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GDFCF Welcomes a New Board Member


Dr. Alex Smith, an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, Canada, is the newest addition to the GDFCF Board of Directors, joining in January 2018. Alex grew up near the small town of Douglas in the Ottawa Valley in eastern Ontario, Canada. It was here, in the numerous rivers, streams and marshes of Renfrew County, that he first thought he wanted to be a biologist. It was while volunteering in Costa Rica in 1991 that he knew. Today, most of his research at the University of Guelph is based around questions of the ecology and evolution of biodiversity along elevational and disturbance gradients within Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG). Smith and his students study multiple arthropod taxa, but ants always come first. Smith and his students work collaboratively to rapidly document the species that live in ACG (often using DNA barcodes), while also considering the natural evolutionary relationships and history of the species, as well as including data on ecology, life history traits, and morphology as they are linked to species survival in particular abiotic conditions. In the big picture, this work allows the investigation of how these special neotropical communities respond to a changing climate.  Want to learn more about Alex’s research? You can visit his academic website here: www.malexsmith.com, explore his high-resolution GigaPan panorams of the ACG here: http://bit.ly/2G274X8 and see numerous videos of the very small life that makes its home in the forest floor here: http://bit.ly/1rEpfUf.