Photo of Adam Smith

Adam Smith

Adjunct Professor

Office:National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment and Climate Change Canada
1125 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6
Office Hours: Flexible, contact by email.
Website:Visit my website

Current Research

My research is focused on the development and application of statistical models in ecology and conservation, particularly Bayesian models, and in applications related to landscape ecology, wildlife population management, and urban ecology. Many of my current research projects focus on designing statistical models to track the population status and trends of Canada’s birds, using long-term monitoring data from a range of survey programs. I have a particular interest in the conservation-implications of different statistical models; since all ecological field data includes some sampling error, different statistical models and statistical metrics applied to the same data, can tell us very different things about ecological systems and population status. I am also very interested in questions that relate to the environmental causes of population change, and I have ongoing projects related to the effects of spruce budworm outbreaks on forest birds and annual changes in moisture (drought and rainfall) on grassland birds. Another theme in my research focuses on the relationships between birds and urban development, conducted through field studies of birds in and around the city of Ottawa (


Selected Publications

Smith A.C., Hudson, M.-A.R., Downes, C., and Francis, C.M.  2015. Change points in the population trends of aerial-insectivorous birds in North America: synchronized in time across species and regions. PLoS One 10:e0130768.

Smith, A.C., Francis, C., and Fahrig, L. 2014. Similar effects of residential and non-residential vegetation on bird diversity in suburban neighbourhoods. Urban Ecosystems. 17:27-44.

Smith A.C., Hudson, M.-A.R., Downes, C., and Francis, C.M.  2014. Estimating breeding bird survey trends and annual indices for Canada: how do the new hierarchical Bayesian estimates differ from previous estimates? Canadian Field-Naturalist 128:119-134.

Patenaude, T., Smith, A.C., Fahrig, L. 2015. Disentangling the effects of wetland cover and urban development on quality of remaining wetlands. Urban Ecosystems 18:3, 663-684.

Smith, A.C., Koper, N., Francis, C., and Fahrig, L. 2009. Confronting Collinearity: comparing methods for disentangling the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Landscape Ecology. 24:1271-1285.

Research Areas

Ecological statistics, Conservation ecology, Time-series modeling of populations, Urban ecology