Felicia Smith of the University of New Mexico Honored by the American Society of Mammalogists

Felisa Smith, professor of biology at the University of New Mexico, received the 2022 C. Hart Merriam Award from the American Society of Mammalogists. The award is named after the first president of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM). He was also the first chief of the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy of the United States Department of Agriculture, the precursor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the National Geographic Society, and the American Society of Mammalogists.

“ASM is the largest and oldest mammal society in the world, so this is quite an honor. Frankly, given some of the recipients in the past, I’m a bit humbled,” Dr. Smith said.

As a mammologist, Dr. Smith focuses her research interests on paleoecological and evolutionary research — specifically the effects of climatic change and biodiversity loss on mammals. Professor Smith has published three books or edited volumes, and over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles. In her latest book, Mammalian Paleoecology: Using the Past to Study the Present (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021), she examines how animals, plants, and ecosystems responded to past perturbations — be they climate or biodiversity loss — to gain insights useful for effective conservation and management.

Professor Smith is the president-elect of the American Society of Mammalogists. She is also the president of the International Biogeography Society, a member of the board of directors for the International Federation of Mammologists, and a Fellow of the Paleontological Society.

Dr. Smith holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of California, Irvine.

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