Tony Smith


Contact Info:


      Phone: 512-653-1570


I’m a cheesehead by birth, but spent the early formative years in the Rocky Mountain State.  I moved from Denver to Southern California after just enough time to become a lifelong fan of the Broncos.  As a Thousand Oaks High School Lancer, I participated on the cross-country and track teams and played the quintessential Southern California sport of ice hockey.  I received a B.S. degree in biochemistry with a minor in Spanish from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo to fill the time when I wasn’t learning to surf.  Following a 2-month backpacking trip through Central America I pursued potential for obscene wealth with a biotechnology start-up in South San Francisco.

After three years, one marathon, an ascent to the highest point in the contiguous U.S. (Mt. Whitney: 14,495 ft.) and not a single mention in Forbes, I acknowledged my interest in the environmental sciences and pursued an M.S. degree in environmental engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, which I finished in the summer of 2006.  I started the Ph.D. program in the fall of 2006, studying hydrocarbon biodegradation in contaminated freshwater sediments.  Rock-climbing has replaced surfing as the pastime, though the words “dude”, “stoked”, and “gnarly” will forever enjoy frequent use.     

Research Interests:

Microbial contaminant degradation, contaminant fate and transport, site remediation

Areas of Recreational Interest:

Sustainability, international development, microbial energy production


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