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David D. Kuhn

Associate Professor
Dr. David Kuhn
402-E HABB1 (0924)
1230 Washington Street SW
Blacksburg, VA 24061


  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2008
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Clarkson University, 2003
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Clarkson University, 2001
  • B.S., Mathematics, Saint Lawrence University, 2000

Employment History

2018 – Present Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Food Science and Technology Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
2012 - 2018 Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Food Science and Technology Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
2010 - 2012 Research Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
December 2007 - 2010 Research Associate, Department of Food Science and Technology Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
August 2003 - December 2007 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
August 2001 - May 2003 K12 Problem Based Learning Project Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
May 2000 - August 2000 Consultant, A.E. Hodsdon Consulting, Waterville, ME
May 1998 - January 2000 (summer and winter breaks) Environmental Laboratory Technician, Northeast Laboratory Services Winslow, ME

Dave Kuhn, PhD, is a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. His aquatic laboratories have a track record for excellent animal husbandry. Understanding how to properly design, construct, and manage life-support systems for culturing aquatic animals is paramount for a top-tier aquatic research program. In addition to conducting research projects in the laboratory at Virginia Tech he has also served as a Principal Investigator on sponsored projects at nine privately owned aquaculture facilities that culture finfish, shrimp, oysters, or clams. Conducting research in these public-private partnerships brings a unique and practical aspect back to his research and outreach programs. He also has experience working on economic development projects in several different localities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Dr. Kuhn earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Saint Lawrence University and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University. He went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University and a Doctorate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Much of his work aims to directly benefit and improve the aquaculture industry through basic and applied research programs that address practical technical issues and limitations from cradle (hatchery and production) to grave (marketing and waste handling). Dr. Kuhn has access to Virginia Tech faculty from various disciplines to build out well qualified interdisciplinary teams to design and execute novel projects. Current activities include aquacultural engineering (water quality, system design, lighting), nutrition (evaluation of new protein and lipid sources in aquafeeds), biotechnology (conversion of by-products into aquafeed ingredients, probiotics and antibodies for improving fish and shrimp health), food (processing, packaging, value-adding, marketing), and outreach activities (hosts the International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference [ICRA, Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.] and various workshops).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Galagarza, O. A., Smith, S. A., Drahos, D. J., Eifert, J. D., Williams, R. C., Kuhn, D. D. (2018). Modulation of innate immunity in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) by dietary supplementation of Bacillus subtilis endospores. Fish and Shellfish Immunology.

Zou, S., Guan, L., Taylor, D., Kuhn, D. D., He, Z. (2018). Nitrogen removal from water of recirculating aquaculture system by microbial fuel cell. Aquaculture, 497, 74-81.

Sidhu, P. K., Smith, S. A., Mayer, C., Magnin, G., Kuhn, D. D., Jaberi-Douraki, M., & Coetzee, J. F. (2018). Comparative pharmacokinetics of oxytetracycline in tilapia ( Oreochromis spp.) maintained at three different salinities. Aquaculture. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2018.06.044

Stoneham, T., Kuhn, D. D., Taylor, D., Neilson, A. P. , Smith, S. A., Gatlin, D. M., O'Keefe, S. F. (2018). Production of omega-3 enriched tilapia through the dietary use of algae meal or fish oil; Improved nutrient value of fillet and offal. PLOS One, 13(4), 14 pages. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194241

Taylor, D. P., Smith, S. A., & Kuhn, D. D. (2017). Adsorptive performance of granular activated carbon in aquaculture and aquaria: a simplified method. Journal of Applied Aquaculture, 29, 291-306.

Vudathala, D., Smith, S. A., Khoo, L., Kuhn, D. D., Mainous, M. E., Steadman, J., Murphy, L. (2017). Analysis of microcystin-LR and nodularin using triple quad liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and histopathology in experimental fish. Toxicon, 138, 82-88. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2017.08.005

Galagarza, O. A., Kuhn, D. D., Smith, S. A., & Hrubec, T. C. (2017). Hematological and plasma chemistry reference intervals for cultured striped catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) in recirculating aquaculture systems. Veterinary Clinical Pathology. DOI: 10.1111/vcp.12513 

Williams, S. L., Jensen, R., Kuhn, D. D., & Stevens, A. M. (2017). Analyzing the metabolic capabilities of a Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain that causes early mortality syndrome in shrimp. Aquaculture. doi: /10.1016/j.aquaculture.2017.03.030

Kuhn, D. D., Lawrence, A. L., & Crockett, J. (2017). Dietary toxicity of manganese to shrimp and its accumulation in bioflocs. Aquaculture Nutrition. doi:10.1111/anu.12480

Averitt, B. J., Taylor, D. P., Kuhn, D. D., & Zhang, B. (2017). Developing a protocol for testing low phytic acid soy meal based feed on Pacific White Shrimp. International Journal of Environment and Agricultural Science, 1, 1-6.

Choi, M., Stevens, A. M., Smith, S. A., Taylor, D. P., & Kuhn, D. D. (2016). Strain and dose infectivity of Vibrio parahaemolyticus : the causative agent of early mortality syndrome in shrimp. Aquaculture Research. doi:10.1111/are.13197

Kuhn, D. D., Lawrence, A. L., Crockett, J., & Taylor, D. (2016). Evaluation of bioflocs derived from confectionary food effluent water as a replacement feed ingredient for fishmeal or soy meal for shrimp. Aquaculture, 454, 66-71. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2015.12.009

Sheibani, E., Duncan, S. E., Kuhn, D. D., Dietrich, A. M., Newkirk, J. J., & O'Keefe, S. F. (2016). Changes in flavor volatile composition of oolong tea after panning during tea processing. Food Science & Nutrition, 4(3), 456-468. doi:10.1002/fsn3.307

Sheibani, E., Duncan, S. E., Kuhn, D. D., Dietrich, A. M., & O'Keefe, S. F. (2016). SDE and SPME Analysis of Flavor Compounds in Jin Xuan Oolong Tea. Journal of Food Science, 81(2), C348-C358. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.13203

Kuhn, D. D., Smith, S. A., Mainous, M. E., & Taylor, D. P. (2014). Tobacco dust: A novel molluscicide for aquaculture applications. Aquacultural Engineering, 63, 25-31. doi:10.1016/j.aquaeng.2014.08.001

Kuhn, D. D., Smith, S. A., Mainous, M. E., & Taylor, D. P. (2014). Toxicity of tobacco dust to freshwater snails (Planorbella trivolvis) and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Aquacultural Engineering, 60, 14-19. doi:10.1016/j.aquaeng.2014.03.002

Waitt, J. A., Kuhn, D. D., Welbaum, G. E., & Ponder, M. A. (2014). Postharvest transfer and survival of Salmonella enterica serotype enteritidis on living lettuce. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 58(2), 95-101. doi:10.1111/lam.12170

Kuhn, D. D., Kingsley, D. H., Lawson, L. S., Flick, G. J., Oh, J., Meade, G. K., & Giesecke, C. (2014). Desirability of oysters treated by high pressure processing at different temperatures and elevated pressures. American Journal of Food Technology, 9, 206-216.

Kuhn, D. D., Angier, M. W., Barbour, S. L., Smith, S. A., & Flick, G. J. (2013). Culture feasibility of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in zero-water exchange recirculating aquaculture systems using synthetically derived seawater and live feeds. Aquacultural Engineering, 54, 45-48. doi:10.1016/j.aquaeng.2012.10.008

Mainous, M. E., Kuhn, D. D., & Smith, S. A. (2012). Efficacy of common aquaculture compounds for disinfection of Flavobacterium columnare and F. psychrophilum. Journal of Applied Aquaculture, 24, 262-270.


Avnimelech ,Y., P. De-Schryver, M. Emmereciano, D. Kuhn, A. Ray, N. Taw.  2014. Biofloc Technology: A Practical Guidebook, 3rd edition. The World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States.

Peer-Reviewed Extension Publications

Kuhn, D. D., & Smith, S. A. (2017). Fish Slaughter. Virginia Cooperative Extension, FST-276P.

Schwarz, M.H., Kuhn, D.D., Crosby, M., Mullins, C., Nerrie, B., Semmens, K. (accepted). Good Aquaculture Practices. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Southern Regional Aquaculture Center (SRAC). SRAC # (tbd)

Kuhn, D. D., & Taylor, D. P. (2017). Waterless Shipment of Warm-Water Shrimp. Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Publication FST-245P.

Kuhn, D. D., Schwarz, M. H., Craig, S. R., & Helfrich, L. (2017). Understanding Fish Nutrition, Feeds, and Feeding. Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Publication FST-269P.

Kuhn, D. D., Rusnell, J., Hudson, K., Beck, A., Schwarz, M. H., & Reece, K. (2017). Water Sampling Guide for Shellfish Hatcheries and Growers. Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Publication FST-267P.

Kuhn, D. D., Smith, S. A., Scott, D., & Taylor, D. P. (2017). Ozone Application in Aquaculture. Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Publication FST-244P.

Villalba, A., Jahncke, M. L., Schwarz, M. H., Kuhn, D., & Farris, A. (2016). Safe and nutritious seafood in Virginia. Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Publication AREC-156P.

Kuhn, D. D., Duncan, S. E., & Kostal, J. (2013). Increasing Your Confidence in Cooking High Quality, Safe Seafood (Fish and Shellfish): A Demonstration Tutorial. Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Publication FST-98NP.

Kuhn, D. D., Duncan, S. E., & Kostal, J. (2013). Selection and Cooking Basics for Preparing High Quality, Safe Seafood (Fish and Shellfish). Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Publication FST-96NP.