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Kiho Kim Professor Environmental Science

Additional Positions at AU
Affiliate Faculty - Department of Biology
Affiliate Faculty - School of Education and Teaching
Executive Director, Center for Teaching, Research & Learning
PhD, Biology, University at Buffalo; MS, Biology, Florida International University; BSc Biology, Environmental Studies, Brock University

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.
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Google Scholar Profile
Center for Teaching, Research & Learning
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

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

  • 2015 NOAA: Fisheries Habitat Conservation Program Office, Resource Inventory, Resilience, and Historical Change of Reef: Flat Communities Within the Manell-Geus Watershed, Guam’s Habitat Focus Area (Kim K Co-PI, $58, 988)

  • 2013, NSF-BIO OCE (RAPID) Documenting bleaching susceptibility and resilience in Guam, Micronesia

  • 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

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

Selected Publications

Kim K (2016) Diseases of Octocorals. Pp 410–415, n Diseases of Corals. C Woodley et al. (eds) Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken NJ

Kim K & K Rypien (2016) Aspergillosis of Caribbean Sea Fan Corals, Gorgonia spp. Pp 236–241, in Diseases of Corals. C Woodley et al. (eds) Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken NJ

Wang J, Kim K, Ofiara D, Zhao Y, Bera A, Lohmann R & MC Baker (2016) Chapter 25: Marine Debris. Pp. 698–731 in Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea

Baker D, C Freeman, N Knowlton, R Thacker, K Kim & M Fogel (2015) Productivity links morphology, symbiont specificity, and bleaching in the evolution of Caribbean octocoral symbioses. ISME Journal doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.71

Pinkerton K, DM Baker, MR Cuddy, LJ Raymundo, KA Meyer & K Kim (2015) Nitrogen dynamics on Guam as revealed by the seagrass Enhalus acoroides. Marine Ecology Progress Series 528:117-126 DOI:10.3354/meps11270

MacAvoy SE, V Bacalan, M Kazantseva, J Rhodes & K Kim (2015) Sulfur isotopes show importance of freshwater primary production for Florida manatees. Marine Mammal Science DOI: 10.1111/mms.12166

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Marine biology, coral reef ecology, marine conservation

Additional Information

Kiho Kim is professor in the Department of Environmental Science at American University. He received his Ph.D. in 1996 at the State University of New York–Buffalo, studying the ecology of tropical coral reefs, and did postdoctoral work at Cornell University. As a marine biologist, Kiho focuses his research on the impacts of environmental factors, such as pollution and climate change, on the health of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses. Kim has participated in working groups at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis examining the ecology of diseases. He has worked with the British Council in promoting international networking for young scientists. Kim has published 37 articles in refereed journals, six book chapters, and garnered $2.6 million in extramural funding.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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