Picture of Alan Smith

Alan R. Smith

Research Botanist
University Herbarium
1001 Valley Life Sciences Bldg. #2465
Berkeley, CA 94720-2465

(510) 643-1000

Ferns became my obsession and love after taking an O.T.S. course in Costa Rica in the summer of 1967, while a graduate student at Iowa State University. After coming to the University Herbarium in 1969, other field work in the tropics ensued, particularly in Mexico and Costa Rica. This eventually led to floristic work and the challenge of identifying thousands of exotic ferns for the herbarium. Some of the floristic work has been collaborative, especially with colleagues at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I am retired but still active, concentrating on curatorial activities, fern and lycophyte identifications, and various research projects.

Research Interests:

Dr. Smith supervises matters concerning pteridophyte collections and handles public service identifications of pteridophytes for campus, municipal, state, and federal agencies, as well as for private institutions and public universities.

His major research efforts since 1990 included studies of:

He also carried out floristic studies on

Selected Publications:

Smith, A. R. 1971. Systematics of the neotropical species of Thelypteris sect. Cyclosorus. Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 59: 1--143.

Smith, A. R. 1980. Taxonomy of Thelypteris subg. Steiropteris (including Glaphyropteris). Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 76: 1--44.

Smith, A. R. 1981. Pteridophytes. In D. E. Breedlove, ed., Flora of Chiapas, Part 2. Pp. 1--370. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences.

Smith, A. R. 1983. Polypodiaceae -- Thelypterideae. [Family 14(4)]. No. 18 (pp. 1--148) of Flora of Ecuador, eds. G. Harling and B. Sparre. Stockholm: Swedish Research Council.

Smith, A. R. 1993. Phytogeographic principles and their use in understanding fern relationships. J. Biogeogr. 20: 255--264. pdf available.

Smith, A. R. 1995. Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana, vol. 2, Pteridophytes, Spermatophytes: Acanthaceae--Araceae. ed. J. A. Steyermark, P. E. Berry, and B. K. Holst. Timber Press, Portland. [Pteridophytes: pp. 1--334; parts for which A. R. Smith is responsible include pp. 1--54; 67--89; 106--140; 144--157; 159--185; 189--190; 206--280; 287--334].

Pryer, K. M., A. R. Smith, J. S. Hunt, and J.-Y. Dubuisson. 2001. rbcL data reveal two monophyletic groups of filmy ferns (Filicopsida: Hymenophyllaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 88: 1118--1130.

Pryer, K. M., H. Schneider, A. R. Smith, R. Cranfill, P. G. Wolf, J. S. Hunt, and S. D. Sipes. 2001. Horsetails and ferns are a monophyletic group and the closest living relatives to seed plants. Nature 409: 618--622. pdf available.

Smith, A. R., and R. Cranfill. 2002. Intrafamilial relationships of the thelypteroid ferns (Thelypteridaceae). Amer. Fern J. 92: 131--149. pdf available.

Pryer, K. M., E. Schuettpelz, P. G. Wolf, H. Schneider, A. R. Smith, and R. Cranfill. 2004. Phylogeny and evolution of ferns (Monilophytes) with a focus on the early leptosporangiate divergences. Amer. J. Bot. 91: 1582--1598. pdf available.

Schneider, H., A. R. Smith, R. Cranfill, T. E. Hildebrand, C. H. Haufler, and T. A. Ranker. 2004. Unraveling the phylogeny of polygrammoid ferns (Polypodiaceae and Grammitidaceae): exploring aspects of the diversification of epiphytic plants. Molec. Phylogenet. Evol. 31: 1041--1063. pdf available.

Ranker, T. A., A. R. Smith, B. S. Parris, J. M. O. Geiger, C. H. Haufler, S. C. K. Straub, and H. Schneider. 2004. Phylogeny and evolution of grammitid ferns (Grammitidaceae): a case of rampant morphological homoplasy. Taxon 53: 415--428. pdf available.

Mickel, J. T., and A. R. Smith. 2004. The pteridophytes of Mexico. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 88: 1--1055 + xxiv. Reviewed by B. J. Hoshizaki in Pacific Horticulture 66: 12--13. 2005; by J. D. Tejero-Díex & L. Pacheco in Acta Bot. Mexicana 71: 93--94.

Smith, A. R. 2005. Floristics in the 21st century: balancing user-needs and phylogenetic information. Fern Gaz. 17: 105--137. pdf available.

Smith, A. R., H.-P. Kreier, H. Schneider, C. H. Haufler, and T. A. Ranker. 2006. Serpocaulon (Polypodiaceae), a new genus segregated from old Polypodium. Taxon 55: 919--930. pdf available.

Smith, A. R., K. M. Pryer, E. Schuettpelz, P. Korall, H. Schneider, and P. G. Wolf. 2006. A classification for extant pteridophytes. Taxon 55: 705--731. pdf available.

Schneider, H., A. R. Smith, and K. M. Pryer. 2009. Is morphology really at odds with molecules in estimating fern phylogeny? Syst. Bot. 34: 455--475. pdf available.

A full list of publications since 1993 can be found on the UC/JEPS Publications Page.

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This page last updated Dec. 17, 2013