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Department of Biology


David G. Kimmel


Assistant Professor

Area of Study: 

Plankton ecology biological oceanography, climate impacts on ecosystems







Flanagan 2208


Department of Biology

Institute for Coastal Science and Policy


East Carolina University


Greenville, NC 27858

Dave Kimmel

Research Program   

Welcome to the plankton ecology laboratory at East Carolina University. The primary focus of our research is zooplankton dynamics in estuarine and coastal systems. Zooplanktons  are critical components of food webs as they link the primary production of phytoplankton to fish. The interaction between zooplankton and fish varies in time and space, thus we are particularly interested in determining how zooplankton populations respond to environmental forcing. We use a combination of traditional and novel methods in order to determine zooplankton abundance and distribution. These include net sampling, optics and acoustics. Other interests of our lab include climate forcing of aquatic populations, analysis of long-term data and the use of size-based approaches to address ecological questions. 

Courses Taught

BIOL 2250 Ecology

BIOL/CRM 7005 Coastal Ecological Processes

BIOL 4800 Biological Oceanography
BIOL 6850 Advances in Ecology 

Recent Publications

Dell'Apa A, Kimmel DG, Clo S. 2012. Trends of fish and elasmobranch landings in Italy within the frame of the law 41/82: overview of elasmobranchs management aspects. ICES J. Mar. Sci. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fss067
Kimmel DG, Boynton WR, Roman MR. 2012. Long-term decline in the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa in central Chesapeake Bay, USA: an indirect effect of eutrophication? Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Sci. 101: 76-85.  

Devreker D, Pierson J, Souissi S, Kimmel DG, Roman MR. 2012. An experimental approach to estimate egg production and development rate of the calanoid copepod Eurytemora affinis in Chesapeake Bay, USA. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 416-417: 72-83.  

Mitra S, Kimmel DG, Snyder J*, Scalise K, McGlaughon BD, Roman MR, Jahn GL, Pierson JJ, Brandt SB, Montoya JP, Rosenbauer RJ, Lorenson TD, Wong FL, Campbell PL. 2012. Macondo-1 well oil-derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mesozooplankton from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L01605, doi:10.1029/2011GL049505.           *Undergraduate co-author  

Kimmel DG, Boicourt WC, Pierson JJ, Roman MR, Zhang X. 2010. The vertical distribution and diel variability of mesozooplankton biomass, abundance and size in response to hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. J. Plank. Res. 32: 1185-1202  

Kimmel DG, Boicourt WC, Pierson JJ, Roman MR, Zhang X. 2009. A comparison of the mesozooplankton response to hypoxia in Chespeake Bay and the northern Gulf of Mexico. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 381: S65-S73  

Zhang H, Ludsin SA, Mason DM, Adamack ST, Brandt SB, Zhang X, Kimmel DG, Roman MR and Boicourt WC. 2009. Hypoxia-driven changes in the behavior and spatial distribution of pelagic fish and mesozooplankton in the northern Gulf of Mexico. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 381: S80-S91.  

Pierson JJ, Roman MR, Kimmel DG, Boicourt WC and Zhang X. 2009. Quantifying changes in vertical distribution of mesozooplankton in response to hypoxic bottom waters. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 381: S74-S79.  

Newell RIE, Tettlebach ST, Gobler CJ and Kimmel DG. 2009. Relationships between reproduction in suspension feeding hard clams Mercenaria mercenaria and phytoplankton community structure. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 387: 179-196.  

*Kimmel DG, Miller WD, Harding LW, Houde ED and Roman MR. 2009 Estuarine ecosystem response captured using a synoptic climatology. Estuaries and Coasts. 32(3): 403-409.             *Editor's choice for open access Laboratory Personnel

Graduate Students


Mahealani Kaneshiro_Pineiro 

Mahealani Y. Kaneshiro-Pineiro
Doctoral Candidate
Coastal Resources Management
163a Flanagan Building
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252.328.9375
Lab: 252.737.4214

2007 M. S. Zoology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2003 B. A. Marine Science, University of Hawai'i at Hilo

Drew Cathey 

Drew Cathey
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Biology
S103 Howell Science Complex
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858

2004 B. S. Ecology and Environmental Biology, Appalachian

 Deborah Lichti Deborah Lichti

Undergraduate Students



Amanda Cornelsen

Biology Major

 Hampton Hampton Farmer

BS Biology, 2012

Robert Melvin

BS Biology, 2012

 Amy Amy Shore

Biology Major
 Thomas Thomas Steelman

Biology Major