Dr. Rose Smith is an urban ecologist and biogeochemist, currently serving as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant and Research Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences (SOBS). She currently teaches Urban Ecology, cross-listed with SOBS and the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning.
Rose is interested in the interaction between people and our environment, especially related to urban water use and water quality. She studies the drivers of and potential solutions to water-related challenges that communities face – from drought to toxic algal blooms and other water-quality related public health risks. Human decisions and adaptations are a key function of urban ecosystems, and Rose’s work addresses questions about the biophysical environments that emerge as cities grow and adapt to changing resources. She works closely with collaborators at the CEPD to address fundamental questions at the intersection of urban planning and ecology. She is currently involved in establishing the Landscape Lab, and additional recent projects include evaluating the role of plant diversity on pollutant removal from bioswales, developing methods for measuring evapotranspiration from plants used in urban ‘xeriscapes’, tracing sources of water and pollutants in the highly-urbanized Jordan River, UT. Prior to joining the University of Utah, Rose completed her Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Maryland, where she studied the effects of urban infrastructure on nutrient loading and stream metabolism of waterways that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.