• Email Dr. Ernest Smith
Ernest E. Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology and The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, at Texas Tech University. He received his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Sciences, with a major in animal science from Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, and his Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology - Toxicology from Texas A&M University. His teaching and research interests include reproductive and developmental effects of environmental contaminants, as well as the development and understanding of biomarkers of the endocrine systems in developing offspring and adults. He is the author of several peer-reviewed publications and has been awarded several research grants from federal, state, and private sources to investigate various aspects of developmental biology and toxicology. Currently, his research group is focused on characterizing membrane transport proteins and the mechanisms of herbal extracts in the control of glucose transport and metabolism.
Dr. Presley’s research and teaching focuses upon risks and threats associated with and the potential impact of biological pathogens naturally or intentionally introduced into military and civilian populations, and the agricultural industry. The overarching goal being the development and fielding of preventative measures against vector-borne infectious and zoonotic diseases, and biological weapon agents, and the possible utilization of arthropod vector and non-vector species for prediction and forensic validation of such occurrences. Dr. Presley offers an advanced graduate level course in biological threats in the environment. Additionally, he serves as the Research Coordinator for the Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats at Texas Tech University. Dr. Presley earned his B.S. in Animal Science from Texas Tech University in 1982, his M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 1987 studying Medical/Veterinary Entomology, then completed a post-Doctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky. He served in the United States Navy as a Medical Service Corps Officer for more than twelve years before joining the faculty at Texas Tech University in 2002. He is a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, where he earned a Masters of Military Studies degree focused on domestic terrorism and has completed various aspects of chemical, biological, radiological, and environmental-related response and control training and practical experience. His operational and research experience has focused upon the surveillance, prevention and control of biological threats in the environment; specifically vector-borne infectious diseases in tropical and semi-tropical environments. He has led malaria control operations and research efforts in Africa, Asia and South America, as well as Rift Valley fever, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, and cutaneous leishmaniasis studies in Africa and Asia. He has published more than 35 scientific and technical manuscripts, and has made numerous professional and technical oral presentations. Dr. Presley was awarded the Rear Admiral Charles S. Stephenson Award for Excellence in Preventive Medicine for the year 2000-2001 (U.S. Navy Medical Department worldwide competitive award). Dr. Presley serves as Chairperson of the Publications Committee and on the Science and Technology Committee of the American Mosquito Control Association. Additionally, he is a member of many local, regional and state professional boards and committees related to emergency preparedness and public health response to human and animal diseases, and catastrophic events.