Davida S. Smyth, Ph.D.

Davida S. Smyth, Ph.D.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Dr. Davida Smyth is an associate professor of microbiology at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where she directs the BSL-2 research lab. She conducts research with her undergraduate team in the area of comparative microbial genomics and evolution, studying Staphylococcus aureus from animals and from humans, and researches the role of the built environment and anthropogenic activity in driving antibiotic resistance, a major global health threat. She also engages in pedagogical research aimed at improving civic and scientific literacy in biology and on how integrating authentic research into the curriculum can improve student engagement and success in science.

Smyth is a Senior Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) Leadership Fellow as well as a Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) Fellow and Ambassador. She is Deputy Director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. She is also the co-PI of the NSF-funded Research Experiences in Microbiomes Research Coordination Network and co-PI of the NSF Funded Project "Collaborative Research: Metapopulation Modeling to Develop Strategies to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission in Public Spaces." She is a member of the editorial board of BMC Infectious Diseases, PLoS ONE and Science and Civic Engagement: An International Journal.

Most recently, Smyth developed and co-edited a special topics section of Frontiers in Microbiology, "Tools, Techniques, and Strategies for Teaching in a Real-World Context with Microbiology." Currently, she is spending her time sequencing SARS-CoV-2 viruses from New York city wastewater samples to ascertain the emergence of novel variants and she is conducting experiments on how to reduce virus spread and transmission through the air.

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