G. Jason Smith, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Jason received his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Georgia in 1984 and his ongoing research program stems from his fascination with the molecular physiological ecology of marine algae. Specific research projects have ranged from nutrient regulation of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses, to investigation of the molecular regulation of nitrogen assimilation in marine phytoplankton, and biotechnology applications with diatoms and yeast. Current research seeks to identify molecular and biochemical markers associated with production of the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) by diatoms in the genus Pseudo-nitzschia. His research group is developing molecular bioassays enabling identification of species actively metabolizing DA and well and genetic markers for robust enumeration of Pseudo-nitzschia population and community dynamics.
These research efforts helped Jason recognize the need for reliable and user friendly technologies for characterizing water quality variation over fine temporal and spatial scales, leading to his commitment to the ACT program. Jason has served as the Technical Coordinator for the ACT-Pacific Coast Region, since the program’s inception in 2001. In this position he has provided liaisons between resource managers, environmental scientists and the private sector, with the goal of fostering reliable and appropriate application of new technologies for monitoring water quality and ecosystem health in coastal waters. An important part of these regional efforts is coordinating the design and management of ACTs Technology Performance Verification trials which strive to provide credible and independent assessment of sensor technology performance both under controlled laboratory and in operational field deployment using ACT’s nationally distributed test facilities. Jason was recently nominated to the ACT Board of Directors helping guide the national program’s future activities.