Coral Reef Ecology & Microbiology

Dr. Kim Beach Ritchie

Dr. Kim Beach Ritchie

Senior Scientist

Dr. Kim Beach Ritchie is Senior Scientist and manager of the Marine Microbiology program at Mote Marine Laboratory. She has been studying microbes associated with corals and other coral reef organisms for over 20 years. Dr. Ritchie began her work at Mote on coral microbiology, coral diseases and coral host resistance in 2004. Currently she studies host-microbe interactions and is particularly interested in the role of beneficial microbes in corals and other marine organisms.


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

PhD, Genetics, 2000, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Postdoc, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Sept-Jan 2001

Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship, June-Sept 2000



Book Chapters:

Ritchie, KB (2013) Microbial Communities in Coral Health and Disease. In: Choffnes, Olsen and Wizemann (Eds). Forum on Microbial Threats Board on Global Health. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences. The National Academies Press (Washington DC), p54-58

Ritchie, KB (2012) Microbial communities are important to corals.  In: Kruczynski, W.L. and Fletcher, P.J. (Eds), Tropical Connections: South Florida's marine environment. IAN Press, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD, p. 222.

Ritchie, KB (2011) Bacterial Symbionts of Corals and Symbiodinium. In: Beneficial Microorganisms in Multicellular Life Forms, Springer-Verlag (Berlin) E. Rosenberg and U. Gophna (Eds) Chapter 9, pp 139-150
Ritchie, KB and GW Smith. (2004) Microbial Communities of Coral Surface Mucopolysaccharide Layers. In: Coral Health and Disease, Springer-Verlag (Berlin) E. Rosenberg and Y. Loya (Eds.) Chapter 13, pp 259-263
KP Sutherland and KB Ritchie (2004) White pox disease of the Caribbean Elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata. In: Coral Health and Disease, Springer-Verlag (Berlin) E. Rosenberg and Y. Loya (Eds.) Chapter 16, pp pp. 289-297

Peer Reviewed Publications:

Sharp, KH, JM Sneed, KB Ritchie, L McDaniel, and VJ Paul (2015) Induction of larval settlement in the reef coral Porites astreoides by a cultivated marine Roseobacter strain. The Biological Bulletin 228(2): 98-107.

Krediet CJ, WJ Zaragoza, A Alagely, KB Ritchie, M Teplitski (In Press) Aiptasia pallida: a surrogate model polyp susceptible to infections with coral opportunistic pathogens. Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Zaragoza W, C Krediet, JL Meyer, G Canas, KB Ritchie, M Teplitski (2014) Outcomes of infections of a sea anemone Aiptasia pallida with Vibrio spp pathogenic to corals. Microbial Ecology DOI: 10.1007/s00248-014-0397-2

Sneed, J, KH Sharp, K Ritchie, VJ Paul (2014) The chemical cue tetrabromopyrrole from a biofilm bacterium induces settlement of multiple Caribbean corals. Proceedings of the Royal Academy B pii: 20133086. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3086.

Frydenborg, BR, CJ Krediet, M Teplitski, KB Ritchie (2014) Temperature-Dependent Inhibition of Opportunisic Vibrio Pathogens by Native Coral Commensal Bacteria. Environmental Microbiology. DOI:10.1007/s00248-013-0334-9DOI:10.1007/s00248-013-0334-9

Krediet CJ, JL Meyer, N Gimbrone, R Yanong, I Berzins, A Algely, H Castro, KB Ritchie, VJ Paul, M Teplitski (2014) Interactions between the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia pallida and Serratia marscescens, and opportunistic pathogen of corals. Environmental Microbiology Reports DOI 10.1111/1758-2229.12151

Krediet, C, KB Ritchie, VJ 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.

Goodbody Gringley, G, D Wetzel, D Gillon, E Pulster, A Miller and KB Ritchie (2013) Toxicity of Deepwater Horizon source oil and the chemical dispersant, Corexit® 9500, to coral larvae. PLoS ONE 8(1): e45574. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045574

Krediet, C, KB Ritchie, M Teplitski (2012) Characterization of the gacA-dependent behaviors in an opportunistic coral pathogen Serratia marcescens PDL100. FEMS Microbial Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12064

Krediet , C, KB Ritchie, A Alagely, M Teplitski (2012) Members of native coral microbiota inhibit glycosidases and thwart colonization of coral mucus by an opportunistic pathogen. The ISME Journal, 1-11. DOI:10.1038/ismej.2012.164 
Sharp, K and KB Ritchie (2012) Multi-partner interactions in corals in the face of climate change. Biological Bulletin 223: 66-77.
McDaniel, LD, EC Young, KB Ritchie, JH Paul (2012) Environmental Factors Influencing Gene Transfer Agent (GTA) Mediated Transduction in the Subtropical Ocean. PLoS ONE. 7(8): e43506.

Alagely, A, CJ Krediet, KB Ritchie and M Teplitski (2011) Signaling-mediated cross-talk modulates swarming and biofilm formation in a coral pathogen Serratia marcescens. The ISME Journal ISME J 5: 1609-1620; advance online publication, April 21, 2011; doi:10.1038/ismej.2011.45

Ritchie, KB and GW Smith (2011) Susceptibility of Echinoderms to Infection by Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis subsp. Tetraodonis.  Pages 70-74, in

Cipriano, RC, Bruckner, A, and Shchelkunov, IS, Eds. Aquatic Animal Health: A Continuing Dialogue Between Russia And The United States. Proceedings of the Third Bilateral Conference Between the United States and Russia: Aquatic Animal Health 2009.

Daniels, CA, Zeifman A, Heym K, Ritchie KB, Watson, CA, Berzins I, and Breitbart M (2011) Spatial Heterogeneity of Bacterial Communities in the Mucus of  Montastraea annularis. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 426: 29-40

McDaniel, LE, Young E, Delaney J, Ruhnau F., Ritchie KB, Paul JH (2010) High Frequency of Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Oceans. Science 330, 50

Sharp, KH, KB Ritchie, P Schupp, R Ritson-Williams, and VJ Paul (2010) Bacterial Acquisition by Gametes and Juveniles from Several Broadcast Spawning Coral Species. PLoS ONE 5(5): e10898. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010898

Mao-Jones J, Ritchie KB, Jones LE, Ellner SP (2010) How microbial community composition regulates coral disease development. PLoS Biol 2010 8(3):e1000345 Manuscript received Faculty of 1000 rating.

Eakin CM, Morgan JA, Heron SF, Smith TB, Liu G, et al. of 67 authors (2010) Caribbean Corals in Crisis: Record Thermal Stress, Bleaching, and Mortality in 2005. PLoS ONE 5(11): e13969. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013969

Krediet, C, M Teplitski, KB Ritchie. (2009) Catabolite control of enzyme induction and biofilm formation in a coral pathogen Serratia marcescens PDL100. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 87:57-66.

Krediet, CJ, KB Ritchie, M Cohen, E Lipp, K Sutherland, and M Teplitski (2009) Utilization of mucus from the coral Acropora palmata by environmental and pathogenic isolates of Serratia marcescens.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75(12): 3851-3858.

Teplitski, M and KB Ritchie (2009) How Feasible is the Biological Control of Coral Disease?  Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 24(7): 378-385

Weil, E, KB Ritchie, A Croquer, JR Cunning, and GW Smith (2009) Inoculation of Vibrio spp. onto Montastraea faveolata fragments to determine potential pathogenicity.  Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium. 7:202-205

Cunning, JR, JE Thurmond, GW Smith, E Weil, and KB Ritchie (2009) A survey of vibrios associated with healthy and Yellow Band Diseased Montastraea faveolata. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium. 7:206-210

Ritchie, KB and BD Keller, eds. (2008). A Scientific Forum on the Gulf of Mexico: The Islands in the Stream Concept. Proceedings, 23 January 2008, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL. Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series NMSP-08-04. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Sanctuary Program, Silver Spring, MD. 105 pp

Ritchie, KB (2006) Regulation of marine microbes by coral mucus and mucus-associated bacteria. Marine Ecology Progress Series. Feature Article. 322: 1-14

JK Culter, KB Ritchie, S.A. Earle, D.E. Guggenheim, R.B. Halley, K.T. Ciembronowicz, A.C. Hine, B.D. Jarret, W.C. Jaap (2006) Pulley Reef: a deep photosynthetic coral reef on the West Florida Shelf, USA Coral Reefs 25(2): 228

Garrison, VH, EA Shinn, WT Foreman, RD Griffin, C Holmes, CA Kellogg, MS Majewski, L Richardson, KB Ritchie, GW Smith (2003) African and Asian dust: from desert soil to coral reef. BioScience 53(5): 469-480

Patterson, KL, JW Porter, KB Ritchie, GW Smith, SW 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, KB, SW Polson, and GW Smith (2001)  Microbial Disease Causation in Marine Invertebrates:  Problems, Practices, and Future Prospects.  Hydrobiologia 460: 131-139

Laurie L. Richardson, Garriet W. Smith, Kim B. Ritchie and Richard G. Carlton (2001).  "Integrating Microbiological, Microsensor, Molecular, and Physiologic Techniques in the Study of Coral Disease Etiology".  Hydrobiologia 460: 140-149

Ritchie, KB and TD Petes (2000).  The Rad50/Mrell/Xrs2 protein complex and the Tel1p are in a single pathway for telomere maintenance.  Genetics 155: 475-479.

Ritchie, KB, I Nagelkerken, S James and GW Smith (2000) Identification of a Tetrodotoxin-Producing Pathogen of the Heart Urchin Meoma ventricosa.  Nature 404 (6776): 354

Ritchie, KB, J Mallory, and TD Petes (1999) Interactions of telomerase, TEL1, and MEC1 in regulating telomere length in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae".  Molecular and Cellular Biology  19 (9): 6065-6075

Ritchie, KB and GW Smith (1998) Type II White-Band Disease. Revista De Biologia Tropical 46 Supl. 5: 199-203

Geiser DM, JW Taylor, KB Ritchie, and GW Smith (1998) Cause of sea fan death in the West Indies.  Nature 394: 137-138

Richardson, LL, WM Goldberg, KG Kuta, RB Aronson, GW Smith, KB Ritchie, JC Halas, JS Feingold, SL Miller (1998)  Florida's mystery coral-killer identified.  Nature 392:557-558

Ritchie, KB and GW Smith  (1997)  Physiological Comparisons of Bacteria from Various Species of Scleractinian Corals.  Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium for Reef Studies. 1:521-526, 1997

Smith, GW, LD Ives, IA Nagelkerken and KB Ritchie (1996) Caribbean Sea-Fan Mortalities.  Nature 383, 487

Porter, SE, PW Greenwell, KB Ritchie and TD Petes (1996) The DNA-binding protein Hdf1p  (a putative Ku homolog) is required for maintaining normal telomere length in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Nucleic Acids Research 24 (4), 582-585

Ritchie, KB and GW Smith (1995)  Preferential carbon utilization by surface bacterial communities from water mass, normal, and white-band diseased Acropora cervicornis.  Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology  4 (4), 345-352

Ritchie, KB and GW Smith (1995)  Carbon-source utilization patterns of coral-associated marine heterotrophs.  Journal of Marine Biotechnology  3:105-107. 

Other Publications:

Ritchie, KB, J Thurmond, K. Davis, D. Bond (2009) Annual Report: Mote Extended Red Tide Monitoring and Research Program: Microbial Community Dynamics of Florida Red Tide Events. pg 45-62.

Smith, GW, CD Harvell, K Kim, KB Ritchie, SC James, and KC Buchan. (1998)  Cellular events Occuring During the Pathogenesis of Aspergillosis of Gorgonia Species.  Proceedings of the Natural History of the Bahamas  7: 1-5

A. Jindal, KB Ritchie, RL Hayes, TJ Goreau and GW Smith.  (1996)  “Bacterial Ecology of Selected Corals Following the 1994 South Central Pacific Bleaching Event”. Proceedings, 27th meeting of the Association of the Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean  27 (26-32).

Ritchie, KB, RA Holly, TA McGrath and GW Smith.  (1996)  “INT-Linked Dehydrogenase Activity in the Surface Mucopolysaccharide Layers of Bahamian Scleractinian Corals”.  Proceedings of the Natural History of the Bahamas 6 (134-138).

Ritchie, KB, DT Gerace and GW Smith. (1994)   “Grouping of Bacterial Heterotrophs from Scleractinian Corals Using Metabolic Potentials”.  Proceedings, 26th meeting of the Association of the Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean 26 (224-235).

Ritchie, KB, JH Dennis and GW. Smith. (1994)   “Bacteria Associated with Bleached and Healthy Areas of Montastraea annularis”.  Proceedings, of the Natural History of the Bahamas  5 (75-80).

Ritchie, KB, JH Dennis, WM Randolf, FJ Mondello, BD Erickson, JH Lobos and JR Yates.  (1993)   “Analysis of bphA  Genes Related to Pseudomonas  strain LB400”.   Chapter 14:  Twelfth Progress Report - General Electric Company Research and Development Program for the Destruction of PCBs.