C. Michael Smith, ESA Fellow (2006)

Dr. Charles Michael Smith, a professor of entomology at Kansas State University (KSU), was elected as Fellow in 2006. He is internationally recognized for his research of crop plant resistance to arthropod pests, which has focused on identification, categorization, mapping, and expression of plant genes involved in compatible and incompatible arthropod-plant interactions.

Smith was born in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1949, where he attended elementary school and high school. He attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University receiving his B.S. degree in biology in 1971. He then entered the graduate program in entomology at Mississippi State University, earning his M.S. degree in 1973 and a Ph.D. in 1976. He was a postdoctoral research assistant at North Carolina State University for two years and accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Entomology at Louisiana State University, attaining the rank of full professor in 1988. Smith served as the chair of the Division of Entomology at the University of Idaho from 1988–1990 and as head of the Department of Entomology at KSU from 1990–1996.

He has authored or co-authored over 100-refereed scientific papers and written the books Plant Resistance to InsectsA Fundamental Approach and Plant Resistance to ArthropodsMolecular and Conventional Approaches. Smith co-edited Techniques for Evaluating Insect Resistance in Crop Plants, the basic “how to” reference for students and established scientists in the area of plant resistance to arthropods. He has been an invited speaker at scientific meetings in 16 countries, including four International Congresses of Entomology; the Colombian Entomological Society; the International Organization for Biological Control Conference on Breeding for Plant Resistance to Insects, Mites, and Pathogens; the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB); the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); and the Institute of Arable Crops Research-Rothamsted.

Smith has been an active participant in ESA since 1972, having served at the societal and branch levels, and as a subject editor of the Journal of Economic Entomology since 1998. In addition, he has received several professional awards, including the ESA 2009 North Central Branch Recognition Award, the 2010 National ESA Recognition Award, the KSU 2009 Gamma Sigma Delta Distinguished Faculty Award, and the KSU 2004 E. Walter Morrison Award. In 2002, he was selected as a Fulbright Research and Teaching Scholar in the Czech Republic, and lectured at the Czech Institute of Experimental Botany, the Charles University, the Warsaw Agricultural University, and the Polish National Institute of Plant Breeding.

Many of Smith’s graduate students and post-doctoral fellows have achieved successful careers in academia, industry, and government. Smith, a Cherokee Indian Nation citizen, is married to Rita (Reid) Smith, a registered pharmacist. They have two daughters, Segen Elizabeth Chase, M.D. and Sonder Michele Crane, M.D., and two granddaughters. His hobbies include travel, vocal and instrumental music, gardening, and photography.

(updated June, 2012)