Matthew E Kimball

• Research Coordinator, GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve

Biology • College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Fish ecology, Estuarine ecology, Habitat Restoration


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Biology, BS, 1999
North Carolina State University, Zoology, MS, 2003
Rutgers University, Ecology & Evolution, PhD, 2008
Louisiana State University, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2008-2010


My general research interests are in marine ecology, in particular the influence of biological and physical factors on the community dynamics of estuarine and coastal flora and fauna. I am especially interested in the influence of such factors on the distribution and movement of juvenile and adult stages of estuarine and coastal fishes and invertebrates, as well as the effects of habitat on survival and growth. Currently, my research seeks to gain a better understanding of the effect of habitat characteristics on nekton habitat use and migration patterns, particularly at small spatial and temporal scales (e.g., within tidal cycles, between adjacent subtidal and intertidal habitats), which may permit more precise determination of species-specific habitat requirements in estuarine and coastal environments. To date, my research efforts have taken me to various estuarine and coastal habitats along the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts, included both field and laboratory studies, and focused on individual species (e.g., lionfish) as well as entire communities (e.g., intertidal salt marsh nekton). In addition to employing conventional sampling methods, I am interested in applying new technologies such as acoustic imaging sonars to novel settings such as shallow salt marsh habitats to gain new ecological insights on estuarine and coastal nekton. Information of this nature is lacking for many ecologically and economically important species, though necessary to guide conservation, restoration, and management plans for estuarine and coastal habitats.

Publications & Presentations

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


Williams A, Eastman S, Eash-Loucks W, Kimball M, Lehmann M, Parker J (2014). Record northernmost endemic mangroves on the United States Atlantic coast with a note on latitudinal migration. Southeastern Naturalist 13(1).


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.

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