Armed with a reputation for excellence in anthropology, research, and education, Heather Smith is excelling in numerous academic roles. In addition to being an established visiting researcher at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change within Arizona State University since 2015, she recently added two new positions to her repertoire: director of anatomical laboratories and associate professor in the anatomy department at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University. Her responsibilities include running a body donation program, through which people can donate their bodies to education, and researching both the relationship between cranial morphology and phylogeny in primates and the evolution of the cecal appendix in mammals.
Prior to her current work, Dr. Smith served as an assistant professor in the anatomy department at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University, an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change within Arizona State University, and a postdoctoral associate for the College of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Smith has experience as a research assistant with the Primate Foundation of Arizona, an adjunct faculty member in the Cultural Sciences Department of Mesa Community College, and a graduate research assistant in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University.
Dr. Smith’s research has drawn much acclaim from her community; it was featured in Atlas of Science in 2016, the “ScienceNOW” section of Science magazine in 2013, and the “Highlights of Recent Literature” in Science Magazine in 2009. Another professional highlight was being invited to join the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners clinical faculty in the Biomedical Sciences Division of Anatomy.
Looking for ways to share her distinctive background and knowledge, Dr. Smith became the editor of BioMed Research International, a grant reviewer for The Leakey Foundation, and a guest editor of Quantitative Anatomy. Further, she was a manuscript reviewer for numerous publications, including the Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Reports in Medical Imaging, the Journal of Human Evolution, the South African Journal of Science, the American Journal of Human Biology, and the Annals of Human Biology, among others.
Dr. Smith prepared for her endeavors by earning a PhD in physical anthropology from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University in 2008, a Master of Arts in physical anthropology from the Department of Anthropology from Stony Brook University in 2003, and a Bachelor of Arts in physical anthropology from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College in 2001. To ensure she remains connected to her peers and any developments in her field, she maintains affiliation with the Southwestern Association of Biological Anthropologists, the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology, American Association of Anatomists, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, and the Paleoanthropology Society.
As a testament to her hard work and dedication, Dr. Smith received the Postdoctoral Travel Prize from the American Association of Anatomists in 2009, a graduate fellowship from Arizona State University and a Student Travel Prize from the American Association of Anatomists in 2008, and a Graduate College Award for tuition from Arizona State University from 2004 to 2006. She was also honored with an award for the best podium presentation at the Graduates in Earth, Life and Social Sciences Annual Symposium at Arizona State University in 2004 and the Dean’s Advanced Scholarship from the same institution between 2003 and 2004.