Dr Ruth Kirk


I am a eukaryotic parasitologist, specialising in molecular identification and ecology of aquatic helminths.  Early research focused on introduced parasites of fish such as Sanguinicola inermis in carp (PhD, Royal Holloway University of London and Thames Water), Anguillicoloides crassus in eels (Leverhulme Trust Research Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Exeter and Royal Holloway) and Atractolytocestus huronensis in carp (Research Fellowship, Kingston University).  I worked as an aquatic consultant and then joined Kingston University as a research fellow, progressing to associate professor. I have supervised MSc and PhD research projects on schistosomiasis, fish parasites, histology, cercarial dermatitis and led the UK Digenean Diversity Project which has resulted in molecular identification of many digenean parasites of freshwater snail vectors in the UK for the first time. I am also generating a UK Freshwater Fish Parasites Database with my colleague, Dr Bernice Brewster.  I am currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at Kingston University. 

Academic responsibilities

Visiting Senior Fellow in Parasitology


  • PhD Fish Parasitology (University of London)
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (University of London)

Teaching and learning

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


My research publications can be accessed from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ruth-Kirk/research.  My current research focuses on: 

  • UK Digenean Diversity Project - using phylogenetics to identify digenean parasites transmitted by freshwater snail vectors
  • UK Freshwater Fish Parasites Database with Dr Bernice Brewster
  •  Incidence, impacts and assessing risk of cercarial dermatitis
  • Cell signalling in schistosomes
  • Helminth parasites of freshwater fish, particularly introduced species

Areas of specialism

  • Aquatic parasitology

Scholarly affiliations

  • Member of the British Society for Parasitology
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society
  • Fellow of the Zoological Society of London

Research student supervision

Leadership and management

I am an external and internal assessor of grant applications for international research councils and provide peer reviews for many life science journals and books.