|2012 - Present||Assistant Professor, Nova Southeastern University ‐ Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Department of Biological Sciences|
|2011 - 2013||Duke Scholar in Infectious Disease, Duke University|
Honors and Awards
- Duke Scholars in Infectious Diseases Program
- Graduate Student Ambassador Award
- Let’s Talk Science National Coordinator Award
- Young Ambassador Scientist Award
- Outstanding Volunteer in a Health Research Program
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship Award
- David and Rachel Epstein Award
- NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship
- Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, Society of Chemical Industry
- Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement
- BIOL 4321 Systems and Synthetic Biology
- BIOL 3400 Microbiology
- BIOL 1500 Introduction to Biology
- BIOL 3600 Genetics
|2009 - 2012||Postdoctoral Research Associate, Duke University|
|2005 - 2009||Ph.D., Department of Biology, Carleton University|
|2001 - 2005||B.Sc., Biology and Biotechnology, Carleton University|
Journal articles written or co-written by Dr. Robert P. Smith.
A Potential Tradeoff Between Feeding Rate and Aversive Learning Determines Intoxication in a Caenorhabditis elegans Host-Pathogen System Microbes and Infection (2020)
Despite being the first line of defense against infection, little is known about how host-pathogen interactions determine avoidance. Caenorhabditis elegans can become infected by chemoattractant-producing bacteria through ingestion. The worms can learn to associate these ...
Gut Microbiome Diversity Is Associated with Sleep Physiology in Humans PLoS One (2019)
The human gut microbiome can influence health through the brain-gut-microbiome axis. Growing evidence suggests that the gut microbiome can influence sleep quality. Previous studies that have examined sleep deprivation and the human gut microbiome have ...
The Public and Private Benefit of an Impure Public Good Determines the Sensitivity of Bacteria to Population Collapse in a Snowdrift Game Environmental Microbiology (2019)
When cooperation is critical for survival, cheating can lead to population collapse. One mechanism of cooperation that permits the coexistence of cooperators and cheaters is an impure public good, whose public benefits are shared, but ...
Timing Between Successive Introduction Events Determines Establishment Success in Bacteria with an Allee Effect Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019)
Propagule pressure is a leading determinant of population establishment. Yet, an experimental understanding of how propagule size and number (two principal parts of propagule pressure) determine establishment success remains incomplete. Theoretical studies suggest that the ...
Cooperation and Competition Shape Ecological Resistance During Periodic Spatial Disturbance of Engineered Bacteria Scientific Reports (2017)
Cooperation is fundamental to the survival of many bacterial species. Previous studies have shown that spatial structure can both promote and suppress cooperation. Most environments where bacteria are found are periodically disturbed, which can affect ...
Synthetically Engineered Microbes Reveal Interesting Principles of Cooperation Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering (2017)
Cooperation is ubiquitous in biological systems. However, if natural selection favors traits that confer an advantage to one individual over another, then helping others would be paradoxical. Nevertheless, cooperation persists and is critical in maintaining ...
Antibiotics as a selective driver for conjugation dynamics Nature Microbiology (2016)
It is generally assumed that antibiotics can promote horizontal gene transfer. However, because of a variety of confounding factors that complicate the interpretation of previous studies, the mechanisms by which antibiotics modulate horizontal gene transfer ...
Circumvention of Learning Increases Intoxication Efficacy of Nematicidal Engineered Bacteria ACS Synthetic Biology (2015)
Synthetic biology holds promise to engineer systems to treat diseases. One critical, yet underexplored, facet of designing such systems is the interplay between the system and the pathogen. Understanding this interplay may be critical to ...
Phenotypic Signatures Arising from Unbalanced Bacterial Growth PLoS Computational Biology (2014)
Fluctuations in the growth rate of a bacterial culture during unbalanced growth are generally considered undesirable in quantitative studies of bacterial physiology. Under well-controlled experimental conditions, however, these fluctuations are not random but instead reflect ...
Programmed Allee Effect in Bacteria Causes a Tradeoff Between Population Spread and Survival Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2014)
Dispersal is necessary for spread into new habitats, but it has also been shown to inhibit spread. Theoretical studies have suggested that the presence of a strong Allee effect may account for these counterintuitive observations. ...
Nonself Recognition Through Intermolecular Disulfide Bond Formation of Ribonucleotide Reductase in Neurospora Genetics (2013)
Type I ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) are conserved across diverse taxa and are essential for the conversion of RNA into DNA precursors. In Neurospora crassa, the large subunit of RNR (UN-24) is unusual in that it ...
Trans-Species Activity of a Nonself Recognition Domain BMC Microbiology (2013)
Background: The ability to distinguish nonself from self is a fundamental characteristic of biological systems. In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, multiple incompatibility genes mediate nonself recognition during vegetative growth. One of these genes, un-24, ...
The Inoculum Effect and Band-Pass Bacterial Response to Periodic Antiobiotic Treatment Molecular Systems Biology (2012)
The inoculum effect (IE) refers to the decreasing efficacy of an antibiotic with increasing bacterial density. It represents a unique strategy of antibiotic tolerance and it can complicate design of effective antibiotic treatment of bacterial ...
Engineering Microbial Systems to Explore Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2012)
A major goal of biological research is to provide a mechanistic understanding of diverse biological processes. To this end, synthetic biology offers a powerful approach, whereby biological questions can be addressed in a well-defined framework. ...
A Synthetic Biology Approach to Understanding Cellular Information Processing ACS Synthetic Biology (2012)
The survival of cells and organisms requires proper responses to environmental signals. These responses are governed by cellular networks, which serve to process diverse environmental cues. Biological networks often contain recurring network topologies called “motifs”. ...
Design Principles and Applications of Engineered Microbial Consortia Acta Horticulturae (2011)
Synthetic biology has generated countless examples of novel behavior in bacteria. Through a combination of mathematical modeling and experimental analyses, researchers utilize engineered genetic circuits to predict and control bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. However, ...
Secondary Assays for Testing the Mode of Action of Natural Products with Bioactivity Against Fungi Pharmaceutical Biology (2008)
Identification of novel antifungals is needed, and plant-derived compounds offer important leads in this respect. This article initiates a compendium of secondary assays for testing hypotheses on mode of action of plant-derived compounds. Three assays ...
Modeling and Simulation of Caenorhabditis elegans Chemotaxis in Response to a Dynamic Engineered Bacteria Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures (2016)
Nematodes remain important causative agents of diseases. While several studies have examined how nematodes behave in response to a chemoattractant, how the characteristics of the chemoattractant affect chemotaxis has yet to be explored. A mathematical ...