Christopher Irwin Smith

Christopher Irwin Smith

Willamette University

Associate Professor


Published on Sep 15, 2017

Plant physiology, the key to understanding how Joshua trees could adapt to a warming world

Plant physiology, the key to understanding how Joshua trees could adapt to a warming worldThis is a post by JTGP collaborator Karolina Heyduck, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Georgi...

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Published on Aug 02, 2017

By Invitation Only: The Next Step in Funding the Joshua Tree Genome Project

Back in January we wrote to you about preparing a proposal for the National Science Foundation. Now, we have some encouraging news to share. Don’t break out the champagne yet though. Last month we ...

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Published on Jan 22, 2017

It's grant proposal season!

It's been a rainy winter in the Mojave, and it's been mighty quiet around the ol' Joshua Tree Genome Project Page. But we're not just huddled up around the fire. January means grant proposal deadli...

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Published on Dec 28, 2016

Joshua Tree Genome Project featured on Great Big Story and The Weather Channel

Earlier this fall we were contacted by Great Big Story about the prospects of producing a short documentary describing the project. In September Todd Esque and I shot two days in the field with our...

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Published on Nov 30, 2016

Joshua Tree Genome Project Receives a Major Gift from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

The Joshua tree genome project is excited to announce a new partnership with The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Through a very generous gift from The Living Desert, we will use DoveTail Genomics Hi...

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Published on Sep 16, 2016

Ewww! That Smell! Why do Joshua Trees Smell Like that?

If you’ve ever sat under a flowering Joshua tree on a spring afternoon, you’ve probably noticed a peculiar odor. “What … is … that?” A little investigation reveals that the odor is coming from th...

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Published on Sep 12, 2016

Joshua Tree Workshop: November 5-6th

Come learn about Joshua Tree Natural History, Conservation Biology, and participate in field research examining the effects of climate change on these ancient desert icons.Join us f...

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Published on Sep 06, 2016

Getting to the Essence of Joshua Tree

This summer we started the process of decoding the genome.The first step in sequencing a genome ­– before the fancy chemistry starts, and before the endless computation – is simply to get DNA from ...

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Published on Mar 16, 2016

Off to the Field

Hey Joshua Tree Genome Project Fans, It's almost Easter, and that means it is time for our annual pilgrimage to the Joshua trees. This year we'll be spending time at the Arizona Joshua Tree Forest ...

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Published on Mar 12, 2016

Wow! It was an amazing Friday! Time to Celebrate!

Holy Cow! We had an amazing day for fundraising!In the last 24 hours you raised $1243! In that same period we added 42 new donors. Most exciting of all, we are now in first place in the Liberal Art...

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Published on Mar 10, 2016

We're Halfway There!

Dear Joshua Tree Genome Project Fans,We've just passed the two week mark, and we're more than halfway to our fundraising goal. More than 125 people have donated $4200. Amazing! We've still got a lo...

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Published on Mar 07, 2016

101 Joshua Tree Fans! And a video of moth behavior!

The Joshua Tree Genome Project hit a big milestone today! At 3PM we passed 100 backers!If takes a village to crowd-fund a genome, we're well on our way to having a whole town! And we're almost half...

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Well, submitting our preproposal to Experiment is essentially we did. We just went to experiment first, and then went to NSF.
Aug 03, 2017
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Like Jeremy, I've been through this process multiple times before, both as a principal investigator (i.e., the person writing the grant) and as a panelist (i.e. the people reviewing grants). My feeling is that the pre proposals really are just a rate-limiting step on federal funding. They double the work that the investigator must do, and halve the number of full proposals that are considered. Now being at the full proposal stage, there is a kind of 'monty hall' effect where it seems like the odds of funding are dramatically improved (what if I told you that there was a donkey behind door number two? Now do you want to stick with door number one, or switch to door number three?). However, the reality is that the overall rate of funding is extremely low, and preproposals just slow down the rate at which funding requests can be considered.
Aug 03, 2017
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Dec 31, 2016
Regulation of Spore Dormancy in Pathogenic Fungi
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Thanks, Cindy. We've very happy about how it turned out.
Dec 29, 2016
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Yo Gila Monster... Maybe we should form a support group for desert organisms with genome projects. Love, The Joshua Tree
Mar 31, 2016
Gila monster genomics: conservation, venom, and treatments for Type-II diabetes
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Well, James, we're all motivated by different things. ;-) Thanks for coming to the fundraising party tonight. We're very happy to have your support.
Mar 15, 2016
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Mar 15, 2016
E pluribus unum: how honey bee bacteria coordinate behaviors
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We'll get there. Right now it's about building a reference genome. Then we'll start resequencing and quantifying genetic variation within and between Joshua trees.
Mar 13, 2016
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Thanks to Ramona Flatz and Candace Fallon for the great photos
Mar 12, 2016
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Thanks so much for your support and your kind words about the project! Please help us spread the word!
Mar 11, 2016
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Thank you so much!
Mar 08, 2016
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Thank you to WU for this generous contribution and for helping bring this project to life!
Mar 04, 2016
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