Tom Smith, Ph.D.

Tom shows the crew how to encourage a mountain gartersnake to regurgitate its stomach contents.

Tom is a community ecologist interested in Sierra aquatic communities and ecosystems, and how species declines and extinctions affect communities. With the Mountain Lakes Research Group and many collaborators, he works to develop conservation tools and strategies for the endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. His postdoctoral work focused on the interaction between frogs and mountain gartersnakes, and how predation impacts frog restoration efforts. Tom has also studied the consequences of mountain yellow-legged frog declines for aquatic insect communities and alpine lake diatom communities, and avian, lizard and human malaria. He resides in Bishop and San Francisco, bikes and occasionally surfs, and spends a lot of time making food for the field season. He has been working in the Sierra since 2004. Ask Tom about the time he found a llama in Yosemite.