La Selva flea beetle project* Sierra Nevada Willow beetle project * Palomar project
In 2012, Dr.
John Terah Smiley
retired from the Associate Directorship of the White
Mountain Research Center (WMRC), a research unit of the
University of California located in Bishop California. He was
born in Tucson, Arizona and graduated from Catalina High School
in 1968 and from Stanford University in 1972. Dr. Smiley earned
his Ph.D. degree under the direction of Larry Gilbert at the
University of Texas, investigating the host plant relationships
of passionflower butterflies in Costa Rica . Then he began an
assistant professorship with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary
Biology at the University of California, Irvine. During this
time John conducted field research in Corcovado National Park
in Costa Rica, the Brisbane rain forest in Australia, and the
Sierra Nevada in California, studying insect/plant relationships
and chemical ecology.
In 1986, Dr. Smiley moved to Big Sur, California to become resident
manager of the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve. He remained in
that position for 17 years, building up the reserve's programs
and infrastructure. During that time he continued summer field
research on willow leaf beetles in the Sierra Nevada, California,
as well as serving on the local school board for 8 years. John also facilitated the creation of the Big Creek Marine Ecological Reserve, one of the first of its kind in California, along with several other monitoring and conservation projects.
2003 Dr. Smiley and his family moved to Bishop to head up field
operations for the WMRC (then known as WMRS). When not working with the talented staff, installing solar electric
equipment or trying to figure out unusual propane installations
at Barcroft, he continued the study of willow leaf beetles. This work, done in collaboration with Professors Nathan Rank of Sonoma State University and Elizabeth Dahlhoff of Santa Clara University, continues to the present day.
Now, in his retirement, John plans to continue his work on Sierra Nevada willow leaf beetles. In 2012 he also began a new project in Costa Rica to discover the parallels and differences between Passiflora-feeding flea beetles and butterflies. John and his wife Kim also own a 55 acre nature reserve
on Palomar Mountain in southern California.
interests: Every summer Dr. Smiley does field research in the mountains of California: Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Environmental Change in Sierra Nevada Willow Beetles. Beginning in October 2012, he also began a new project on the flea beetles of Passiflora vines at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica: Passionflowers, Butterflies, and Flea Beetle Natural History and Diversity. For lots of boring details,
and no pictures, see my two
page resume (or see pdf
version) or my detailed Academic
Curriculum Vitae. I recently dug out my PhD
thesis and scanned it. No great read, but surprisingly readable!
interests: mountaineering/hiking, bug-ology, listening to
music, education, whatever my wife and kids are into...now has two grand-daughters and two grandsons!
Information: John Smiley, White Mountain
Research Center, 3000 E. Line St., Bishop, California 93514,
ph 760-873-4344, jsmiley at ucsd dot edu .