David Smith read Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University and went on to train in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy at the University of Sheffield, where he specialised in the study of insect remains for both his M.A. and his PhD. David joined the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham in 1992.
As a discipline, archaeoentomology originated in Britain under Professor Russell Coope and Mr. Peter Osborne here at the University of Birmingham and David was mentored by both Professor Coope and, especially, Peter Osborne in his first years at Birmingham. David was trained by their student, Professor Paul Buckland at Sheffield and frequently collaborates with Mr. Harry Kenward (retired, formerly English Heritage/ University of York), who was also their student. He curates the Goring Collection (a historic collection on permanent loan from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery) and the Girling Collection (Maureen Girling was also part of the 2nd generation archaeoentomologist trained at Birmingham, which was loaned to the University of Birmingham by her family and Historic England after her untimely death). These collections are used to support David’s research and that of his students and colleagues.