Joseph Smoak



Office: USGS 503A
Phone: 727.873.4078


Donny Smoak examines local and global environmental issues. As a biogeochemist, Smoak has studied lakes, freshwater wetlands and deep-sea sediments in places as diverse as the Antarctic, Australia, Brazil, China, Iran, Venezuela and the United States. His current research focuses on how coastal wetlands, such as mangrove systems, respond to sea-level rise and climate-induced extreme weather events.

Smoak has published over 75 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has served as a reviewer for numerous journals and agencies. Since joining USF St. Petersburg in 2001, he has received funding from sources such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Agriculture. He was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Brazil in 2005 and in China in 2015, where Smoak was made the first foreign Honorary Professor of Shenyang Agricultural University. Smoak received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research from the USF’s St. Petersburg campus Department of Environmental Science for 2014-2015.


  • M.S., North Carolina State University, Raleigh
  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Columbia


Smoak teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in physical geology, earth sciences, environmental science and global climate change. He has served as an advisor for more than 20 graduate students and regularly hosts international visitors conducting research at USF’s St. Petersburg campus.

Specialty Area

Wetland Biogeochemistry

Recent Publications

Smoak's research and publications