Richard G. Smith, Ph.D.

Richard G. Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


In general, my research tends to focus on the interface between agriculture and plant community and ecosystem ecology.  My interests include weed ecology and management, the role of diversity in agroecosystem function, plant invasions, community assembly theory, trophic interactions, and implications of land-use and climate change. The overall goal of my research is to better understand the ecological interactions that underpin agricultural production systems so as to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture.


  • 2005 Ph.D. (Plant Biology; Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior), Michigan State University
  • 1996 B.S. (Biology), University of New Mexico

Selected Publications

Snapp, S.S., Smith, R.G., and Robertson, G.P. (2015) Designing cropping systems for ecosystem services. Hamilton, S.K., J.E. Doll, and G.P. Robertson (eds.). The Ecology of Agricultural Landscapes: Long-term Research on the Path to Sustainability. Oxford University Press. In press.

Gross, K.L., Emery, S.M., Davis, A.S., Smith, R.G., Robinson, T.M.P. (2015) Plant community dynamics in agricultural and successional fields. In: Hamilton, S.K., J.E. Doll, and G.P. Robertson (eds.). The Ecology of Agricultural Landscapes: Long-term Research on the Path to Sustainability. Oxford University Press. In press.

Warren, N.D., Sideman, R.G., Smith, R.G. (2015) Performance of high tunnel tomato cultivars in northern New England. HortTechnology. In press.

Warren, N.D., Smith, R.G., Sideman, R.G. (2015) Effects of living mulch and fertilizer on the performance of broccoli in plasticulture. HortScience. In press.

Smith, R.G., Atwood, L.W., Pollnac, F.W., and Warren, N.D. (2015) Cover crop species as distinct biotic filters in weed community assembly. Weed Science. In press.

Smith, R.G. (2015) The succession-energy framework for reducing non-target impacts of annual crop production. Agricultural Systems 133:14-21.

Hale, I., Wollheim, W., Smith, R.G., Asbjornsen, H., Brito, A., Broders, K., Grandy, A.S., Rowe, R. (2014) A scale-explicit framework for conceptualizing the environmental impacts of agricultural land use changes. Sustainability 6: 8432-8451; doi:10.3390/su6128432.

Pollnac, F.W., Smith, R.G., Warren, N.D. (2014) Cultivar diversity as a means of ecologically intensifying dry matter production in a perennial forage stand. Ecosphere 5(9):115.

Smith, R.G., Atwood, L.W., Warren, N.D. (2014) Increased productivity of a cover crop mixture is not associated with enhanced agroecosystem services. PLoS ONE 9 (5): e97351. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097351.

Sanderson, M.A., Stout, R., Goslee, S., Gonet, J., Smith, R.G. (2014) Soil seed bank community structure of pastures and hayfields on an organic farm. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 94: 621-631.

Schipanski, M.E., Smith, R.G., Pisani-Gareau, T.L., Jabbour, R., Lewis, D.B., Barbercheck,  M.E., Mortensen, D.A., Kaye, J.P. (2014) Multivariate relationships influencing crop yields during the transition to organic management. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 189: 119-126.

Smith, R.G., Davis, A.S., Jordan, N.R., Atwood, L.W., Daly, A.B., Grandy, A.S., Hunter, M.C., Koide, R.T., Mortensen, D.A., Ewing, P., Kane, D., Li, M., Lou, Y., Snapp, S.S., Spokas, K.A., Yannarell, A.C. (2014) Structural equation modeling facilitates transdisciplinary research on agriculture and climate change. Crop Science 54:475-483.

Smith, R.G., Cox, D.A. (2014) Effects of soil amendments on the abundance of a parasitic weed, yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor L.) in hayfields. Weed Science 62:118-124.

Grandy, A.S., Kallenbach, C.M., Loecke, T., Snapp, S.S., Smith, R.G. (2012) The biological basis for nitrogen management in agroecosystems. Pg. 113-132. In T. Cheeke, D.C. Coleman, D.H. Wall (eds.) Microbial Ecology in Sustainable Agroecosystems. CRC Press.

Mortensen, D.A., Egan, J.F., Maxwell, B.D., Ryan, M.R., Smith, R.G. (2012) Navigating a critical juncture for sustainable weed management. BioScience 62: 75-84.

Smith, R.G., Gareau, T.P., Mortensen, D.A., Curran, W.S., Barbercheck, M.E. (2011) Assessing and visualizing agricultural management practices: A multivariable hands-on approach for education and extension. Weed Technology 25: 680-687.

Ge, S., Smith, R.G., Jacovides, C.P., Kramer, M.G., Carruthers, R.I. (2011) Dynamics of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and estimates in coastal northern California. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 105: 107-118.

Smith, R.G., Ryan, M.R., Menalled, F.D. (2011) Direct and indirect impacts of weed management practices on soil quality. Pp. 275-286. In: J.L. Hatfield and T.J. Sauer (eds.). Soil Management: Building a Stable Base for Agriculture. American Society of Agronomy Series.

Egan, J.F., Maxwell, B.D., Mortensen, D.A., Ryan, M.R., Smith, R.G. (2011) 2,4-D resistant crops and the potential for evolution of 2,4-D resistant weeds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: E37.

Smith, R.G., Barbercheck, M.E., Mortensen, D.A., Hyde, J., Hulting, A.G. (2011) Yield and net returns during the transition to organic feed grain production. Agronomy Journal 103: 51-59.

Gareau, T.L.P., Smith, R.G., Barbercheck, M.E., Mortensen, D.A. (2010) Spider plots: a tool for participatory extension learning.  Journal of Extension 48 (5)

Ryan, M.R., Smith, R.G., Mirsky, S.B., Mortensen, D.A., Seidel, R. (2010) Management filters and species traits: Weed community assembly in long-term organic and conventional systems. Weed Science 58: 265-277.

Smith, R.G., Mortensen, D.A., Ryan, M.R. (2010) A new hypothesis for the functional role of diversity in mediating resource pools and weed-crop competition in agroecosystems. Weed Research 50: 37-48.

Ryan, M.R., Smith, R.G., Mortensen, D.A., Teasdale, J.R., Curran, W.S., Seidel, R. (2009) Weed-crop competition relationships differ between organic and conventional cropping systems. Weed Research 49: 572-580.

Smith, R.G., Jabbour, R., Hulting, A.G., Barbercheck, M.E., Mortensen, D.A. (2009) Effects of initial seed bank density on weed seedling emergence during the transition to an organic feed grain crop rotation. Weed Science 57: 533-540.

Davis, A.S.,  Hall, J.C., Jasieniuk, M., Locke, M.A., Luschei, E.C., Mortensen, D.A., Riechers, D.E., Smith, R.G., Sterling, T.M., Westwood, J.H. (2009) Weed science research and funding: a call to action. Weed Science 57: 442-448.

Smith, R.G., Gross, K.L., Robertson, G.P. (2008) Effects of crop diversity on agroecosystem function: crop yield response. Ecosystems 11: 355-366.

Smith, R.G., McSwiney, C.P., Grandy, A.S., Suwanwaree, P., Snider, R.M., Robertson, G.P. (2008) Diversity and abundance of earthworms across an agricultural land-use intensity gradient.  Soil & Tillage Research 100: 83-88.

Smith, R.G., Menalled, F.D., Robertson, G.P. (2007) Temporal yield variability under conventional and alternative management systems. Agronomy Journal 99: 1629–1634.

Maxwell, B.D., Smith, R.G., Brelsford, M. (2007) Wild oat (Avena fatua) seed bank dynamics in transition to organic wheat production systems. Weed Science 55: 212-217.

Smith, R.G., Gross, K.L. (2007) Assembly of weed communities along a crop diversity gradient. Journal of Applied Ecology 44: 1046-1056.

Menalled, F.D., Smith, R.G. (2007) Competitiveness of herbicide resistant and susceptible kochia (Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad.) under contrasting management practices. Weed Biology and Management 7: 115-119.

Menalled, F.D., Smith, R.G., Dauer, J.T., Fox, T.B. (2007) Impact of agricultural management on carabid communities and weed seed predation. Agriculture, Ecosystems, & Environment 118: 49-54.

Smith, R.G., Gross, K.L. (2006) Rapid change in the germinable fraction of the weed seed bank in crop rotations. Weed Science 54: 1094-1100.

Smith, R.G., Maxwell, B.D., Menalled, F.D., Rew, L.J. (2006) Lessons from agriculture may improve the management of invasive plants in wildland systems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4: 428-434.

Smith, R.G. (2006) Timing of tillage is an important filter on the assembly of weed communities. Weed Science 54: 705-712.

Smith, R.G., Gross, K.L. (2006) Weed community and corn yield variability in diverse management systems. Weed Science 54: 106-113.

Smith, R.G., Gross, K.L., Januchowski, S. (2005) Earthworms and weed seed distribution in annual crops. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 108: 363-367.

Selected Service Activities

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture (2011-)
  • Associate Editor, Agronomy Journal (2007-2011)
  • Chair, Agroecology Section, Ecological Society of America (2010-2012)
  • Chair, Weed Biology and Ecology Session, Weed Science Society of America (2010)
  • Chair, Weed Biology and Ecology Section, Northeast Weed Science Society (2010)
  • Vice-Chair, Agroecology Section, Ecological Society of America (2008-2010)
  • Member, Biology of Weeds Committee, Weed Science Society of America (2009-12)
  • Member, Research and Competitive Grants Committee, Weed Science Society of America (2007-)
James Hall, Room 264
Durham, NH 03824