Jesse Harris

Jesse obtained his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is currently finishing his Masters thesis at Middle Tennessee State University, focusing on comparative plastomics of Liquidambar (sweetgum) and how marker choice affects phylogeographic inference. Jesse has broad interests in floristics, biogeography, and genome evolution. He joined the Smith lab in the fall of 2018 to investigate systematics and the evolution of flower color in Clematis (Ranunculaceae).

Seth Raynor

Seth is a current Master’s student in the Museum and Field Studies program and a graduate assistant in the COLO Herbarium. Before moving to Colorado, he earned two Bachelor degrees in Plant Biology and Environmental Science with a minor in Applied Ecology from North Carolina State University. His undergraduate research took him to the Cerrado of Brazil where he studied above-ground carbon allocation in resprouting plants of different growth forms to determine if fire-defense strategies affect competitiveness in a fire suppressed system. After graduating Seth moved to Florida where he studied regional plant and lichen diversity, fire ecology, and rare plant demography as an ecological contractor. He is currently interested in Colorado lichen diversity and tackling the taxonomic discrepancies in the region. In his free time, Seth loves being in the backcountry looking for rocks to climb and natural experiences to encounter

Jacob Watts

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania where I would often explore the gorgeous North Eastern forests with friends and family. Over the years, my interests evolved as I continued exploring the natural world through teaching outdoor education and studying plant ecology. Today, I am broadly interested in plant evolutionary ecology and biogeography. I wonder why plants have certain characteristics and ask which characteristics drive plant distributions over time through changing climates to ultimately shape the plant communities we interact with today. Outside the lab, I am interested in all things outdoors. I rock climb, white water kayak, and mountain bike. Sometimes, I also run really long distances for fun. I aspire to lead a balanced, happy life outside and hopefully inspire others to do the same through teaching and researching ecology.