Rebecca Smith


Wisconsin Energy Institute

Rebecca Smith is a scientist in John Ralph’s lab at the Wisconsin Energy Institute and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). Smith received her undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba and her PhD in Botany from the University of British Columbia. She conducted postdoctoral research in the Ralph Lab before moving into her current role.

In 2018, Smith received the Robert Rabson Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists, which honors early career professionals for their excellent contributions to bioenergy research. She also received GLBRC’s 2018 Women in Science Award.

As a member of the Ralph Lab, Smith's research focuses on how to make lignin more digestible. The Ralph group  is recognized for their work on lignin biosynthesis, including delineation of the pathways to monolignol biosynthesis, lignin chemistry, and lignin reactions.

  • Lignin biosynthesis, structure, chemistry, and reactions
  • Lignocellulosics bioprocessing
  • Development of synthetic methods for biosynthetic products