Deborah Smith

Primary office:
3038 Haworth Hall


Dr. Smith's research combines molecular systematics with the study of social arthropods

I am particularly interested in the systematics, population biology and biogeography of honey bees (Apis) and social spiders (Anelosimus & Stegodyphus).

Selected Publications

  • Mayes, D. M., Bhatta, B. P., Shi, D., Brown, J. C., and Smith, D. R. 2019. Body size influences stingless bee (Apidae: Meliponini) community assemblages across a range of deforestation levels in Rondônia, Brazil. Journal of Insect Science 19(2): 1-7. doi:10.1093/jisesa/iez032
  • Yip, E. C., Rao, D., Smith, D. R., and Lubin, Y. 2019. Interacting maternal and spatial cues influence natal – dispersal out of social groups. Oikos 128: 1793–1804. doi: 10.1111/oik.06531
  • Bhatta, C. P., Gonzalez, V. H., Mayes, D., Simoes, M., and Smith, D. R. 2019. Nesting biology and niche modelling of Tetragonula iridipennis (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Meliponini) in Nepal. Journal of Apicultural Research 58(4): 501-511. doi: 10.1080/00218839.2019.1614729
  • Su, Y.-C., Peng, P., Elgar, M. A. and Smith, D. R. 2018. Dual pathways in social evolution: population genetic structure of group-living and solitary species of kleptoparasitic spiders (Argyrodinae: Theridiidae) PLOS ONE 13(11): e0208123.  doi: 0.1371/journal.pone.0208123
  • Chomphuphuang, N., Smith, D., Wongvilas, S., Sivayyapram, V., Songsangchote, C. and Warrit, N. 2017. New species of Southeast Asian Dwarf Tarantula from Thailand: Phlogiellus Pocock, 1897 (Theraphosidae, Selenocosmiinae). Zookeys 684: 57-73. doi: 10.3897/Zookeys.684.12558
  • Sivayyapram, V., Smith, D. R., Weingdow, S. and Warrit, N. 2017. A new Liphistius species (Mesothelae:  Liphistiidae: Liphistiinae) from Thailand, with notes on its natural history. Journal of Arachnology 45(3): 287-295
  • Ventura, L., Smith, D. R. and Lubin, Y. 2017. Crowding leads to fitness benefits and reduced dispersal in a colonial spider. Behavioral Ecology 28(5): 1384-1392. doi:10.1093/beheco/arx106
  • Smith, D. R., Su, Y-C., Berger-Tal, R., and Lubin Y.D. 2016. Population genetic evidence for sex-specific dispersal in an inbred social spider. Ecology and Evolution 6 (15): 5479–5490.
  • Yip, E. C., Berner-Aharon, N., Smith, D. R., and Lubin, Y. 2016.  Coy males and seductive females in the sexually cannibalistic colonial spider, Cyrtophora citricola. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0155433.
  • DeFelice, D. S., C. Ross, M. Simone-Finstrom, N. Warrit, D. R. Smith, M. Burgett, P. Sukumalanand, and O. Rueppell. 2015. Geographic variation in polyandry of the eastern honey bee, Apis cerana, in Thailand. Insectes Sociaux 62.
  • Su, Y.-C., and D. R. Smith. 2014. Evolution of host use, group-living, and foraging behaviors in kleptoparasitic spiders: Molecular phylogeny of the Argyrodinae (Araneae: Theridiidae). Invertebrate Systematics. 28: 415-431. doi:10.1071/IS14010
  • Berger-Tal, R., C. Tuni, Y. Lubin, D. Smith, and T. Bilde. 2014. Fitness consequences of outcrossing in a social spider with an inbreeding mating system. Evolution 68(2): 343-351. doi:10.1111/evo.12264
  • DeFelice, D. S., C. Ross, M. Simone-Finstrom, N. Warrit, D. R. Smith, M. Burgett, P. Sukumalanand, and O. Rueppell. 2014. Geographic variation in polyandry of the eastern honey bee, Apis cerana, in Thailand. Insectes Sociaux. doi:10.1007/s00040-014-0371-5
  • Dietemann, V. et al. 2012. "Joining forces against Varroa destructor - the major pest of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera" Journal of Apicultural Research. 51(1). 125-132.
  • Rueppell, O., A. M. Hayes, N. Warrit, and D. R. Smith. 2011. "Population structure of Apis cerana in Thailand reflects biogeography and current gene flow rather than Varroa mite association" Insectes Sociaux. 58. 445-452.
  • Koeniger, N., G. Koeniger, and D. R. Smith. 2011. "Phylogeny of honeybees" Honeybees of Asia. edited by Hepburn, H. R. and S. E. Radloff. 23-50.
  • Su, Y., Y. Chang, D. R. Smith, M. Zhu, M. Kuntner, and I. Tso. 2011. "Biogeography and speciation patterns of the golden orb spider genus Nephila (Araneae: Nephilidae) in Asia" Zoological Science. 28(1). 47-55.
  • Smith, D. R.. 2011. "Asian honey bees and mitochondrial DNA" Honeybees of Asia. edited by Hepburn, H. R. and S. E. Radloff. 69-93.
  • Smith, D. R., S. van Rijn, J. Henschel, T. Bilde, and Y. Lubin. 2009. "AFLP fingerprints support limited gene flow among social spider populations" Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 97. 235-246.
  • Thummajitsakul, S., S. Klinbunga, D. R. Smith, and S. Sittipraneed. 2008. "Genetic diversity and population structure of Trigona pagdeni Schwarz in Thailand" Apidologie. 39(4). 446-455.
  • Tan, K., N. Warrit, and D. R. Smith. 2007. "Mitochondrial DNA diversity of Chinese Apis cerana" Apidologie. 38. 238-246.
  • Suppasat, T., D. R. Smith, S. Deowanish, and S. Wongsiri. 2007. "Matrilineal origins of Apis mellifera in Thailand" Apidologie. 38. 323-334.
  • Johannesen, J., Y. Lubin, D. R. Smith, and J. M. Schneider. 2007. "Age and evolution of sociality in Stegodyphus spiders: a molecular phylogenetic perspective" Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 274. 231-237.
  • Whitfield, C. W., S. K. Behura, S. Berlocher, A. G. Clark, S. Johnston, W. S. Sheppard, D. R. Smith, A. V. Suarez, D. Weaver, and N. D. Tsutsui. 2006. "Thrice out of Africa: ancient and modern expansions of the honey bee, Apis mellifera" Science. 314. 642-649.
  • Savit, A. Z., D. R. Smith, and O. R. Taylor. 2006. "Mitochondrial DNA and allozyme frequencies in an Africanized Apis mellifera population in southern Oklahoma (short communication)" Journal of Apicultural Research. 45(3). 221-222.
  • Warrit, N., D. R. Smith, and C. Lekprayoon. 2006. "Genetic subpopulations of Varroa mites and their Apis cerana hosts in Thailand" Apidologie. 37. 19-30.
  • Cho, S., Z. Y. Huang, D. R. Green, D. R. Smith, and J. Zhang. 2006. "Evolution of the complementary sex-determination gene of honey bees: Balancing selection and trans-species polymorphisms" Genome Research. 16. 1366-1375.
  • Bilde, T., Y. Lubin, D. R. Smith, J. M. Schneider, and A. A. Maklakov. 2005. "The transition to social inbred mating systems in spiders: role of inbreeding tolerance in a subsocial predecessor" Evolution. 59(1). 160-174.
  • Smith, D. R., N. Warrit, G. W. Otis, P. H. Thai, and D. Q. Tam. 2005. "A Scientific Note on high variation in the non-coding mitochondrial sequences of Apis cerana F. from South East Asia" Journal of Apicultural Research. 44(4). 197-198.










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