PhD Student, School of Earth and Space Exploration
Research Interests: Astrobiology, Metabolic Evolution, Origin of Life, Space Exploration, Biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, isotope geochemistry, paleoclimatology
Education: BS in Astronomy/Astrophysics and Physics from University of Michigan
Current Research: Harrison B. Smith is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University (ASU). His research is broadly concerned with understanding the origin and evolution of life on Earth, using tools developed for bioinformatics and complex systems science. He focuses on understanding how different scales of biology interact--from individuals, to ecosystems, to the biosphere as a whole. He also studies how chemical and biological systems process and transfer information. A small portion of his time is spent in a trace-metal clean lab, analyzing strontium and calcium isotopes in order to better understand the history of Earth’s climate and oceans. Additionally, he investigates new approaches for detecting life on exoplanets, using network theory and Bayesian inference. Before coming to ASU, Harrison worked as a cubesat engineer in the Mission Design Division at NASA Ames Research Center. As an undergraduate, he gained research experience in planetary neutron and gamma ray spectroscopy, as well as cosmology instrumentation design. He received his B.S. in Physics and Astronomy/Astrophysics from the University of Michigan.