Skip to main content

Dr. Bruce Kimball

Dr. Bruce A. Kimball, Research Chemist


Beginning in 1988, Dr. Bruce Kimball has served in a variety of roles with the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) as analytical chemist and chemical ecologist. Currently, Dr. Kimball conducts his research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, PA. His research focuses on animal behavior and the chemical signals that identify friend, foe, and food. The goals of his research are increased understanding of wildlife behavior and development of practical tools to minimize wildlife damage to agricultural resources. Current research topics include: 1) plant chemistry and herbivore foraging; 2) odors associated immune responses; 3) mechanisms of herbivore repellents; and 4) improved bait palatability.

NWRC Research Project: Chemosensory Tools for Wildlife Damage Management

Current Research

Recent research suggests that many assaults on the immune systems of animals may result in diagnostic chemical signals detectable by trained sensor animals. Detection of chemical signals indicative of disease or vaccination holds tremendous promise for evaluating infection rates in wildlife populations and monitoring abatement programs. Currently, Dr. Kimball and colleagues at the Monell Chemical Senses Center are investigating chemosensory detection of diseases and vaccines by biosentinel detector animals.


  • Ph.D., Colorado State University, Ecology, Chemical ecology of vascular tissue foraging of black bears
  • M.S., Arizona State University, Chemistry, Determination of formic acid in chondritic meteorites
  • B.S., Adams State College, Chemistry

Contact Information

  • Address: Wildlife Services, NWRC, c/o Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Telephone: 267-519-4930
  • Fax: 267-519-4930
  • E-mail:

Recent Publications


Gervasi, S.S., M. Opiekun, T. Martin, G.K. Beauchamp, and B.A. Kimball. 2018. Sharing an environment with sick conspecifics alters odors of healthy animals. Scientific Reports 8:14255. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32619-4

Horak, K.E., N.M. Hofmann, and B.A. Kimball. 2018. Assessments of zinc phosphide bait shyness and tools for reducing flavor aversions. Crop Protection 112:214-219. doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2018.06.002

Millet, P, M. Opiekun, T. Martin, G.K. Beauchamp, and B.A. Kimball. 2018. Cytokine contributions to alterations of the volatile metabolome induced by inflammation. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 69:312-320. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.12.005

Parker, M.R., S.M. Patel, J.E. Zachry, and B.A. Kimball. 2018. Ferminization of male brown treesnake methyl ketone expression via steroid hormone manipulation. Journal of Chemical Ecology 44(2):189-197. doi: 10.1007/s10886-018-0935-3

Spence-Aizenberg, A., B.A. Kimball, L.E. Williams, and E.Fernandez-Duque. 2018. Chemical composition of glandular secretions from a pair-living monogamous primate: Sex, age, and gland differences in captive and wild owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). American Journal of Primatology 80(2):e22730. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22730


Kimball, B.A. 2016. Volatile metabolome: problems and prospects. Bioanalysis 8(19):1987-1991.  doi: 10.4155/bio-2016-0203

Kimball, B.A., A.S. Cohen, A.R. Gordon, M. Opiekun, T. Martin, J. Elkind, J.N. Lundstrom, and G.K. Beauchamp. 2016. Brain injury alters volatile metabolome. Chemical Senses 41:407-414.  doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjw014  

Kimball, B.A., S.A. Stelting, T.W. McAuliffe, R.S. Stahl, R.A. Garcia, and W.C. Pitt. 2016. Development of artificial bait for brown treesnake suppression. Biological Invasions 18:359-369.  doi: 10.1007/s10530-015-1031-z  

Kimball, B.A., D.A. Wilson, and D.W. Wesson.  2016. Alterations of the volatile metabolome in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Scientific Reports 6:19495.  doi: 10.1038/srep19495


Unger, S.D., E.F. Abernethy, S.L. Lance, R.R. Beasley, B.A. Kimball., T.W. McAuliffe, K.L. Jones, and O.E. Rhodes, Jr.  2015. Development and characterization of 33 novel polymorphic microsatellite markers for the brown tree snake Boiga irregularis. BMC Research Notes 8:658.  doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1620-z


Miller, E.A., J.K. Young, S. Stelting, and B.A. Kimball. 2014. Efficacy of Ropel® as a coyote (Canis latrans) repellent. Human-Wildlife Interactions 8(2):271-278.

Olsson, M.J., J.N. Lundstrom, B.A. Kimball, A.R. Gordon, B. Karshikoff, N. Hosseini, K. Sorgonen, C.O. Hӧglund, C. Solares, A. Soop, J. Axelsson, and M. Lekander. 2014. The scent of disease: Human body odor contains an early chemosensory cue of sickness. Psychological Science 25(3): 817-823. doi: 10.1177/0956797613515681.

Kimball, B.A., M. Opiekun, K. Yamazaki, and G.K. Beauchamp. 2014. Immunization alters body odor. Physiology & Behavior 128: 80-85. doi: .org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.022.


Horn, C. C., B. A. Kimball, H. Wang, J. Kaus, S. Dienel, A. Nagy, G. R. Gathright, B. J. Yates, and P. L. Andrews. 2013. Why Can't Rodents Vomit? A Comparative Behavioral, Anatomical, and Physiological Study. PloS one 8:e60537

Kimball, B.A,, K. Yamazaki, D. Kohler, R.A. Bowen, J.P. Muth, M. Opiekun, and G.K. Beauchamp. 2013. Avian influenza infection alters fecal odor in mallards. PLoS ONE 8(10): e75411. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075411


Golden, G.J., A. Hussey, and B.A. Kimball. 2012. Do Gastrointestinal Taste Receptors Contribute to Associative Learning and Foraging Behavior? Journal of Animal Science 90: 4297-4307.

Kimball, B.A., J.H. Russell, and P.K. Ott. 2012. Phytochemical variation within a single plant species influences foraging behavior of deer. 2012. Oikos 121 (5): 743-751.

Gese, E.M., P.A. Darrow, J.A. Shivik, B.A. Kimball, J.D. Eisemann, and J.K. Young. 2012. Effectiveness of theobromine and caffeine mixtures in coyote lure operative devices as a predicide: a simulated field study. Sheep & Goat Research Journal 27: 26-31.

Complementary Content