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Baruch Institute

Faculty and Staff

Matthew E. Kimball

Title: Assistant Director, Marine Field Laboratory
Assistant Research Professor
Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences
Phone: 843-904-9030
Office: BMFL 134
Resources: Baruch Marine Field Lab
P.O. Box 1630
Georgetown, SC 29442 USA
Matt Kimball


2008 - PhD, Ecology & Evolution, Rutgers University
2003 - MS, Zoology, North Carolina State University
1999 - BS, Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


7/2013 - Present:  Assistant Director, Baruch Marine Field Laboratory
1/2011 - 6/2013:  Research Coordinator, GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve
7/2008 - 12/2010:  Postdoc, Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University


My general research interests are in marine ecology, particularly the influence of biological and physical factors on the community dynamics of coastal fauna and flora. I am especially interested in the influence of such factors on the distribution and movement of early life stages of estuarine and coastal fishes and invertebrates, as well as the effects of habitat on the survival and growth of these organisms. These interests have resulted in research on such topics as habitat restoration, invasive species, range expansion, and climate change impacts on fauna communities. I use a combination of field and seawater laboratory approaches to pursue these research avenues and recent efforts have focused mainly in estuaries along the southeastern US Atlantic and Gulf coasts.


Fisheries Research Field Techniques, Marine Science (MSCI) 460, Fall (2 credits)
Coastal and Estuarine Ecology,
SC Honors College (SCHC) 307, Spring (4 credits)


Dirr KM, Pawelek JC, Stone JP, Kimball ME (2024). Seasonal and diel gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) activity, and burrow use by commensals, in coastal beach dune habitat as examined by wildlife cameras. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 23(1):35-47.
Munnelly RT, Castillo JC, Handegard NO, Kimball ME, Boswell KM, Guillaume R (2024). Applications and analytical approaches of imaging sonar for quantifying behavioural interactions among aquatic organisms and their environment. ICES Journal of Marine Science 81:207-251.
Sliger R, Graham J, Hoenke K, Kimball ME, Peoples BK (2024). Integrating fish swimming abilities into rapid stream barrier assessment: Case studies in the southeastern United States. PLoS ONE 19(2):e0298911.
McKercher LJ, Kimball ME, Scaroni AE, White SA, Strosnider WHJ (2024). Stormwater ponds serve as variable quality habitat for diverse taxa. Wetlands Ecology & Management 32:109-131.
Glover KM, Kimball ME, Pfirrmann BW, Pelton MM, Dunn RP (2023). Juvenile brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) use of salt marsh intertidal creeks as nursery habitat. Estuaries and Coasts 46(7):1895-1906.
Bice CM, Huisman J, Kimball ME, Mallen-Cooper M, Zampatti BP, Gillanders BM (2023). Tidal barriers and fish – Impacts and remediation in the face of increasing demand for freshwater and climate change. Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science 289:108376.
Quezada-Villa K, Cannizzo Z, Carver J, Dunn RP, Fletcher LS, Kimball ME, McMullin AL, Orocu B, Pfirrmann BW, Pinkston E, Reese TC, Smith N, Stancil C, Toscano BJ, Griffen BD (2023). Predicting diet in brachyuran crabs using external morphology. PeerJ 11:e15224.

Kimball ME, Pfirrmann BW, Allen DM, Ogburn-Matthews V, Kenny PD (2023). Intertidal creek pool nekton assemblages: Long-term patterns in diversity and abundance in a warm-temperate estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 46(3):860-877.

Dunn RP, Kimball ME, O’Brien CG, Adams NT (2023). Characterizing nekton habitat use of fringing oyster reefs using acoustic imaging. Marine and Freshwater Research 74(1):39-49.

Pfirrmann BW, Dunn RP, Kimball ME, Levesque EM (2023). Experimental laboratory tests of short-term habitat selection by hatchery-reared juvenile red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 559 151852.

Lamb KJ, Midway SR, Brasso RL, Lopez-Duarte PC, Kimball ME, Polito MJ (2022). Mercury biomagnification in a coastal Louisiana food web following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Frontiers in Environmental Science 10:937124.

Rodriguez-Pinto I, Rieucau G, Handegard NO, Kimball ME, Boswell KM (2022). Anthropogenic marsh impoundments alter collective tendency in schooling fish. Estuaries and Coasts 45(3):856-865.

Elmo GM, Crane DP, Kimball ME (2021). Juvenile tarpon Megalops atlanticus use of natural and managed marsh habitats in coastal South Carolina. Environmental Biology of Fishes 104:1655-1664.

Kimball ME, Connolly RM, Alford SB, Colombano DD, James WR, Kenworthy MD, Norris GS, Ollerhead J, Ramsden S, Rehage JS, Sparks EL, Waltham NJ, Worthington TA, Taylor MD (2021). Novel applications of technology for advancing tidal marsh ecology. Estuaries and Coasts 44(6):1568-1578.

Kimball ME, Eash-Loucks WE (2021). Estuarine nekton assemblages along a marsh-mangrove ecotone. Estuaries and Coasts  44(6):1508-1520

Elmo GM, Crane DP, Kimball ME, Williams KL, Stevens PW (2021). Validity of daily and annual age estimation and back-calculation methods for early life stages of a subtropical-tropical species, the tarpon (Megalops atlanticus). Fisheries Research 243:106057.

Kimball ME,
Mace III, MM, Juzwick DL, Zugelter A, Shenker JM (2021). Age of tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) leptocephali recruiting to salt marsh pools in a South Carolina estuary. Southeastern Naturalist 20(2):264-272.

Stevens PW, Kimball ME, Elmo GM, Williams KL, Ritch JL, Crane DP (2021). Investigation into the occurrence of juvenile common snook Centropomus undecimalis, a subtropical estuarine sport fish, in saltmarshes beyond their established range.  Estuaries and Coasts  44(5):1477-1483 

Dunn RP, Pfirrmann BW, Kimball ME (2021). Juvenile white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus) can be effectively implanted with passive integrated transponder tags. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 540:151560.

Pfirrmann BW, Kimball ME, Mace MM, III, Turley BD (2021). Summer ichthyoplankton assemblage diversity within a southeastern United States estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 44(1):253-268.

Baker R, Taylor MD, Able KW, Beck MW, Cebrian J, Colombano DD, Connolly RM, Currin C, Deegan LA, Feller IC, Gilby BL, Kimball ME, Minello TJ, Rozas LP, Simenstad C, Turner RE, Waltham NJ, Weinstein MP, Ziegler SL, zu Ermgassen PSE, Alcott C, Alford SB, Barbeau MA, Crosby SC, Dodds K, Frank A, Goeke J, Gaines LAG, Hardcastle FE, Henderson CJ, James WR, Kenworthy MD, Lesser J, Mallick D, Martin CW, McDonald AE, McLuckie C, Morrison BH, Nelson JA, Norris GS, Ollerhead J, Pahl JW, Ramsden S, Rehage JS, Reinhardt JF, Rezek RJ, Risse LM, Smith JAM, Sparks EL, Staver LW (2020). Fisheries rely on threatened salt marshes. Science 370(6517):670-671.

Kimball ME, Allen DM, Kenny PD, Ogburn-Matthews V (2020). Decadal-scale changes in subtidal nekton assemblages in a warm-temperate estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 43(4):927-939.

Mace MM, III, Kimball ME, Elmo GM, Crane DP (2020). Overwinter survival, age, and growth of juvenile tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) in a shallow, tidally-restricted habitat in South Carolina. Environmental Biology of Fishes 103(8):965-972.

Kimball, ME, Mace, MM, III (2020). Survival, growth, and tag retention in salt marsh fishes implanted with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. Estuaries and Coasts 43(1):151-160.

Garwood JA, Allen DM, Kimball ME, Boswell KM (2019). Site fidelity and habitat use by young-of-the-year transient fishes in salt marsh intertidal creeks. Estuaries and Coasts 42(5):1387-1396.

Boswell KM, Kimball ME, Rieucau G, Martin JGA, Jacques DA, Correa D, Allen DM (2019). Tidal stage mediates periodic asynchrony between predator and prey nekton in salt marsh creeks. Estuaries and Coasts 42(5):1342-1352.

Mace MM, III, Kimball ME, Haffey ER (2019). The nekton assemblage of salt marsh pools in a southeastern United States estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 42(1):264-273.

Kimball ME, Boswell KM, Rozas LP, Berwaldt EK, Richards AR (2018). Swimming abilities of juvenile estuarine fishes: Implications for passage at water control structures. Wetlands Ecology and Management 26(3):383-390.

Mace MM, III, Kimball ME, Haffey ER (2018). Recruitment and habitat use of early life stage tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) in South Carolina estuaries. Estuaries and Coasts 41(3):841-854.

Havran JC, Stowe KA, Blanchard TA, Kandl KL, Kimball ME, Richter SC, Swain HM, Lohrer FE, Angell DD, Terhune TM (2017). Education at field stations and marine laboratories in the southeastern United States. Southeastern Naturalist 16(Special Issue 10):146-157.

Mace MM, III, Haffey ER, Kimball ME (2017). Low-temperature tolerance of juvenile tarpon Megalops atlanticus. Environmental Biology of Fishes 100(8):913-922.

Korsman BK, Kimball ME, Hernandez FJ (2017). Spatial and temporal variability in ichthyoplankton communities ingressing through two adjacent inlets along the southeastern US Atlantic coast. Hydrobiologia 795:219-237.

Kimball ME, Boswell KM, Rozas LP (2017). Estuarine fish behavior around slotted water control structures in a managed salt marsh. Wetlands Ecology and Management 25:299-312.

Li C, Li X, Boswell KM, Kimball ME, Lin J (2017). Estuarine plume: A case study by satellite SAR observations and in situ measurements. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 55(4):2276-2287.

Lin J, Li C, Boswell KM, Kimball ME, Rozas LP (2016). Examination of winter circulation in a northern Gulf of Mexico estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 39:879-899.

Kimball ME, Rozas LP, Boswell KM, Cowan JH (2015). Effects of slotted water control structures on nekton movement within salt marshes. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 7:177–189.

Rieucau G, Boswell KM, Kimball ME, Diaz G, Allen DM (2015). Tidal and diel variations in schooling behavior of estuarine fish within an intertidal salt marsh creek. Hydrobiologia 753:149-162.

Eash-Loucks WE, Kimball ME, Petrinec KM (2014). Long-term changes in an estuarine mud crab community: Evaluating the impact of nonnative species. Journal of Crustacean Biology 34(6):731-738.

Pawelek JC, Kimball ME (2014). Gopher tortoise ecology in coastal upland and beach dune habitats in northeast Florida. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 13(1):27-34.

Williams AA, Eastman SF, Eash-Loucks WE, Kimball ME, Lehmann ML, Parker JD (2014). Record northernmost endemic mangroves on the United States Atlantic coast with a note on latitudinal migration. Southeastern Naturalist 13(1):56–63.

Williams AA, Kimball ME (2013). Evaluation of long-term trends in hydrographic and nutrient parameters in a southeast US coastal river. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 185:10495-10509.

Henzler JM, Xue R, Thornton A, Kimball ME, Shirley MA (2013). Mosquito species composition and seasonal abundance in a National Estuarine Research Reserve in northeast Florida. Technical Bulletin of the Florida Mosquito Control Association 9:13-16.

Hare JA, Wuenschel MJ, Kimball ME (2012). Projecting range limits with coupled thermal tolerance - climate change models:  An example based on gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) along the U.S. east coast. PLoS ONE 7(12): e52294. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052294.

Wuenschel MJ, Hare JA, Kimball ME, Able KW (2012). Evaluating juvenile thermal tolerance as a constraint on adult range of gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus):  A combined laboratory, field and modeling approach. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 436-437:19-27.

Kimball ME, Able KW (2012). Tidal migrations of intertidal salt marsh creek nekton examined with underwater video. Northeastern Naturalist 19(3):475-486.

Humphries AT, La Peyre MK, Kimball ME, Rozas LP (2011). Testing the effect of habitat structure and complexity on nekton assemblages using experimental oyster reefs. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 409:172-179.

Kimball ME, Rozas LP, Boswell KM, Cowan JH (2010). Evaluating the effect of slot size and environmental variables on the passage of estuarine nekton through a water control structure. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 395:181-190.

Kimball ME, Able KW, Grothues TM (2010). Evaluation of long-term response of intertidal creek nekton to Phragmites australis (Common Reed) removal in oligohaline Delaware Bay salt marshes. Restoration Ecology 18(5):772-779.

Able KW, Grothues TM, Hagan SM, Kimball ME, Nemerson DM, Taghon GL (2008). Long-term response of fishes to restoration of former salt hay farms: Multiple measures of restoration success. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 18(1):65-97.

Kimball ME, Able KW (2007). Tidal utilization of nekton in Delaware Bay restored and reference intertidal salt marsh creeks. Estuaries and Coasts 30(6):1075-1087.

Kimball ME, Able KW (2007). Nekton utilization of intertidal salt marsh creeks: Tidal influences in natural Spartina, invasive Phragmites, and marshes treated for Phragmites removal. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 346:87-101.

Kimball ME, Miller JM, Whitfield PE, Hare JA (2004). Thermal tolerance and potential distribution of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles complex) on the east coast of the United States. Marine Ecology Progress Series 283:269-278.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.