James Kilfoil

Assistant Marine Scientist, Inshore Fisheries Research Section, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Address: Marine Resources Research Institute, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.953.5778
E-mail: kilfoilj@dnr.sc.gov


Ph.D., 2020, Biological Sciences, Florida International University
M.S., 2014, Natural Resources, Delaware State University
B.S., 2010, Nutrition and Physiology, University of Missouri

Research Interests

  • Fish population dynamics
  • Predator/prey interactions
  • Spatial ecology
  • Fisheries science
  • Bycatch
  • Marine survey technologies and methodologies
  • Human-wildlife interactions

Current and Planned Research Projects

  • Inshore Fisheries Research Section’ trammel net and electrofishing surveys used to
    study estuarine finfish and coastal elasmobranch species
  • Using data from long-term monitoring programs, life history studies and mark-
    recapture programs to improve the management of important commercial and
    recreational fisheries in South Carolina

Past Research Projects

  • Assessing the influence of human disturbance on brown bear foraging behavior of Pacific Salmon
  • Nursery spatiotemporal partitioning of blacktip reef and sicklefin lemon sharks
  • Quantifying and reducing biases of optical survey tools used in fisheries research
  • Combining unmanned aerial vehicles and artificial intelligence to improve survey planning of marine invertebrate species
  • Characterizing recreational fishery and potential mortality rate of sand tiger sharks from shore-based angling events
  • Assessing impacts of climatological and anthropogenic changes on fish spatiotemporal patterns


  • *Kilfoil, J.P., M.R. Heithaus, M.E. Bond. 2022. A review of fisheries bycatch literature: Identifying common themes, problems, and potential solutions. A report for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ International Fisheries Division.
  • Kilfoil, J.P., M.D. Campbell, M.R. Heithaus, Y. Zhang. 2021. The influence of shark behavior and environmental conditions on baited remote underwater video survey results. Ecological Modeling. 447: 109507.
  • Kilfoil, J.P., I.R. Pinto, J.J. Kiszka, M.R. Heithaus, Y. Zhang, C. Roa, L. Ailloud, M. Cambell, and A.J. Wirsing. 2020. Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and machine learning to improve sea cucumber density estimation in shallow coral ecosystems. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 77: 2882-2889.
  • Lagabrielle E., A. Allibert, J. Kiszka, N. Loiseau, J.P. Kilfoil, and A. Lemahieu. 2018. Socioecological changes increase the probability of shark-human interactions around a fast-developing Indian Ocean island. Scientific Reports. 8: 3676.
  • Campbell, M.D., J. Salisbury, R. Caillouet, W.B. Driggers, and J.P. Kilfoil. 2018. Camera field- of-view and fish abundance estimation: a comparison of individual-based model output and empirical data. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 501: 46-53.
  • Kilfoil, J.P., A. J. Wirising, M.D. Campbell, J.J. Kiszka , K. R. Gastrich, M. R. Heithaus, Y. Zhang, and M. E. Bond. 2017. Baited Remote Underwater Video surveys undercount sharks at high densities: Insights from full-spherical camera technologies. Marine Ecological Progress Series. 585: 113-121.
  • Kilfoil, J.P., B.M Wetherbee, J.K. Carlson, and D.A. Fox. 2017. Targeted catch and release angling of prohibited sharks: Sand Tigers (Carcharias taurus) in coastal Delaware waters. Fisheries. 42: 281-287.
  • *Fox, D.A., B.M. Wetherbee, S. Johnson, J.P. Kilfoil, and S. Michels. 2015.  Conservation of the Sand Tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) in the waters of Delaware Bay and nearshore coastal habitats. Final Report for NOAA-NMFS Proactive Species Conservation Program. Award Number: NA09NMF4720365.
* Non-peer reviewed publications