Kimberly Ritchie

Associate Professor, Department of Natural Sciences, University of South Carolina Beaufort, Beaufort SC 29902

Address: Department of Natural Sciences, University of South Carolina at Beaufort, 801 Carteret Street, Historic Beaufort Campus, Beaufort, SC 29902
Phone: 843.521.4135
Personal Website:


Ph.D., 2000, Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

B.S., 1994, Biology, University of South Carolina at Aiken

Research Interests

  • Coral reef ecology 
  • Benefical microbes
  • Microbial ecology
  • Host-microbe interactions
  • Climate change 
  • Marine policy

 Current research projects

  • Benefical bacteria associated with white shark epidermal surfaces
  • Novel antibiotics from marine sources
  • Caribbean Sea urchin disease causation
  • Antibiotic-producing bacteria as a proxy for coral health in Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease



  • Newton, A.L. & K.B. Ritchie. 2022. Chapter in: Biology of Sharks & Their Relatives, CRC Press, Third Edition. Chapter 14: Elasmobranch Health, Pathology and the Host Microbiome. 421-486.
  • Pratte, Z.A., C. Perry, A.D.M. Dove, L.A. Hoopes, K.B. Ritchie, R.E. Heuter, C. Fischer, A. Newton, & F.J. Stewart. 2022. Microbiome structure in large pelagic sharks with distinct feeding ecologies. Animal Microbiome 4(1): 1-16.
  • Ritchie, K.B., M. Schwarz, J. Mueller, V. Lapacek, D. Merselis, C.J. Walsh, & C.A. Luer. 2017. Survey of antibiotic‐producing bacteria associated with the epidermal mucus layers of rays and skates. Frontiers in Microbiology 8:1050. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.01050
  • Krediet, C., K.B. Ritchie, V.J. Paul, & M. Teplitski. 2013. Coral-associated micro-organisms and their roles in promoting coral health and thwarting diseases. Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science 280: 20122328.
  • McDaniel, L.E., E. Young, J. Delaney, F. Ruhnau, K.B. Ritchie, & J.H. Paul. 2010. High frequency of horizontal gene transfer in the oceans. Science 330: 50.
  • Mao-Jones, J., K.B. Ritchie, L.E. Jones, & S.P. Ellner. 2010. How microbial community composition regulates coral disease development. PLoS Biology 8(3):e1000345.
  • Ritchie, K.B. 2006. Regulation of marine microbes by coral mucus and mucus-associated bacteria. Marine Ecology Progress Series Feature Article 322: 1-14.
  • Patterson, K.L., J.W. Porter, K.B. Ritchie, G.W. Smith, & S.W. Polson. 2002. Etiology of white pox, a lethal disease of the Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 99(13): 8725-8730.
  • Ritchie, K.B., I. Nagelkerken, S. James, & G.W. Smith. 2000. Identification of a tetrodotoxin producing pathogen of the heart urchin Meoma ventricosa. Nature 404(6776):354.
  • Smith, G.W., L.D. Ives, I.A. Nagelkerken, & K.B. Ritchie. 1996. Caribbean sea-fan mortalities. Nature 383: 487.