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Associate Professor Abby Smith
OAR theme director
Head of Marine Science Department

Current research

Abby Smith is a geobiochemist who studies marine skeletal carbonates. She is particularly interested in carbonate production rates, taphonomic processes, and environmental influences on calcification and skeletal mineralogy.


While her especial interest is in marine bryozoans, she works with most temperate invertebrate groups, especially those who contribute greatly to sediments or reef-structures. She and her students are investigating the effects of sea-water chemistry on calcification and preservation in a range of marine invertebrates.

For more information see Abby’s webpage or email her.

Recent publications

Smith, A.M., Berman, J., Key, M.M., Jr., Winter, D.J. "Not all sponges will thrive in a high-CO2 ocean: Review of the mineralogy of calcifying sponges." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, October 2013; doi 10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.10.004

Smith, A.M., Riedi, M.A., Winter, D.J. "Temperate Reefs in a Changing Ocean: Skeletal Carbonate Mineralogy of Serpulids." Feature Article in Marine Biology 160: 2281-2294, 2013. doi: 10.1007/s00227-013-2210-z

Wolfe, K., Smith, A.M., Trimby, P., and Byrne, M. (2012). Microstructure of the paper nautilus (Argonauta nodosa) shell and the novel application of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) to address effects of ocean acidification. Marine Biology, August 2012: DOI 10.1007/s00227-012-2032-4.

Smith, A.M., Wolfe, K., and Byrne, M. “Argonauta at risk: dissolution and carbonate mineralogy of egg cases,” in Proceedings of the International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, edited by D. Yellowlees and T.P. Hughes, ICRS2012_8A_1. Townsville: James Cook University, 2012.

Smith, A.M. and Garden, C.J., “Being a Bimineral Bryozoan in an Acidifying Ocean,” in Bryozoan Studies 2010, Proceedings of the 15th IBA Conference, Kiel, Germany, 2-7 August 2010, edited by Andrej Ernst, Priska Schafer, and Joachim Scholz, 327-338. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2013.

Smith, A.M., Sutherland, J.E., Kregting, L., and Farr, T.J. (2012) Phylomineralogy of the Coralline red algae: correlation of skeletal mineralogy with molecular phylogeny. Phytochemistry, 81:97-108.

Smith, A.M. and Lawton, E.I. (2010) Growing up in the temperate zone: age, growth, calcification and carbonate mineralogy of Melicerita chathamensis (Bryozoa) in southern New Zealand. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 298: 271-277.

Smith, A.M. and Girvan, E. (2010). Understanding a bimineralic bryozoan: Skeletal structure and carbonate mineralogy of Odontionella cyclops (Cheilostomata: Bryozoa) in New Zealand. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 289: 113-112.

Smith, A.M., Wood, A.C.L., Liddy, M.F.A., Shears, A., and Fraser, C., (2010). Human impacts in an urban port: the carbonate budget, Otago Harbour, New Zealand. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 90: 73-79.

Smith, A.M. (2007). Age, growth and carbonate production by erect rigid bryozoans in Antarctica. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 256: 86-98.

Smith, A.M., Key, M.M. Jr., and Gordon, D.P. (2006). Skeletal mineralogy of bryozoans: Taxonomic and temporal patterns. Earth-Science Reviews, 78:287-3