lab in 2022 Welcome to the Smith lab! In the picture on the right, we actually have most of the grad students, postdocs, and visitors in the lab in one picture (with the exception of Hector - sorry Hector!).

PI: Stephen A. Smith

blackrim as pixel art I work on questions related to plant evolution, detecting and describing large scale patterns of evolution, examining differences in the rate of molecular evolution, morphological evolution, genomics, and geography. A great deal of this involves the development of new methods and new computational tools. More information on projects related to these topics can be found on the projects page. My faculty page is here. You can get my cv here.


Joey Charboneau

joey Joey is working on the evolution of fire tolerance in Acacia.

Tom Carruthers

tom Tom is interested in divergence time estimation and other comparative techniques. He is working on both the Ericales and metabolomics of Caryophyllales.

Jake Berv

jake Jake Berv is a Michigan Life Sciences postdoc that is working on the evolution of birds using genomics, paleontology, and new comparative techniques.

Graduate students

Avinash Subramanian

avinash Avinash is interested in methods for uniting ecology and evolution, especially those related to epidemiology. Avinash is also jointly mentored with [Aaron King].

Keyi Feng

keyi Keyi is working on the evolution of arctic and alpine plants, especially in the Caryophyllales and the Ericales.

Hector Figueroa

images of Hector are hard to find Hector is working on community phylogenetics and ecology using new theory and methods.

Will Weaver

will Will is working on machine learning techniques for evolution and ecology.

Diana Medellín-Zabala

diana Diana is joint with Chris Dick and this lab and works on systematics in the Ericales clade.

Raquel Pizzardo

raquel Raquel is also joint with Chris Dick and this lab and works on systematics in the Ericales clade.


James Boyko

james James joined from University of Arkansas and is currently a postdoc with Dr. Brian O’Meara.

Undergraduate students

Sanjana Nagamangala

sanjana Sanjana is working with Joey on chloroplast evolution in Fabaceae.

Sonia Ahluwalia

Yi Chieh Huang

Dana El-Khatib

Past members

Drew Larson

drew Drew is working on the Ericales.

Lijun Zhao

lijun Lijun is working on Aizoaceae.

Hannah Marx

hannah Hannah joined the lab to work on Andean plant diversity and cold plant evolution.

Ning Wang

ning Joined the lab and is working on bird evolution, phylogenomics, and phylogenetic conflict.

Joseph Walker

joe Joe a graduate student working on mammal molecular evolution and phylogenomics.

Greg Stull

greg Comes to us from the NSF collections postdoc program. Greg is looking at geography, paleo, and phylogenetics.

Oscar Mauricio Vargas Hernandez

oscar Joined the lab and is working with Chris Dick and I on Andean plant evolution.

Simon Uribe-Convers

simon Simon joined the lab to work on the Open Tree of Life and building a tree for Fungi.

Joseph Brown

lijun Joseph was a postdoc working on the Open Tree of Life and has moved on to a research position in England.

Ya Yang

yang Ya was a postdoc working on transcriptomics and is now a professor at UMinn! Her website can be found here.

James Pease

james James was a postdoc and got a position at Wake Forest in 2016!

Cody Hinchliff

cody Cody is working with Joseph on the Open Tree of Life project. He is also interested in methods for building really large phylogenies and specifically in plants.