elasmobranch Visual Ecology.” Journal Articles. Nature: Scientific Reports 6 (2016): 24751.
Smith, W L, J H Stern, M G Girard, and M P Davis. “Evolution of Venomous Cartilaginous and Ray-Finned Fishes.” Journal Articles. Integrative and Comparative Biology 56 (2016): 950ΓÇô961.
Harrington, R C, B C Faircloth, R I Eytan, W L Smith, T J Near, M E Alfaro, and M Friedman. “Phylogenomic Analysis of Carangimorph Fishes Reveals Flatfish Asymmetry Arose in a Blink of the Evolutionary Eye.” Journal Articles. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16 (2016): 224.
Davis, M P, J S Sparks, and W L Smith. “Repeated and Widespread Evolution of Bioluminescence in Marine Fishes.” Journal Articles. PLOS ONE 11 (2016): e0155154.
Smith, W. L., and M. S. Busby. “Phylogeny and Taxonomy of Sculpins, Sandfishes, and Snailfishes (Perciformes: Cottoidei) with Comments on the Phylogenetic Significance of Their Early-Life-History Specializations.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 79 (2014): 332–52.
Davis, M. P., N. I. Holcroft, E. O. Wiley, J. S. Sparks, and W. L. Smith. “Species-Specific Bioluminescence Facilitates Speciation in the Deep Sea.” Journal Articles. Marine Biology 161 (2014): 1139–48.
Sparks, J. S., R. C. Schelly, W. L. Smith, M. P. Davis, D. Tchernov, V. A. Pieribone, and D. F. Gruber. “The Covert World of Fish Biofluorescence: A Phylogenetically Widespread and Phenotypically Variable Phenomenon.” Journal Articles. PlOS One 9 (2014): e83259.
Stewart, T. A., W. L. Smith, and M. I. Coates. “The Origins of Adipose Fins: An Analysis of Homoplasy and the Serial Homology of Vertebrate Appendages.” Journal Articles. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 281 (2014): 20133120.
Price, S. A., L. Schmitz, C. E. Ouifiero, R. I. Eytan, A. Dornburg, W. L. Smith, M. Friedman, T. J. Near, and P. C. Wainwright. “Two Waves of Colonization Straddling the KΓÇôPg Boundary Formed the Modern Reef Fish Fauna.” Journal Articles. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 281 (2014): 20140321.
Dikow, R. B., and W. L. Smith. “Complete Genome Sequences Provide a Case Study for the Evaluation of Gene-Tree Thinking.” Journal Articles. Cladistics 29 (2013): 672–82.
Dikow, R. B., and W. L. Smith. “Genome-Level Homology and Phylogeny of Vibrionaceae (Gammaproteobacteria: Vibrionales) with Three New Complete Genome Sequences.” Journal Articles. BMC Biology 13 (2013): 80.
Near, T. J., A. Dornburg, R. I. Eytan, B. P. Keck, W. L. Smith, K. L. Kuhn, J. A. Moore, et al. “Phylogeny and Tempo of Diversification in the Superradiation of Spiny-Rayed Fishes.” Journal Articles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (2013): 12738–43.
McMahan, C. D., P. Chakrabarty, J. S. Sparks, W. L. Smith, and M. P. Davis. “Temporal Patterns of Diversification across Global Cichlid Biodiversity (Acanthomorpha: Cichlidae).” Journal Articles. PlOS One 8 (2013): e71162.
Miller, J., T. Dikow, D. Agosti, G. Sautter, T. Catapano, L. Penev, Z. Q. Zhang, et al. “From Taxonomic Literature to Cybertaxonomic Content.” Journal Articles. BMC Biology 10 (2012): 87.
Near, T. J., M. Sandel, K. L. Kuhn, P. J. Unmack, P. C. Wainwright, and W. L. Smith. “Nuclear Gene-Inferred Phylogenies Resolve the Relationships of the Enigmatic Pygmy Sunfishes, Elassoma (Teleostei: Percomorpha).” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63 (2012): 388–95.
Near, T. J., R. I. Eytan, A. Dornburg, K. L. Kuhn, J. A. Moore, M. P. Davis, P. C. Wainwright, M. Friedman, and W. L. Smith. “Resolution of Ray-Finned Fish Phylogeny and Timing of Diversification.” Journal Articles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109 (2012): 13698–703.
Wainwright, P. C., W. L. Smith, S. A. Price, K. L. Tang, J. S. Sparks, L. A. Ferry, K. L. Kuhn, R. I. Eytan, and T. J. Near. “The Evolution of Pharyngognathy: A Phylogenetic and Functional Appraisal of the Pharyngeal Jaw Key Innovation in Labroid Fishes and Beyond.” Journal Articles. Systematic Biology 61 (2012): 1001–27.
Chakrabarty, P, M P Davis, W L Smith, Z H Baldwin, and J S Sparks. “Is Sexual Selection Driving Diversification of the Bioluminescent Ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae)?” Journal Articles. Molecular Ecology 20 (2011): 2818–34.
Li, C., R. Betancur-R., W. L. Smith, and G. Ort├¡. “Monophyly and Interrelationships of Snook and Barramundi (Centropomidae Sensu Greenwood) and Five New Markers for Fish Phylogenetics.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60 (2011): 463–71.
Jones, C. C., W. L. Smith, and J. S. Sparks. “A New Species of Rainbowfish (Teleostei: Melanotaenioidei: Bedotiidae) from the Makira Region of Northeastern Madagascar.” Journal Articles. Copeia 2010 (2010): 284–91.
Smith, W. L. “Promoting Resolution of the Percomorph Bush: A Reply to Mooi and Gill.” Journal Articles. Copeia 2010 (2010): 520–24.
Smith, W. L., K. R. Smith, and W. C. Wheeler. “Novel Mitochondrial Intergenic Spacer in Fairy Basslets (Serranidae: Anthiinae) and the Simultaneous Analysis of Nucleotide and Genomic Data.” Journal Articles. American Museum Novitates 3652 (2009): 1–10.
Smith, W. L., P. Chakrabarty, and J. S. Sparks. “Phylogeny, Taxonomy, and Evolution of Neotropical Cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae: Cichlinae).” Journal Articles. Cladistics 24 (2008): 625–41.
Smith, W. L., and J. S. Sparks. “Gobius Lagocephalus: The World’s Most Widespread Nomen Dubium.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43 (2007): 696–98.
Smith, W. L., and J. S. Sparks. “Case 3383: Gobius Lagocephalus: Pallas 1770 (Currently Sicyopterus Lagocephalus: Teleostei, Gobiidae): Proposed Suppression of the Specific Name.” Journal Articles. Bulletin of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature 64 (2007): 103–7.
Smith, W. L., and M. T. Craig. “Casting the Percomorph Net Widely: The Importance of Broad Taxonomic Sampling in the Search for the Placement of Serranid and Percid Fishes.” Journal Articles. Copeia 2007 (2007): 35–55.
Sparks, J. S., and W. L. Smith. “Sicyopterus Lagocephalus: Widespread Species, Species Complex, or Neither? A Critique on the Use of Molecular Data for Species Identification.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (2006): 900–902.
Wheeler, W. C., L. Aagesen, C. P. Arango, J. Faivovich, T. Grant, C. D’Haese, D. Janies, W. L. Smith, A. Varon, and G. Giribet. Dynamic Homology and Phylogenetic Systematics: A Unified Approach Using POY. Books. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 2006.
Webb, J. F., W. L. Smith, and D. R. Ketten. “The Laterophysic Connection and Swim Bladder of Butteryflyfishes in the Genus Chaetodon (Perciformes: Chaetodontidae).” Journal Articles. Journal of Morphology 267, no. 11 (2006): 1338–55. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmor.10480.
Smith, W. L., and W. C. Wheeler. “Venom Evolution Widespread in Fishes: A Road Map for the Bioprospecting of Piscine Venoms.” Journal Articles. Journal of Heredity 97 (2006): 206–17.
Sparks, J. S., P. V. Dunlap, and W. L. Smith. “Evolution and Diversification of a Sexually Dimorphic Luminescent System in Ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae), Including Diagnoses for Two New Genera.” Journal Articles. Cladistics 21 (2005): 305–27.
Sparks, J. S., and W. L. Smith. “Freshwater Fishes, Dispersal Ability, and Non- Evidence: ‘Gondwana Life Rafts’ to the Rescue.” Journal Articles. Systematic Biology 54 (2005): 158–65.
Greenfield, D. W., and W. L. Smith. “Allenbatrachus Meridionalis, a New Toadfish (Batrachoididae) from Madagascar and Reunion.” Journal Articles. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 55 (2004): 570–74.
Rosenblatt, R. H., and W. L. Smith. “Icelinus Limbaughi, New Species of Sculpin (Teleostei: Cottidae) from Southern California.” Journal Articles. Copeia 2004 (2004): 556–61.
Sparks, J. S., and W. L. Smith. “Phylogeny and Biogeography of Cichlid Fishes (Teleostei: Perciformes: Cichlidae).” Journal Articles. Cladistics 20 (2004): 501–17.
Sparks, J. S., and W. L. Smith. “Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Malagasy and Australasian Rainbowfishes (Teleostei: Melanotaenioidei): Gondwanan Vicariance and Evolution in Freshwater.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 33 (2004): 719–34.
Smith, W. L., and W. C. Wheeler. “Polyphyly of the Mail-Cheeked Fishes (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes): Evidence from Mitochondrial and Nuclear Sequence Data.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32 (2004): 627–46.
Smith, W. L. “Scorpaeniformes I: Gurnards and Flatheads.” Book Chapters. In Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia: Fishes Volume 2, edited by D. Thoney, P. Loiselle, and N. Schlager, 157–62. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2003.
Smith, W. L. “Scorpaeniformes II: Scorpionfishes and Relatives.” Book Chapters. In Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia: Fishes Volume 2, edited by D. Thoney, P. Loiselle, and N. Schlager, 163–78. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2003.
Smith, W. L., J. F. Webb, and S. D. Blum. “The Evolution and Phylogenetic Significance of the Laterophysic Connection with a Revised Phylogeny and Classification of Butterflyfishes (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae).” Journal Articles. Cladistics 19 (2003): 287–306.
Webb, J. F., and W. L. Smith. “The Laterophysic Connection in Chaetodontid Butterfly- Fishes: Morphological Variation and Speculations on Sensory Function.” Journal Articles. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B 355 (2000): 1125–29.
Baldwin, C. C., and W. L. Smith. “Belonoperca Pylei, a New Species of Seabass (Teleostei: Serranidae: Epinephelinae: Diploprionini) from the Cook Islands with Comments on Relationships among Diploprionins.” Journal Articles. Ichthyological Research 45 (1998): 325–39.

Selected Grants

Collaborative research: Diversification in the deep sea and the evolution of fangs, bioluminescence, hermaphroditism, and marine habitat transitions. DEB-1258141. National Science Foundation. $425000.00. Submitted 1/1/2012 (1/1/2013 - 12/31/2016). Federal. Status: Funded
Collaborative research: Causes and consequences of exceptional diversity in spiny-rayed fishes. DEB-1060869. National Science Foundation. $288507.00. Submitted 1/1/2010 (1/1/2011 - 12/31/2014). Federal. Status: Funded
Collaborative research: Assembling the euteleost tree of life - addressing the major unresolved problem in vertebrate phylogeny. DEB-0732642. National Science Foundation. $261598.00. Submitted 1/1/2006 (1/1/2007 - 12/31/2012). Federal. Status: Funded
Collaborative research: Phylogenetics and key innovations in labroid fishes. DEB - 0716155. National Science Foundation. $12500.00. Submitted 1/1/2006 (1/1/2007 - 12/31/2010). Federal. Status: Funded
Providing long-term security and access to genetic resources at Field Museum. MA-05-09-0041-09. The Institute of Museum and Library Services. $120999.00. Submitted 1/1/2008 (1/1/2009 - 12/31/2010). Federal. Status: Funded
Dissertation research: Scorpionfish (Teleostei: Scorpaenoidei) phylogenetics and the evolution of venom in fishes. DEB-0405246. National Science Foundation. $11970.00. Submitted 1/1/2003 (1/1/2004 - 12/31/2006). Federal. Status: Funded

 

     


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