I am a Senior Lecturer based at the Adelaide Campus (Appleton Institute), where I teach into the undergraduate psychology course.
My area of research combines my background in comparative psychology and ethology with a multidisciplinary approach to the study of animal behaviour and human-animal interactions. My research largely focuses on canines (particularly dingoes), where I cover various topics such as cognition, behaviour, anatomy, the history of canids and their relationship with Indigenous Australians, domestication, the behaviour and enrichment of zoo animals, and the non-lethal management of carnivores. I am also interested in all things relating to human-animal interactions, including attitudes to wildlife, nature, and carnivores, as well as topics such as human-animal co-sleeping, animal-assisted therapy, and managing animals during natural disasters.
In 2019 I started a research group, 'Smith Human-Wildlife Coexistence Lab' (see www.conflict2coexistence.com). Members of the lab include staff and students based at CQUniversity, as well as collaborators from around the globe. We focus on exploring ways to foster co-existence between humans and wildlife. This involves examining the nature of human attitudes toward wildlife, the impact of humans on wildlife, and finding solutions to resolving the conflict. Our lab seeks to develop and test innovative ways to non-lethally manage Australian carnivores, as well as exploring ways to resolve the human elements of conflict in a way that meets the needs and views of all stakeholders.
Outside of teaching and research, I serve as a member of the CQUniversity Animal Ethics Committee (Cat B member); the scientific director of the Australian Dingo Foundation; and on the ‘Dingo Working Group’ under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, Canid Specialist Group.
For more information, and to keep up with my research activities, please visit my personal website www.howlingdingo.com.au.
I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:
At the level of Principal Supervisor
Evolutionary Biology - Behavioural Ecology
Evolutionary Biology - Ethology and Sociobiology
Zoology - Animal Behaviour
Environmental Science and Management - Conservation and Biodiversity
Environmental Science and Management - Wildlife and Habitat Management
Psychology - Psychology not elsewhere classified