Associate Professor of Natural Sciences
Davida S. Smyth received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland and completed her postdoctoral training at New York Medical College, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and New York University. She has served as Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Natural Sciences in Mercy College’s School of Health and Natural Sciences. There she taught environmental science, introductory biology, microbiology, and genetics and developed classroom-based research experiences in microbial genomics. Previously, she was a Assistant Research Scientist in Richard Novick's lab at NYU Langone Medical Center, was an Adjunct Lecturer for the online Masters in Bioinformatics program at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Assistant Professor of Biology at New York City College of Technology (NYCCT). Her research focus is in the field of microbial epidemiology and genomics and she has more than 20 original articles in peer-reviewed journals. She is an Associate Editor for both BMC Infectious Diseases and Plos One. She is an external committee member for Mercy College's Adjunct Academy component of their Inclusive Excellence Project and their Peer Led Team Learning Program for Biology, Chemistry and Psychology students. In 2019, she was invited to the steering committee of the Research Experiences in Microbiomes Network (RemNET) of CUNY.
She is devoted to undergraduate research and her students have presented their work at several national and international meetings including the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) annual conference. With her undergraduate team, she researches the role of the built environment and anthropogenic activity in driving antibiotic resistance, a major global health threat. She also engages in pedagogical research on improving civic and scientific literacy in biology and integrating authentic research into the curriculum to improve student engagement and success in science. Dr. Smyth also guides and mentors future faculty and adjuncts to successfully apply for academic positions in teaching and beyond. Since 2014, she has been involved with SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) and was appointed a SENCER Senior Leadership Fellow in 2018. She was awarded the Mercy College Excellence in Teaching Award in 2018.
At the New School, she directs the Biosafety Level 2 research lab and has developed several new courses that involve undergraduates in research and incorporate civic engagement and social justice into the curriculum. Her freshman seminar "How the Toilet Changed the World" teaches students about the role and impact of sanitation on our society and about the ongoing and future challenges associated with both access to toilets and sustainable toilet design. Her "Microbial Ecologies" course teaches students about the importance of microbes in our world and how we need to protect and preserve microbial diversity for planetary health. Students also participate in Tiny Earth, searching for novel antibiotic producing microbes from the NYC urban soil and water environments. Her "Microbiome of Urban Spaces" course involves students in the study of the microbiome of our built spaces. Students choose their own research site and study it using next generation sequencing technology and our iSeq sequencer. Dr. Smyth also mentors students as part of the Urban Barcode Research Program of Cold Spring Harbor Labs.
Peer Reviewed Publications (Since 2010)
Posters, Panels, & Oral Presentations (Since 2015)
Curriculum Development and Teaching Grants
Research and Equipment Grants
Advanced Microbiology Research
Building Your Career Ecosystem
First Year Seminar
Ind Senior Work
Microbiome of Urban Spaces