jeff smith (

Jeff Smith has recently added Dictyostelium discoideum the the social microbes he studies.  He has tackled questions such as how do antibiotic resistance plasmids evolve, how do we quantitatively test social evolution theory with real microbial data and what traits are responsible for social competition among Myxococcus (bacteria), and how do those traits evolve. After receiving his BS in Physics from Rice Univeristy he went on to get his PhD in Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution from Emory University in 2006. His first postdoc was with Greg Velicer where jeff studied Myxococcus and social evolution. One of the papers he published from that time was an influential generalization of Hamilton’s rule. In 2010, he returned to Rice University to work with Dictyostelium discoideum in the Strassmann/Queller lab to study the ecological and biological determinants of social structure using D. discoideum as his study organism. This work has continued at Wash U.. In his spare time, you can catch him writing about his favorite research topic at:


smith j, Van Dyken JD & Velicer GJ (Submitted) Non-adaptive processes can create the appearance of facultative cheating in microbes.

smith j & Velicer GJ (Submitted) Facultative social exploitation among Myxococcus bacteria indirectly caused by evolution in an alternative environment.

smith j (2012) Tragedy of the commons among antibiotic resistance plasmids. Evolution

smith j (2011)  Distinguishing causes of virulence evolution: Reply to Alizon & Michalakis. Evolution 65: 3639–3641.

Abbot P, Abe J, Alcock J & 134 other authors (2011) Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality. Nature 471: E1–E4.

smith j (2011) Superinfection drives virulence evolution in experimental populations of bacteria and plasmids. Evolution. 65: 831-841.

smith j, Van Dyken JD & Zee PC (2010) A generalization of Hamilton’s rule for the evolution of microbial cooperation. Science 328: 1700–1703.

Smith J (2007) A gene’s-eye view of symbiont transmission. American Naturalist 170: 542–550.

Smith J (2001) The social evolution of bacterial pathogenesis. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 268: 61–69.

Smith JS & Nikonowicz EP (2000) Phosphorothioate substitution can substantially alter RNA conformation. Biochemistry 39: 5642–5652.

Nikonowicz EP & Smith JS (1999) NMR spectroscopic investigations of phosphorothioate containing RNAs. Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon and the Related Elements 146: 305–308.

Smith JS & Nikonowicz EP (1998) NMR structure and dynamics of an RNA motif common to the spliceosome branchpoint helix and the RNA binding site for phage GA coat protein. Biochemistry 37: 13486–13498.