Dr. Smith obtained her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia where she focused on using radio telescopes to study the formation and dynamics of high latitude molecular clouds, a key component of the diffuse interstellar medium, the investigation of which is useful for understanding the atomic–molecular transition of gas in our galaxy. Previously, she also acquired an M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts in Astrophysics from Agnes Scott College (Class of 2008) where began her interests in radio astronomy.
Dr. Smith primarily studies regions that are best described as small molecular clouds near the disk–halo interface of our Galaxy. These types of clouds generally lack star formation which means they are excellent laboratories for studying the effects that other processes, such as interstellar turbulence and magnetic fields, have on the formation and structure of molecular clouds.
- Spectroscopic surveys of atomic and molecular lines in the diffuse ISM (PI)
- OH 18-cm observations of comets (PI)
- Spectropolarimetric studies of molecular clouds (PI)
- Fast Radio Burst search using AO drift scan data (Co-I)
Dr. Smith has been involved in mentoring undergraduate students in radio astronomy research since 2018.