Thomas M. Smith, Associate Professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, received his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Tennessee. His most recent research has focused on the development and application of computer models to assess the response of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO2 and climate change. As part of this work he has served on numerous national and international panels that have addressed the potential influence of human activities on the global environment. He has authored over 80 publications based on his research, and he has been recognized as one of the most cited scientists in the field of global change research. His work has taken him to over 70 countries and 6 continents. Before coming to the University of Virginia, he has served on the faculty of the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) and the Australian National University (Canberra, Australia). In addition, he has held research scientist positions at both Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN, USA) and the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). He has over 20 years of experience teaching the science of ecology to both science and non-science majors. He is the co-author of one of the leading ecology textbooks (Elements of Ecology 8th ed, Benjamin Cummings – Pearson Education) which in addition to the English language and international editions, has been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, Korean and Chinese.