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Kelly J Smith

Associate Professor

Biology | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Teaching responsibilities:  Ichthyology, Field Studies in Marine Science, Restoration Ecology, Limnology, General Biology II, Oceanography


Research expertise: Coastal fish ecology, salt marsh and estuarine ecology, restoration biology, aquatic biology


B.S. (Biology) State University of New York, College at Oswego (1987)

Ph.D. (Ecology and Evolution) Rutgers University (1995)


I have always had a strong interest in human impacts on ecological systems, and have been involved in ecological restoration projects multiple estuarine systems such as Delaware Bay and the Hackensack Meadowlands near New York City.
My current research interests focus on juvenile fish ecology in estuarine environments. I am especially interested in the interaction between the role different living habitats such as oyster reef, salt marsh, and mangrove systems have on fish and benthic macro-faunal assemblages. I am currently investigating the effects of different methods of shoreline restoration on fish habitat use and abundance. Much of my research has direct implications for management and conservation of estuarine habitats and resources.


Southeast Estuarine Research Society

Florida Marine Science Educators Association

Sigma Xi

Grants and Contracts Awarded

Contract through the Fish and Wildlife Commission "American eel (Anguilla rostrata) abundance and distribution in a northeastern Florida estuary." Co-PI Dr. E Johnson.  2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019


Collaborative grant with the Friends of the GTMNERR received from the Atlantic Coast Fish Habitat Program: “Restoring Coastal Fish Habitat Using Oysters, Mussels, and Marsh Grass at Guana Peninsula, FL" 2013-2015.

Publications & Presentations

Hanke, M. H, K. J. Smith, A. L. Digirolamo. 2013. Spatial approach to understanding habitat utilization by silver perch (Bairdiella chrysoura) in Northeast Florida estuaries. Florida Scientist.  76:467-477


Smith, M.; J. Gelsleichter, PhD; and K. J. Smith, PhD. 2012. Protein expression of hypoxia-Inducible factor 1-alpha in Leiostomus xanthurus exposed to constant and diel-cycling hypoxia. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.  424-425:1-4.


Shyn, A., S. J. Chalk, K. Smith, N. L. Charnock & G. K. Bielmyer.  2012.  Zinc Distribution in the Organs of Adult Fundulus heteroclitus After Waterborne Zinc Exposure in Freshwater and Saltwater. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.  DOI 10.1007/s00244-012-9805-0


Bielmyer, Gretchen K.; Joseph B. Bullington; Carri A. DeCarlo; Stuart J. Chalk; Kelly Smith. 2012. The Effects of Salinity on Acute Toxicity of Zinc to Two Euryhaline Species of Fish, Fundulus heteroclitus and Kryptolebias marmoratus. Integrative and Comparative Biology; doi: 10.1093/icb/ics045


Hanke, M. H., and K. J. Smith. 2011. Tolerance and response of silver perch Bairdiella chrysoura to hypoxia. Aquatic Biology. Vol. 14: 77–85


Rossi, A. M., D. C. Moon, D. Casamatta, K. Smith, C. Bentzien, J. McGregor, A. Norwich, E. Perkerson, R. Perkerson, J. Savinin, K. Stokes, and D. Doebberfuhl. 2010. Pilot study on the effects of partially restored riparian plant communities on habitat quality and biodiversity along first-order tributaries of the Lower St. Johns River. Journal of Water Resource and Protection. Doi:10.4236/jwarp.2010.29090


Galleher, S. N., I. Gonzalez, M. Gilg, and K. Smith. 2009. Abundance and distribution of larval and juvenile Fundulus heteroclitus in Northeast Florida Marshes. Southeastern Naturalist. 8(3): 494-502.


Galleher, S.N., M.R. Gilg and K.J. Smith. 2009. Comparison of sub-adult thermal maxima in Fundulus heteroclitus and F. grandis. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry. DOI 10.1007/s10685-009-9347-1


Able, K. W., K. J. Smith, and S. M. Hagan. 2005. Fish composition and abundance in New Jersey salt marsh pools: sampling technique effects. Northeastern Naturalist. 12(4): 485-502.


Smith, K. J., & Able, K. W. 2003. Dissolved oxygen dynamics in salt marsh pools and its potential impacts on fish assemblages. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 258: 223-232.


Smith, K., G. L. Taghon, and K. W. Able. 2001. Trophic linkages in marshes: feeding in young-of-the-year mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus. In: Concepts and Controversies in Tidal Marsh Ecology. M. Weinstein and D. Kreeger, eds. Kluwer Press.

Contact Information

Building 59, Room 1314

(904) 620-1954