Daniel Rittschof

Daniel Rittschof

Norman L. Christensen Professor of Environmental Sciences

My day to day research focus is ecology with emphasis on larval biology, chemical, behavioral, spatial ecology and environmental toxicology. Theoretical contributions are in the origins and evolution of chemical systems. Presently, there are three areas of focus: 1) Ecology and behavioral biology of local macroinvertebrates such as blue crabs and mud snails; 2) Barnacle models as they relate to fouling and the prevention of fouling and bioadhesives; 3. Impacts of xenobiotics on behavior and reproduction. I and my students are funded in all three areas with grants to work on a variety of aspects of ecology and reproduction of blue crabs, grants to study families of barnacles with heritable biological adhesive phenotypes and to provide expertise in barnacle biology and to provide living material for the Office of Naval Research Fouling Research program and funding to study impacts of biocide boosters on reproduction and fecundity of target and non target species. I am continuing to participate in an antifouling program in Singapore which began January 2000. The Singapore program has the goal of using drugs from medicine as environmentally benign antifoulants. I have recently begun collaborative research programs in India and Brazil.

In The News


Darnell, MZ, Rittschof, CC, Rittschof, J, Beach, C, and Rittschof, D. "Autotomy of the major claw stimulates molting and suppresses feeding in fiddler crabs." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 509 (December 2018): 66-70.

Nardone, JA, Patel, S, Siegel, KR, Tedesco, D, McNicholl, CG, O'Malley, J, Herrick, J, Metzler, RA, Orihuela, B, Rittschof, D, and Dickinson, GH. "Assessing the impacts of ocean acidification on adhesion and shell formation in the Barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite." Frontiers in Marine Science 5, no. OCT (October 22, 2018).

Fears, KP, Orihuela, B, Rittschof, D, and Wahl, KJ. "Acorn Barnacles Secrete Phase-Separating Fluid to Clear Surfaces Ahead of Cement Deposition." Advanced Science (Weinheim, Baden Wurttemberg, Germany) 5, no. 6 (June 2018): 1700762-null.

Li, H-X, Ma, L-S, Lin, L, Ni, Z-X, Xu, X-R, Shi, H-H, Yan, Y, Zheng, G-M, and Rittschof, D. "Microplastics in oysters Saccostrea cucullata along the Pearl River Estuary, China." Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) 236 (May 2018): 619-625.

Gatley-Montross, CM, Finlay, JA, Aldred, N, Cassady, H, Destino, JF, Orihuela, B, Hickner, MA, Clare, AS, Rittschof, D, Holm, ER, and Detty, MR. "Multivariate analysis of attachment of biofouling organisms in response to material surface characteristics." Biointerphases 12, no. 5 (December 29, 2017): 051003-.

Recent Grants


ENVIRON 379LA: Research Methods in Marine Science (ENVIRON 379LA: Research Methods in Marine Science)
BIOLOGY 792A: Research (BIOLOGY 792A: Research)
BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study (BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study)
NEUROSCI 381LA: Sensory Physiology and Behavior of Marine Animals (NEUROSCI 381LA: Sensory Physiology and Behavior of Marine Animals)
ENVIRON 271A: Biology for Engineers: Informing Engineering Decisions (ENVIRON 271A: Biology for Engineers: Informing Engineering Decisions)

Contact Information

135 Duke Marine Lab Rd
Beaufort, NC 28516


Ph.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (1975)
M.S., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (1970)