Dr. Robbie Smith is currently the Curator of the Natural History Museum at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo. His active research involves collaborating with Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley on lionfish and mesophotic reefs. He is also investigating changes in the Sargassum community around Bermuda in response to climate change. In addition, he participates in BIOS education programs by lecturing and advising on student projects.
Robbie has a long history with BIOS. He started at BIOS as a Bermuda Program intern in 1977 and worked on the BIWI project until 1979. He worked as research assistant for Dr. Tony Knap on the MAP and COROIL projects and on Hydrostation S from 1980-1984. Robbie conducted all his PhD research at BIOS from 1985-1990 on coral reef ecology. He returned as a MacNichol Post-doctoral Fellow with Dr. Knap from 1990-91. Robbie then set up the Benthic Ecology Research Lab in 1991 and developed a large program that studied the potential impacts of the Tynes Bay incinerator and the impacts of ash block deposition in Castle Harbour. Robbie started the long-term CARICOMP program on Bermuda’s reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves and a series of projects on coral recruitment in the Florida Keys from 1993-2008. He had a productive collaboration with Dr. Anne Cohen (WHOI) on paleo-climate signals in corals.
Robbie was active in education, helping develop the REU program, the Duke B2B program and he taught Coral Reef Ecology for many years. He also supported and mentored several post-docs, Ph.D. and Master’s students in his lab. Robbie left BIOS in 2002 and was a Lecturer in Biology at Georgia State University in Atlanta until 2009 when he returned to become the Museum Curator.