Taylor Smith was born in Switzerland and grew up in New York, but spent most of her summers in California. She first learned of Scripps during Sea Camp in middle school, and contacted Dr. Jeff Graham in high school to carry out independent research on juvenile leopard sharks. She then moved to the west coast to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology at the University of California, San Diego. She is currently a 4th year undergraduate volunteering in the Dr. Semmens’ and Dr. Tresguerres’ lab.

Taylor is currently working with PhD candidate Garfield Kwan to study the cellular processes for biomineralization in otolith sac epithelium of various fish species. She is also working on an independent study analyzing the feeding behavior of manta rays through the Faculty Mentorship Program as well as collaborated on a manta ray social behavior project under PhD candidate Joshua Stewart.