Department of Environmental Science
Additional Positions at AUAffiliate Faculty - Department of Biology
Affiliate Faculty - School of Education, Teaching and Health
Chair, General Education Program
- Dr. Kim is a marine ecologist specializing in tropical coral reefs. His research focuses on understanding the role of diseases in marine ecosystems and the synergistic effects of environmental factors, such as nutrient pollution and climate change, in the degradation of coral reefs. Most recently, he has been using biogeochemical approaches to understand nitrogen dynamics and their interaction with disease within individual corals to entire, coral communities, and coastal ecosystems. He is currently a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Science and is a councillor of the International Society for Reef Studies.
DegreesPhD, Biology, University at Buffalo; MS, Biology, Florida International University; BSc Biology, Environmental Studies, Brock University
- CAS - Environmental Science
- Beeghly - 204
- Email for hours
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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Dr. Kim's research focuses on understanding the role of diseases in coral population ecology and the synergistic effects of environmental factors, such as nutrient pollution and ocean warming, in the decline of coral reefs. Projects on in my lab include: i) long-term monitoring of the impact of aspergillosis on sea fans, ii) elucidating the role of microbial communities on coral surfaces in disease, and iii) examining the interaction between nutrient pollution and disease.
Grants and Sponsored Research
2012, NSF-DUE. From the Laboratory to the Classroom: Building Capacity for Math and Science Teaching in DC (Lab2Class)
- 2008, NOAA-Fisheries Habitat Conservation Program Office. Testing for links between nutrient pollution and coral health and disease
- 2006, NOAA–National Undersea Research Center. The link between coral hosts, surface microbiota and disease
- 2003, US-EPA, Origins and impacts of the Sea Fan Aspergillosis Epizootic Explored with Molecular and Field Techniques
- 2002, NOAA–National Undersea Research Center. Impact of Aspergillosis of sea fan corals in the Florida Keys, Rapid Response Support
- 2000, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—National Undersea Research Center, Aspergillosis of sea fans in the Florida Keys: disease resistance and spread
Kim K & S Morawski (in press) Going trayless in a University dining hall. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.
Baker DM, Kim K, Andras JP, Sparks JP (2011) Light-mediated 15N fractionation in Caribbean gorgonian octocorals: implications for pollution monitoring. Coral Reefs 30: 709-717.
Bruno JB, Ellner S, Vu I, Kim K, Harvell D (2011) Impacts of aspergillosis on sea fan coral demography: modeling a moving target. Ecological Monographs 81: 123-139
Kim K (2010) Sea Sick: Book Review. Oceanography 23: 124.Baker DM, KL Webster, K Kim (2010) Caribbean octocorals record changing carbon and nitrogen sources from 1862-2005. Global Change Biology 16: 2701-2710.
Kim K, C Paige, CD Harvell (2009) The role of environment and microorganisms in diseases of corals: overview of DAO Special 5. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 87: 1-3
National Research Council (2008) Tackling Marine Debris in the 21st Century. The National Academies Press
Area of Expertise: Marine biology, coral reef ecology, marine conservation
Additional Information: Kiho Kim is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science at American University. He received his PhD in 1996 at the State University of New York–Buffalo, studying the ecology of tropical coral reefs, and did postdoctoral work at Cornell University. Kim has participated in working groups at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) examining the ecology of diseases. He has worked with the British Council in promoting international networking for young scientists and is currently an advisor to the Coral Disease Working Group of the World Bank. As chair of the Department of Environmental Science at American University, Kim focuses on training undergraduate and graduate students to be clear and effective advocates for science in policy making. He is currently a member of the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) of the National Academies of Science (NAS). Kim’s research focuses on understanding the role of diseases in coral population ecology and the synergistic effects of environmental factors, such as nutrient pollution and ocean warming, in the decline of coral reefs. Kim is coauthor of the article, "Aspergillosis of Sea Fan Corals: Dynamics in the Florida Keys" in The Everglades, Florida Bay and Coral Reefs of the Florida Keys (CRC Press). Kim is also coauthor of the article "Diseases and the Conservation of Marine Diversity" in Marine Conservation, edited by E. Norse and L. Crowder (Island Press). In 2009, he helped develop and teach the interdisciplinary course Practice of Environmentalism, which included a10-day research trip to the Galapagos Islands. For more information about the course, go to http://www.american.edu/research/success/galapagos-collaboration-070109.cfm.
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.
AU News and Achievements
Students Aid Scientists, Wildlife, and Potomac Shoreline
Riverbank debris gathered, counted, and bagged....
Sustainable Earth Class Plants Experimental Garden
Professor Kiho Kim's class is using a garden outside Beeghly Hall to test a hypothesis...
Marine Ecologists Pinpoint Pollutants in Caribbean Coral
Environmental scientist Kiho Kim and former students publish results in October journal article....