Deborah Smith

Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas
Primary office:
Haworth Hall, 3038
University of Kansas


Dr. Smith's research combines molecular systematics with the study of social arthropods. I am particularly interested in the systematics, population biology and biogeography of honey bees (Apis) and social spiders (Anelosimus & Stegodyphus).


Ph.D., Cornell University, 1982

Selected Publications

Su, Y.-C., Peng, P., Elgar, M. A. and Smith, D. R. 2018. Dual pathways in social evolution: population genetic structure of group-living and solitary species of kleptoparasitic spiders (Argyrodinae: Theridiidae) PLOS ONE 13(11): e0208123.  doi: 0.1371/journal.pone.0208123
Chomphuphuang, N., Smith, D., Wongvilas, S., Sivayyapram, V., Songsangchote, C. and Warrit, N. 2017. New species of Southeast Asian Dwarf Tarantula from Thailand: Phlogiellus Pocock, 1897 (Theraphosidae, Selenocosmiinae). Zookeys 684: 57-73. doi: 10.3897/Zookeys.684.12558

Sivayyapram, V., Smith, D. R., Weingdow, S. and Warrit, N. 2017. A new Liphistius species (Mesothelae:  Liphistiidae: Liphistiinae) from Thailand, with notes on its natural history. Journal of Arachnology 45(3): 287-295
Ventura, L., Smith, D. R. and Lubin, Y. 2017. Crowding leads to fitness benefits and reduced dispersal in a colonial spider. Behavioral Ecology 28(5): 1384-1392. doi:10.1093/beheco/arx106

Smith, D. R., Su, Y-C., Berger-Tal, R., and Lubin Y.D. 2016. Population genetic evidence for sex-specific dispersal in an inbred social spider. Ecology and Evolution 6 (15): 5479–5490.
Yip, E. C., Berner-Aharon, N., Smith, D. R., and Lubin, Y. 2016.  Coy males and seductive females in the sexually cannibalistic colonial spider, Cyrtophora citricola. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0155433.
DeFelice, D. S., C. Ross, M. Simone-Finstrom, N. Warrit, D. R. Smith, M. Burgett, P. Sukumalanand, and O. Rueppell. 2015. Geographic variation in polyandry of the eastern honey bee, Apis cerana, in Thailand. Insectes Sociaux 62.

Su, Y.-C., and D. R. Smith. 2014. Evolution of host use, group-living, and foraging behaviors in kleptoparasitic spiders: Molecular phylogeny of the Argyrodinae (Araneae: Theridiidae). Invertebrate Systematics. 28: 415-431. doi:10.1071/IS14010

Berger-Tal, R., C. Tuni, Y. Lubin, D. Smith, and T. Bilde. 2014. Fitness consequences of outcrossing in a social spider with an inbreeding mating system. Evolution 68(2): 343-351. doi:10.1111/evo.12264

DeFelice, D. S., C. Ross, M. Simone-Finstrom, N. Warrit, D. R. Smith, M. Burgett, P. Sukumalanand, and O. Rueppell. 2014. Geographic variation in polyandry of the eastern honey bee, Apis cerana, in Thailand. Insectes Sociaux. doi:10.1007/s00040-014-0371-5

Dietemann, V. et al. 2012. "Joining forces against Varroa destructor - the major pest of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera" Journal of Apicultural Research. 51(1). 125-132.

Rueppell, O., A. M. Hayes, N. Warrit, and D. R. Smith. 2011. "Population structure of Apis cerana in Thailand reflects biogeography and current gene flow rather than Varroa mite association" Insectes Sociaux. 58. 445-452.

Koeniger, N., G. Koeniger, and D. R. Smith. 2011. "Phylogeny of honeybees" Honeybees of Asia. edited by Hepburn, H. R. and S. E. Radloff. 23-50.

Su, Y., Y. Chang, D. R. Smith, M. Zhu, M. Kuntner, and I. Tso. 2011. "Biogeography and speciation patterns of the golden orb spider genus Nephila (Araneae: Nephilidae) in Asia" Zoological Science. 28(1). 47-55.

Smith, D. R.. 2011. "Asian honey bees and mitochondrial DNA" Honeybees of Asia. edited by Hepburn, H. R. and S. E. Radloff. 69-93.

Smith, D. R., S. van Rijn, J. Henschel, T. Bilde, and Y. Lubin. 2009. "AFLP fingerprints support limited gene flow among social spider populations" Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 97. 235-246.

Thummajitsakul, S., S. Klinbunga, D. R. Smith, and S. Sittipraneed. 2008. "Genetic diversity and population structure of Trigona pagdeni Schwarz in Thailand" Apidologie. 39(4). 446-455.

Tan, K., N. Warrit, and D. R. Smith. 2007. "Mitochondrial DNA diversity of Chinese Apis cerana" Apidologie. 38. 238-246.

Suppasat, T., D. R. Smith, S. Deowanish, and S. Wongsiri. 2007. "Matrilineal origins of Apis mellifera in Thailand" Apidologie. 38. 323-334.

Johannesen, J., Y. Lubin, D. R. Smith, and J. M. Schneider. 2007. "Age and evolution of sociality in Stegodyphus spiders: a molecular phylogenetic perspective" Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 274. 231-237.

Whitfield, C. W., S. K. Behura, S. Berlocher, A. G. Clark, S. Johnston, W. S. Sheppard, D. R. Smith, A. V. Suarez, D. Weaver, and N. D. Tsutsui. 2006. "Thrice out of Africa: ancient and modern expansions of the honey bee, Apis mellifera" Science. 314. 642-649.

Savit, A. Z., D. R. Smith, and O. R. Taylor. 2006. "Mitochondrial DNA and allozyme frequencies in an Africanized Apis mellifera population in southern Oklahoma (short communication)" Journal of Apicultural Research. 45(3). 221-222.

Warrit, N., D. R. Smith, and C. Lekprayoon. 2006. "Genetic subpopulations of Varroa mites and their Apis cerana hosts in Thailand" Apidologie. 37. 19-30.

Cho, S., Z. Y. Huang, D. R. Green, D. R. Smith, and J. Zhang. 2006. "Evolution of the complementary sex-determination gene of honey bees: Balancing selection and trans-species polymorphisms" Genome Research. 16. 1366-1375.

Bilde, T., Y. Lubin, D. R. Smith, J. M. Schneider, and A. A. Maklakov. 2005. "The transition to social inbred mating systems in spiders: role of inbreeding tolerance in a subsocial predecessor" Evolution. 59(1). 160-174.

Smith, D. R., N. Warrit, G. W. Otis, P. H. Thai, and D. Q. Tam. 2005. "A Scientific Note on high variation in the non-coding mitochondrial sequences of Apis cerana F. from South East Asia" Journal of Apicultural Research. 44(4). 197-198.

Schneider, S. S., G. DeGrandi-Hoffman, and D. R. Smith. 2004. "The African Honeybee: Factors Contributing to a Successful Biological Invasion" Annual Review of Entomology. 49. 351-376.

Warrit, N., T. Hagen, D. R. Smith, and I. Çakmak. 2004. "A Survey of Varroa destructor strains on Apis mellifera in Turkey" Journal of Apicultural Research. 43(4). 190-191.

Smith, D. R., N. Warrit, and H. R. Hepburn. 2004. "Apis cerana from Myanmar (Burma): Unusual distribution of mitochondrial lineages" Apidologie. 35. 637-644.

Smith, D. R., M. R. Palmer, G. W. Otis, and M. Damus. 2003. "Mitochondrial DNA and AFLP markers support species status of Apis nigrocincta" Insectes Sociaux. 50. 185-190.

Helms Cahan, S., J. D. Parker, S. W. Rissing, R. A. Johnson, T. S. Polony, M. D. Weiser, and D. R. Smith. 2002. "Extreme genetic differences between queens and workers in hybridizing Pogonomyrmex harvester ants" Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences Series B. 269(1503). 1871-1877.

Whitehouse, M., I. Agnarsson, T. Miyashita, D. R. Smith, K. Cangialosi, T. Masumoto, D. Li, and Y. Henaut. 2002. "Argyrodes: Phylogeny, sociality and interspecific interactions: A report on the Argyrodes, Symposium, Badplaas 2001" Journal of Arachnology. 30(2). 238-245.

Hepburn, H. R., D. R. Smith, S. E. Radloff, and G. W. Otis. 2001. "Infraspecific categories of Apis cerana: morphometric, allozymal and mtDNA diversity" Apidologie. 32. 3-23.

Palmer, M. R., D. R. Smith, and O. Kaftanoğlu. 2000. "Turkish honeybees: genetic variation and evidence for a fourth lineage of Apis mellifera mtDNA" Journal of Heredity. 91. 42-46.

Sheppard, W. S. and D. R. Smith. 2000. "Identification of African-derived bees in the Americas: A Survey of Methods" Annals of the American Entomological Society. 93. 159-176.

Smith, D. R., L. Villafuerte, G. W. Otis, and M. R. Palmer. 2000. "Biogeography of Apis cerana and A. nigrocincta: Insights from mtDNA studies" Apidologie. 31. 265-279.

Smith, D. R., A. Slaymaker, M. R. Palmer, and O. Kaftanoğlu. 1997. "Turkish honey bees belong to the east Mediterranean mitochondrial lineage" Apidologie. 28. 269-274.

Smith, D. R., B. Crespi, and F. Bookstein. 1997. "The Procrustes method and fluctuating asymmetry in the honey bee, Apis mellifera: effects of ploidy and hybridization" Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 10. 551-574.

Smith, D. R.. 1997. "Notes on the reproductive biology and social behavior of two sympatric species of Philoponella, Mello-Leitao (Araneae: Uloboridae)" Journal of Arachnology. 25. 11-19.

Smith, D. R. and R. H. Hagen. 1996. "The biogeography of Apis cerana as revealed by mitochondrial DNA sequence data" Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 69(4). suppl., 294-310.

Smith, D. R. and R. H. Hagen. 1996. "Population structure and Interdemic selection in the cooperative spider Anelosimus eximius (Araneae: Theridiidae)" Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 9. 589-608.

Smith, D. R. and T. C. Glenn. 1995. "Allozyme polymorphisms in Spanish honey bees" Journal of Heredity. 86. 12-16.

Smith, D. R. and R. H. Hagen. 1994. "The biogeography of Apis cerana based on mtDNA sequence data" Les Insectes Sociaux, 12th Congress of the IUSSI. edited by Lenoir, A., G. Arnold, and M. Lepage. 38.

Smith, D. R. and M. S. Engel. 1994. "Population structure in an Indian cooperative spider, Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae)" Journal of Arachnology. 22(2). 108-113.

Engel, M. S. and D. R. Smith. 1993. "Population genetics of a cooperative spider, Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Araneae: Eresidae)" American Arachnology. 48. 6.

Glenn, T. C. and D. R. Smith. 1993. "Genetic variation and subspecific relationships of Michigan elk (Cervus elaphus)" Journal of Mammalogy. 74. 782-792.

Hall, H. G. and D. R. Smith. 1993. "Comment -- Moritz, R. F. A. and M. S. Meusel, 1992 Mitochondrial gene frequencies in Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera L.): Theoretical model and empirical evidence" Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 6. 759-760.

Smith, D. R.. 1992. "Letter to Science: "Out of Africa: Honey Bee Hybrids"" Science. 256. 719-720.

Smith, D. R.. 1991. "Mitochondrial DNA and honey bee biogeography" Diversity in the Genus Apis. edited by Smith, D. R.. 131-176.

Smith, D. R., M. F. Palopoli, B. R. Taylor, L. Garnery, J. Cornuet, M. Solignac, and W. M. Brown. 1991. "Geographic overlap of two classes of mitochondrial DNA in Spanish honey bees (Apis mellifera iberica)" Journal of Heredity. 82. 96-100.

Smith, D. R.. 1991. "Diversity in the Genus Apis" 263.

Hall, H. G. and D. R. Smith. 1991. "Distinguishing African and European honeybee matrilines using amplified mitochondrial DNA" Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA. 88. 4548-4552.

Smith, D. R.. 1991. "African bees in the Americas: Insights from Biogeography and Genetics" Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 6. 17-21.

Smith, D. R. and W. M. Brown. 1991. "A mitochondrial DNA restriction enzyme cleavage map for the scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis (Iuridae)" Journal of Arachnology. 19. 85-87.

Smith, D. R. and W. M. Brown. 1990. "Restriction endonuclease cleavage site and length polymorphisms in mitochondrial DNA of Apis mellifera mellifera and A. m. carnica (Hymenoptera: Apidae)" Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 83. 81-88.

Smith, D. R., O. R. Taylor, and W. M. Brown. 1989. "Neotropical Africanized honeybees have African mitochondrial DNA" Nature. 339. 213-215.

Rissing, S. W., G. B. Pollock, M. R. Higgins, R. H. Hagen, and D. R. Smith. 1989. "Foraging specialization without relatedness or dominance among co-founding ant queens" Nature. 338. 420-422.

Smith, D. R. and W. M. Brown. 1988. "Mitochondrial DNA restriction site polymorphisms in American and Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera)" Experientia. 44. 257-260.

Hagen, R. H., D. R. Smith, and S. W. Rissing. 1988. "Genetic relatedness among co-foundresses of two desert ants Veromessor pergandei and Acromyrmex versicolor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)" Psyche. 95. 191-201.

Smith, D. R.. 1986. "Population genetics of Anelosimus eximius (Araneae: Theridiidae)" Journal of Arachnology. 14. 201-217.

Smith, D. R.. 1985. "Habitat use by colonies of Philoponella republicana (Araneae: Uloboridae)" Journal of Arachnology. 13. 363-373.

Smith, D. R.. 1983. "The ecological costs and benefits of communal behavior in a presocial spider" Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 13. 107-114.

Smith, D. R.. 1982. "Reproductive success of solitary and communal Philoponella oweni (Araneae: Uloboridae)" Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 11. 149-154.

Levi, H. W. and D. R. Smith. 1982. "A new colonial Anelosimus from Suriname (Araneae: Theridiidae)" Psyche. 89. 275-278.

Smith, D. R.. 1980. "Predation by Argyrodes (Theridiidae) on solitary and communal spiders" Psyche. 97. 349-355.

Smith, D. R.. 1980. "Behavioral interactions between parasites and their hosts: host suicide and the evolution of complex life cycles" American Naturalist. 116. 77-91.

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