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Brian Smithers, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor

Montana State University




I am currently an Assistant Research Professor at Montana State University after receiving my Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis and my M.S. in Tropical Biology from James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. I study forest and alpine plant physiological and community responses to climatic variables in an effort to better predict species responses to climate change.

I also serve as the Executive Director for the non-profit organization GLORIA Great Basin. We support monitoring and research on 29 peaks in 8 regions throughout the intermountain west where we examine the long-term alpine plant community response to climate change as part of the international GLORIA effort.


The Smithers Lab

The Smithers Lab examines the mechanisms of plant species range shift response to climate change using ecophysiological tools to better inform predictions of species distributions. This work takes us into the field where we sample natural range expansion and study experimental plots. We also use growth chambers and greenhouse experiments to better inform specific variables in our models. We work throughout the intermountain west, particularly in the Great Basin where dry mountain ranges might be the template for montane ecosystems throughout the west in the years to come.

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