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Environmental Studies and Sciences

Kurt Smemo

Kurt Smemo
Assistant Professor Environmental Studies and Sciences Program

At Skidmore since 2015
Website: www.smemoecology.com

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Office: Dana 183
Phone: x5218 (off campus: 518-580-5218)
E-mail: ksmemo@skidmore.edu




The Skidmore Biogeochemistry Laboratory focuses on terrestrial ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry with a focus global environmental change impacts on forest, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems. We are particularly interested in how below-ground microbial processes mediate productivity and carbon and nutrient cycling patterns at the local to global scale. Students in the lab learn techniques for measuring biogeochemical process rates and quantifying ecosystem properties across varying spatial and temporal scales. Some specific research areas in which students are involved are:


Valverde-Barrantes, O.J., A. Horning, K.A. Smemo, and C.B. Blackwood. 2016.  Phylogenetically structured traits in root systems influence arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization in woody angiosperms. Plant and Soil doi: 10.1007/s11104-016-2820-6.

Carrino-Kyker, S.R., L.A. Kluber, S.P. Petersen K.P. Coyle, C. Hewins, J.L. DeForest, , and K.A. Smemo, and D.J. Burke. 2016.  Mycorrhizal fungal communities respond to experimental elevation of soil pH and P availability in temperate hardwood forests. FEMS Microbiology Ecology doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiw024.

Valverde-Barrantes, O.J., K.A. Smemo, and C.B. Blackwood. 2015.  Fine root morphology is phylogenetically structured, but nitrogen is related to the plant economics spectrum in temperate trees. Functional Ecology 29(6):796-807.

Valverde-Barrantes, O.J., K.A. Smemo, M. Kershner, and C.B. Blackwood.  2015.  Aggregated and complimentary: fine root distribution patterns in a temperate deciduous forest. New Phytologist .

Mahaney, W.M., K.L. Gross, C.B. Blackwood and K.A. Smemo. 2015. Short-term impacts of prairie grass re-establishment on soil properties and invasibility: Implications for restoration success.  Applied Vegetation Science 18(1):99-109.

Burke, D.J., C.R. Hewins, and K.A. Smemo. 2014. Ectomycorrhizal fungi isolated from old-growth northern hardwood forest display variability in extracellular enzyme activity in the presence of plant litter.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry 68:219-222.

V. Gupta, K.A. Smemo, J.B. Yavitt, and N. Basiliko. 2013. Stable isotopes reveal widespread anaerobic CH4 oxidation across peatland type and latitude. Environmental Science & Technology 47(15):8273-9, doi: 10.1021/es400484t.

Carrino-Kyker, S.R., K.A. Smemo, and D.J. Burke. 2013. Shotgun metagenomic analysis of metabolic diversity and microbial community structure in experimental vernal pools subjected to nitrate pulse. BMC Microbiology 13:78, doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-78.

Blackwood, C.B., K.A. Smemo, M.W. Kershner, L.M. Feinstein, and O.J. Valverde-Barrantes.  2013. Decay of ecosystem differences and decoupling of tree community-soil environment relationships at ecotones. Ecological Monographs, 83(3): 403–417.

Valverde-Barrantes, O.J., K.A. Smemo*, L.M. Feinstein, M.W. Kershner and C.B. Blackwood.  2013.  The distribution of below-ground traits is explained by intrinsic species differences and
intraspecific plasticity in response to root neighbors. Journal of Ecology 101(4): 933-942, doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12087.