Dr Ruth Kirk

About

My fascination with aquatic parasites began during my BSc in Biological Sciences at Westfield College, University of London. I then undertook  a PhD studentship on Sanguinicola inermis, a blood fluke parasite of carp, at Royal Holloway, University of London in collaboration with Thames Water. I managed a Fish Parasitology and Pathology Consultancy at Royal Holloway and worked as a lecturer in life sciences at Middlesex University, London. During a Leverhulme Trust Research Postdoctoral Fellowship at Exeter University and Royal Holloway, I carried out research on the biology and saline tolerance of Anguillicoloides crassus, a pathogenic swim bladder nematode parasite of European eels. I ran my own aquatic consultancy company, Crucian UK, for several years but then returned to university life. I joined Kingston University as a research fellow and was appointed to a lectureship. I have worked as an associate professor in parasitology at Kingston University focusing on schistosomes and aquatic parasites and vectors and am now a Visiting Senior Fellow.

Academic responsibilities

Associate professor in parasitology

Qualifications

  • PhD Fish Parasitology and Pathology (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

Research

My current research interests are:

  • UK Digenean Diversity Project - using phylogenetics to identify digenean parasites transmitted by aquatic snail hosts and determination of their biomedical and zoonotic importance
  •  Incidence, impacts and assessing risk of cercarial dermatitis
  • Cell signalling in schistosomes
  • Helminth parasites of freshwater fish, particularly invasive 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.

I have acted as a consultant for the Environment Agency and fisheries industry.

Public and CIVIC roles

  • I liaise with the Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group and local biodiversity groups.