Tara C. Smith

Contributing Columnist

Traveling person with a luggage filled with bacteria
Quantized Columns

What Bacteria Can Tell Us About Human Evolution

To discover our species’ deep history and to shape its future health, we should learn from the microbes that accompanied us on our evolutionary journey.

White stick figures incased in blue teardrops surround other stick figures on a blue background. They are surrounded by stick figures on a red background.
Quantized Columns

The Unforgiving Math That Stops Epidemics

If you didn’t get a flu shot, you are endangering more than just your own health. Calculations of herd immunity against common diseases don’t make exceptions.

About the author

Tara C. Smith is a professor of epidemiology at the Kent State University College of Public Health and an internationally recognized expert on infectious diseases, particularly those passing from animals to humans. She was the first to identify livestock-associated strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the U.S. As a science communicator, she is well known as the author of Ebola’s Message (MIT Press) and of the science blog Aetiology.