Kirk Kilfoyle, M.S.

Research Assistant
Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences
(954) 262-3676



Fish Ecology Lab

Major Professor

Dr. Richard Spieler

Areas of Research

PhD research is centered on coral reef restoration techniques, specifically using artificial reefs as an experimental platform to evaluate the efficacy of adding coral transplants and artificial invertebrate enhancing substrate to kick-start recovery and recruitment of reef fishes, corals, non-coral invertebrates, and algal populations.

Additional work includes annual monitoring of reef fish populations as part of the ongoing Southeast Florida Fishery Independent Baseline Assessment that focuses on reef fish communities from 0-33 m depth throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties. This project is complimentary to the long-running RVC (Reef fish Visual Census) program in the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas that is managed by NOAA-SEFSC and RSMAS.   

I have also been involved in annual monitoring of reef fishes in Broward County, assessment of fish communities on various types of artificial reefs, ROV surveys on vessel reefs and natural hardbottom in the 50-120 m depth range, water quality sampling, and have participated in various other field projects as needed.

Specialties include in-water and laboratory identification of fishes, training of scientific divers in visual survey techniques and general field operations, and underwater photography.

Ditty, J. G., Kilfoyle, K, Farooqi, T. and R. F. Shaw. 2005. Chapter 106 - Order Syngnathiformes: Families Aulostomidae, Centriscidae, and Fistularidae. In W. J. Richards (Ed.) Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes: An Identification Guide for the Western Central North Atlantic (I): 2005 (pp. 1121-1131). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Melbourne-Thomas, J., Cleland, D., Arnold, S.N., Baria, M.V., Bollozos, I.S., Couch, C.S., Dela Cruz, D.W., Dizon, R.M., Fung, T., Geronimo, R.C., Jordan-Garza, A.G., Gurney, G., Kilfoyle, K., Kongjandtre, N., Zubillaga, A.L., Mohammed, M.S., Mojica, A.M., Mouchka, M.E., Padilla-Gamino, J.L., Penaflor, E.L., Porto, I., Ravago-Gotangco, R., Roelfsema, C.M., Saenz-Agudelo, P., Salas, E., Ticzon, V.S., Vergara, M.W.B., Vicentuan-Cabaitan, K., and R.D. Villanueva. 2010.  Experimental methods of coral reef restoration: implementing a standardized module intervention and monitoring program in Mexico.  In Cleland, D., Melbourne-Thomas, J., King, M., and G. Sheehan (Eds.) Building capacity in coral reef science: An anthology of CRTR scholars’ research 2010. pp. 109-115. Coral Reef Targeted Research & Capacity Building for Management Program, University of Queensland, Australia.

Pioch, S., Kilfoyle, K., Levrel, H., and R. E. Spieler. 2011. Green Marine Construction. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 61, pp. 257-268.

Pioch, S., Saussola, P., Kilfoyle, K., and R.E. Spieler. 2011. Ecological design of marine construction for socio-economic benefits: ecosystem integration of a pipeline in coral reef area. Procedia Environmental Sciences 9, pp. 148-152.

Bryan, D. R., Kilfoyle, K., Gilmore, R. G. Jr., and R. E. Spieler. 2013. Characterization of the mesophotic reef fish community in south Florida, USA. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 29, pp. 108-117.

Kilfoyle, A.K., Freeman, J., Jordan, L.K.B., Quinn, T.P., and R.E. Spieler. 2013. Fish assemblages on a mitigation boulder reef and neighboring hardbottom. Ocean and Coastal Management 75, pp. 53-62.

Kilfoyle, K., Walker, B. K., Smith, S.G., and R. Spieler. 2014. Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) Local Action Strategy (LAS) Project 3B “Southeast Florida Coral Reef Fishery-Independent Baseline Assessment” – 2012-2013 Interim Report. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 95 pp.