Peter Kingsley-Smith

MRRI Assistant Director and Shellfish Research Section Manager, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Address: Marine Resources Research Institute (MRRI), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.953.9840 (office), 843.655.8763 (work cell)


Ph.D., 2002, University College of North Wales, Bangor, Wales, UK
B.Sc., 1998, Marine & Environmental Sciences, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, UK

Research Interests

  • Population assessments of bivalve and crustacean shellfish species in support of sustainable management and to direct on-the-ground restoration efforts
  • Installation and evaluation of oyster- and natural fiber-based living shorelines aimed at addressing erosion, increasing coastal resiliency, and creating structurally-complex nearshore habitats
  • Ecological studies of aquatic, marine and estuarine invasive species, with a focus on invertebrates, to better understand species life histories, changes in distribution, and pathways of introduction
  • Application of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based approaches to natural resource assessments

Current research projects

  • Assessing natural rates of recruitment, survival/mortality, and growth of South Carolina intertidal oyster reefs; assessing the spatial extent and condition of state-managed shellfish grounds using small, unmanned aerial systems [SC Saltwater Recreational Fishing License funds].
  • Improving quantitative assessments of the status of South Carolina's intertidal oyster reefs by using small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) technology (Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Act funds).
  • Increasing the footprint of intertidal oyster reefs created using re-purposed and/or manufactured wire reefs as well as other alternative living shoreline materials (Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Act funds).
  • Crustacean research and fishery-independent monitoring program to address significant management questions (SC Saltwater Recreational Fishing License funds)
  • · Facilitating and implementing the removal of derelict crab traps (DCTs) in South Carolina estuaries (NOAA Marine Debris Program funds).
  • Improving the resilience of salt marsh ecosystems within the ACE Basin through the creation of intertidal oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reef habitat (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds).
  • Flipping the cages on sustainable aquaculture: A study on oyster mariculture technique and policy to reduce pathogens (Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education funds).
  • Collaborative development of novel remote sensing workflows for assessing oyster reef structural and demographic characteristics to inform management and restoration (NOAA NERRS Science Collaborative funds).
  • Investigating WSSV introduction pathways as a threat to native crustacean species; Is the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) a vector for the white spot syndrome virus (USFWS State and Interstate Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan Program funds)
  • Quantifying interactions between Atlantic blue crab and nuisance blue catfish in South Carolina (USFWS State and Interstate Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan Program funds).


  • Blosser, B. C., Weinstein, J. E., Kingsley-Smith, P. R., Sundin, G. W., Beckingham, B. A. & Gray, A. D. (2024). Spatial and temporal variation in microplastic concentrations and abundances in Eastern oysters, Crassostrea virginica, from South Carolina, USA. Marine Pollution Bulletin, in prep.
  • Krol, J. D., Hill, J. M., Kingsley Smith, P. R., Kendrick, M. R., Gooding, E. L., Fuchs, C., Whelan, N. V. & Bullard, S. A. (2024). First detection of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV) from wild-caught giant tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon Fabricius, 1798 (Penaeoidea: Penaeidae) from the Gulf of Mexico and Northwestern Atlantic Ocean. BioInvasions Records, 13:xxx-xxx, in press.
  • Sasson, D. A., Chabot, C. C., Mattei, J. H., Brunson, J. F., Hall, F. K., Huber, J. H., Kasinak, J.-M. E., McShane, C., Puckette, P. T., Sundin, G. W., Kingsley-Smith, P. R. & Kendrick, M. R. (2024). The American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, spawns regularly in salt marshes. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, in press.
  • Sasson, D. A., Allen, J. M., Walker, M. J., Huber, J. H., Rothman, G. K., Kingsley-Smith, P. R., Darden, T. L. & Kendrick, M. R. (2024). Prevalence of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in wild-caught and commodity decapod crustaceans in coastal South Carolina, USA. Journal of Crustacean Biology 44:1-6.
  • Brunson, J. F., Sitta, K. A., Kendrick, M. R. & Kingsley-Smith, P. R. (2023). Evidence for a male sex bias in Atlantic blue crab pot-based sampling. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10962
  • Scott, E., Kendrick, M. R., Kingsley-Smith, P. R., James, M., Lemeris, J. Weeks, E. & Sasson, D. A. (2023). Using public sightings to document the widespread distribution of the non-endemic blue land crab, Cardisoma guanhumi, in South Carolina. Southeastern Naturalist 22(4):498-503.
  • Kingsley-Smith, P. R., Tweel, A. W., Johnson, S. P., Sundin, G. W., Hodges, M. S., Stone, B. W., Sorg, G. D. & Sanger, D. M. (2023). Evaluating the ability of constructed intertidal Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reefs to address shoreline erosion in South Carolina, USA. Journal of South Carolina Water Resources 9(1):15-28.
  • Good, J. T., Kendrick, M. R., Podolsky, R. D., Whitaker, J. D. & Kingsley-Smith, P. R. (2023). Life history patterns of the Atlantic brief squid Lolliguncula brevis (Blainville, 1823), in the Charleston Harbor estuary, South Carolina, USA. Journal of Shellfish Research 42(1):113-123.
  • Zuidema, S., De Buron, I., Kingsley-Smith, P., Hill-Spanik, K., Fanani, N., & Kendrick, M. (2022). Ontogenetic and spatial variability in parasite communities of white shrimp Penaeus setiferus (Decapoda: Penaeidae). Parasitology 150:230-239.
  • Carnegie, R.B. S.E. Ford, R.K. Crockett, P.R. Kingsley-Smith & E.M. Burreson. (2021). A rapid phenotype change associated with increased virulence caused a historically significant marine disease emergence. Scientific Reports 11:12872.