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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

Adam Smith

Curator, Bob Campbell Geology Museum
SC Botanical Garden

Office: Geology Museum
Phone: 864-656-4602
Fax: 656-4601

Personal Website:


Educational Background

Ph.D. Geological Sciences
University of Texas at Austin 2011

Courses Taught

Invertebrate Paleontology


My research is focused on exploring the taxonomic diversity, morphological variation and temporal distribution of birds in the fossil record and using those data to better understand how evolutionary patterns in extinct and living birds are linked with changes in climate.

Research Interests

Avian Evolution


2020 Ksepka, D.T., A.M. Balanoff, N.A. Smith, J.B. Smaers Et al. Tempo and Pattern of Avian Brain Size Evolution. Current Biology.

2020 Smith, N.A., T.A. Stidham, and J.S. Mitchell. The first fossil owl (Aves, Strigiformes) from the Paleogene of Africa. Diversity, Special Issue: Origins of Modern Avian Biodiversity.

2019 PowelL, C.L. II, R.W. Boessenecker, N.A. Smith, R.J. Fleck, S.J. Carlson, J.R. Allen, D.J. Long, A.M. Sarna-Wojcicki, and R.B. Guruswami-Naidu. Geology and Paleontology of the Late Miocene Wilson Grove Formation at Bloomfield Quarry, Sonoma County, California. USGS Scientific Investigations Report.

2019 Havstad, J.C. and N.A. Smith. Fossils with feathers and philosophy of science. Systematic Biology.

2018 Smith, N.A., A.M. DeBee and J.A. Clarke. Systematics and phylogeny of the Zygodactylidae (Aves, Neognathae): with description of a new species from the early Eocene of Wyoming, USA. PeerJ.

2016 Smith, N.A., A.M. Balanoff and D.T. Ksepka. Symposium on ‘Evolving approaches for studying the anatomy of the avian brain’: Introduction. Journal of Anatomy.

2015 A.M. Balanoff, G.S. Bever, M.W. Colbert, B-A. S. Bhullar, J.A. Clarke, F. Degrange, D. Field, P.M. Gignac, D. Ksepka, R. Ridgely, N.A. Smith, C. Torres, S. Walsh, L. Witmer. Best practices for digitally constructing endocranial casts: examples from birds and their dinosaurian relatives. Journal of Anatomy.

2015 Smith, N.A. Body size evolution of the Pan-Alcidae: the effects of combining neontological and paleontological data. Paleobiology.

2015 Ksepka, D., J. Parham, J. Allman, M. Benton, M. Carrano, K. Cranston, P. Donoghue, J. Head, E. Hermsen, R. Irmis, W. Joyce, M. Kohli, K. Lamm, D. Leehr, J. Patane, P.D. Polly, M. Phillips, N.A. Smith, J. Ware, R. Warnock, N.D. Smith. The Fossil Calibration Database: a new resource for divergence dating. Systematic Biology.

2015 Smith, N.A., L.M. Chiappe, J.A. Clarke, S.V. Edwards, S.J. Nesbitt, M.A. Norell, T.A. Stidham, A. Turner, M. van Tuinen, J. Vinther, X. Xu. Rhetoric or reality: a commentary on "Bird origins anew" by A. Feduccia. The Auk: Ornithological Advances.

2015 Smith, N.A. 16 vetted fossil calibrations for divergence dating of Charadriiformes (Aves, Neognathae). Paleontologia Electronica-Fossil Calibration Series.

2015 Stidham, T.A. and N.A. Smith. An ameghinornithid-like bird (Aves, Cariamae, Ameghinornithidae?) from the early Oligocene of Egypt. Paleontologia Electronica.

2014 Smith, N.A. and J.A. Clarke. Systematics and Evolution of the Pan-Alcidae (Aves, Charadriiformes). Journal of Avian Biology.

2014 Clarke, J.A., D.T. Ksepka, N.A. Smith and M.A. Norell. Corrigendum: Combined phylogenetic analysis of a new North American fossil species confirms widespread Eocene distribution for stem rollers (Aves, Coracii). Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society.

2014 Smith, N.A. and J.A. Clarke. Osteological histology of the Pan-Alcidae (Aves, Charadriiformes): correlates of wing-propelled diving and flightlessness. The Anatomical Record.

2014 Smith, N.A. The fossil record and phylogeny of the auklets (Pan-Alcidae, Aethiini). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

2013 Smith, N.A. Avian fossils from the Early Miocene Moghra Formation of Egypt. Ostrich: African Journal of Ornithology.

2013 Martin, J.M., N.A. Smith and C.D. Francis. Removing the entropy from the definition of entropy: clarifying the relationship between evolution, entropy, and the second law of thermodynamics. Evolution Education and Outreach.

2013 Smith, N.A. and G. Mayr. Earliest northeastern Atlantic Ocean basin record of an auk (Charadriiformes, Pan-Alcidae): fossil remains from the Miocene of Germany. Journal of Ornithology.

2013 Smith, N.A. A new species of auk (Charadriiformes, Pan-Alcidae) from the Miocene of Mexico. Condor.

2012 Smith, N.A. and J.A. Clarke. Endocranial anatomy of the Charadriiformes: sensory system variation and the evolution of wing-propelled diving. Plos One.

2011 Smith, N.A. and J.A. Clarke. An alphataxonomic revision of extinct and extant razorbills (Aves, Alcidae): a combined morphometric and phylogenetic approach. Ornithological Monographs.

2011 Boessenecker, R.W. and N.A. Smith. Latest Pacific basin record of a bony-toothed bird (Aves, Pelagornithidae) from the Pliocene Purisima Formation of California, U.S.A. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

2011 Smith, N.A. Taxonomic revision and phylogenetic analysis of the flightless Mancallinae (Aves, Pan-Alcidae). Zookeys.

2009 Clarke, J.A., D.T. Ksepka, N.A. Smith and M.A. Norell. Combined phylogenetic analysis of a new North American fossil species confirms widespread Eocene distribution for stem rollers (Aves, Coracii). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
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