Creatures of Light – The Field Museum 
lead curator 2012-2014

Have you ever captured a glowing firefly? On a warm summer evening, its light seems rare and magical, yet there are thousands of other living things that blink, glow, flash, and flicker. Creatures of Light delves into the mysterious world of bioluminescence – from the glowworms dangling from the ceiling of New Zealand’s famous Waitomo Caves, to the deep-sea fishes that illuminate the perpetually dark depths of the oceans. Discover the variety of ways in which light is used to attract a mate, lure unsuspecting prey, or defend against a predator, and see how scientists study this amazing ability to glow. Immerse yourself in these magical environments and revel in the beauty of this remarkable natural phenomenon, only at The Field Museum.

Examples of popular press:
March 10, 2013 - Marni Pyke, Daily Herald, "Field Museum exhibit lights up glowing creatures, plants"
March 7, 2013 - Web Behrens, Time Out Chicago, "Creatures of Light” at the Field Museum | Preview"
March 6, 2013 - Kara Spak, Chicago Sun Times, "New ‘Creatures’ exhibit lights up Field Museum"
March 6, 2013 - Frank Mathie, ABC, Channel 7, "Creatures of Light exhibit opens at Field Museum"
March 4, 2013 - Julia Thiel, The Reader, The Bleader, "A conversation at the Field: Curator Leo Smith on the glowing creatures of the museum's newest exhibit"
February 27, 2013 - Liz DeCarlo, Chicago Parent, "New Creatures of Light exhibit illuminates Field Museum"
July 16, 2012 - Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg, WGN Radio, "A Night at The Field Museum"

The Lod Mosaic – The Field Museum
content advisor 2011

Over 300-square feet large and nearly 2000 years ago, this ancient Roman floor mosaic is one of the world’s largest and best preserved. Discovered in 1996 in Lod, Israel, the "Lod Mosaic" is unique with its depiction of exotic animals, a profusion of fish and fleets of Mediterranean ships. Study the mosaic’s glorious details and uncover the stories hidden in its imagery before it returns to Israel. On view for a limited time, only at The Field Museum.

DNA Discovery Center – The Field Museum 
content advisor 2008


DNA is the thread that connects all life on Earth—from microscopic bacteria, to mushrooms, to humans. But not all humans are aware of that fact. A new, permanent Field Museum exhibition is answering basic and complex questions about DNA and how DNA research is changing what we know about life on our planet.

In the laboratory viewing area, you’ll have an opportunity to witness DNA research in action and speak directly with scientists about their work (weekdays from 11am to noon). And in the surrounding exhibition, you can explore hands-on interactives, videos, and engaging displays that will brief you on the basics of DNA and provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible diversity of the Museum’s collections.

What the Fish? Podcast
Founding Member and presenter 2012-2013

Leo and other members of the Smith Lab started the What the Fish? podcast series that dove into various topics surrounding the biodiversity of fishes for 26 episodes. The series included discussions on their general biology, ecology, and evolution. Listeners heard The Field Museum's former fish nerds (Beth Sanzenbacher, Eric Ahlgren, Leo Smith, and Matthew Davis) banter, debate, quip, and explore fishy subject matters that range from the ponds and streams near your home to the deepest recesses of the ocean.

Check out the podcast here.

University of Kansas, Biodiversity Institute, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045; 785.864.6874 ©2016 W.L. Smith