Qualifications & Appointments
BSc (1st class Hons), Univ. Wales (Cardiff), 1997
PG Dip. Statistics (Distinction), Univ. Dublin (Trinity College), 2001
PhD, Univ. Dublin (Trinity College), 2004
Editor for Restoration Ecology
Editor for Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization
Research into patterns of plant diversity, evolution and conservation.
My primary role is to carry out collaborative postdoctoral research with the Director (CEO & Chief Scientist) and to provide scientific support to his role and that of the Executive Directorate. My research spans a number of disciplines and aims to answer questions on plant biogeography, phylogenetics, reproductive biology and ecology, whilst also addressing broad questions in plant evolution, speciation, landscape processes and conservation. Major research is focused on the southwest Australian biodiversity hotspot, the biogeography and conservation of granite outcrop floras and the phylogeny and conservation of the Haemodoraceae. These projects involve a wide range of internal and external collaborators. I also continue to work on the conservation genetics of UK plants, following postgraduate and post-doctoral work in this area of research. I was Executive Officer to the Senior Science Group from its inception in October 2007 until June 2011.
- Biodiversity and Evolutionary Patterns in Mediterranean-type Ecosystems
- Conservation Genetics of UK Plants
- Granite Outcrop Plants: Biogeography, Evolution and Conservation
- Haemodoraceae: phylogenetics, biology and conservation
- Old Climatically-Buffered Infertile Landscapes (OCBILs): Evolution, ecology, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
- Population Genetics of UK Orchids
- Systematics, evolution and conservation of Australian orchids
- Systematics and conservation of Western Australian eucalypts
Selected Recent Publications
Smith, R.J., Hopper, S.D. & Shane, M.W. (2011). Sand-binding roots in Haemodoraceae: global survey and morphology in a phylogenetic context. Plant and Soil 348: 453-470.
Smith, R.J. & Waldren, S. (2010). Patterns of genetic variation in Colchicum autumnale L. and its conservation status in Ireland: a broader perspective on local plant conservation. Conservation Genetics 11: 1351-1361.
Roux, J.P., Hopper, S.D. & Smith, R.J. (2009). Isoetes eludens (Isoetaceae), a new endemic species from the Kamiesberg, Northern Cape, South Africa. Kew Bulletin 64: 123-128.
Hopper, S.D., Smith, R.J., Fay, M.F., Manning, J.C. & Chase, M.W. (2009). Molecular phylogenetics of Haemodoraceae in the Greater Cape and Southwest Australian Floristic Regions. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51: 19-30.
Bateman, R.M., Smith, R.J. & Fay, M.F. (2008). Origin, evolutionary significance and conservation implications of Orchis x angusticruris (O. purpurea x O. simia), a hybrid orchid new to the British Isles. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 157: 687-711.
Selected Earlier Publications
Smith, R.J. & Waldren, S. (2006). Genetic variation in Irish threatened plant species: a European perspective. In Leach, S.J., Page, C.N., Peytoureau, Y., & Sanford, M.N. (eds) Botanical Links in the Atlantic Arc. English Nature and Botanical Society of the British Isles. 137-145.
Smith, R.J. (2004). Conservation biology of Colchicum autumnale L. and Campanula trachelium L. in the Nore Valley, Southeast Ireland. PhD thesis, University of Dublin.
Smith, R.J., Waldren, S. & Rich, T.G.C. (2004). Genetic variation in European populations of wild asparagus, Asparagus prostratus. Report for the Countryside Council of Wales and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Ireland.