Felisa A. Smith
Department of Biology, University of New Mexico

About The Lab

Simply put, I am interested in body size. My research aims to understand why organisms are the size they are, what the ecological and evolutionary consequences are of being a certain size, and the complex and dynamic trade-offs between physiology, life history, environment, phylogeny, and past history. All of these undisputedly interact to influence the ultimate size of an organism. I try to bridge the gap between paleontology and modern biology by examining factors influencing body size across both ecological and evolutionary time. I tend to work mostly with mammals because, frankly, I find them more interesting than other taxa. Maybe it's the fur?

Current research projects range across a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales: from field work examining life history trade-offs in modern rodent populations occupying extreme environments, to paleomidden work on local and regional adaptations of animals to late Quaternary climate, to museum and computer-based studies of continental and global distributions of long-dead mammals that span the entire Cenozoic.