Kevin D. Lafferty

Senior Ecologist, US Geological Survey & Adjunct Faculty, UCSB
I grew up in Southern California, but left as soon as it was legally possible. I’ve been in Santa Barbara since 1981, where I got a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology, then a master’s degree in zoology, then a PhD. in ecology, then eventually I found a job that would let me stay forever. I’m lucky to now have a permanent GS-15 research position with the world-renowned US Geological Survey. My main expertise is with parasites. I also work on the conservation of threatened species like snowy plovers, abalone, tidewater gobies, and sea otters. I don’t presently teach any courses, but I do mentor students getting their PhD in ecology at UCSB. My wife runs a nature reserve a couple miles from the UCSB campus where I work at the Marine Science Institute. We also run our own 160 acre nature reserve in the Santa Ynez Mountains. Our two daughters keep us busy. I get to travel to some amazing places and SCUBA dive when I work. For fun, I surf near campus and during my travels.



805 893 8778

Mailing Address: 

UCSB Marine Science Institute Bldg 520 Rm 4002 Fl 4L Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150 United States


Buck JC, Hechinger RF, Wood AC, Stewart TE, Kuris AM, Lafferty KD. Ecology 98: 2029-2038.
Burge, Colleen A., Friedman, Carolyn S., Getchell, Rodman, House, Marcia, Lafferty, Kevin D., Mydlarz, Laura D., Prager, Katherine C., Sutherland, Kathryn P., Renault, Tristan, Kiryu, Ikunari, Vega-Thurber, Rebecca. (2016). Complementary approaches to diagnosing marine diseases: a union of the modern and the classic. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 371.
Kuris, A.M. Lafferty, K.D.. 2016.  When do I get my PhD?
Lafferty, K.D.. A thesis proposal outline
Lafferty, K.D. Mordecai, E.A.. The rise and fall of infectious disease in a warmer world [version 1; referees: 2 approved]. F1000Research, 5(F1000 Faculty Rev): 2040  
Lafferty, K.D.. 2016. How to give a scientific presentation.  Informal dvice to graduate students series.
Lafferty, K.D., Hofmann, E.E.. (2016). Marine disease impacts, diagnosis, forecasting, management and policy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 371.
Lafferty, K.D.. 2016. Writing a scientific paper, step by painful step
Lafferty, K. D.. 2016. Study system pros and cons.
Lafferty, K.D.. 2016. A graduate student's guide to vacation
Lorda, J., Hechinger, R.F., Cooper, S.D., Kuris, A.M., Lafferty, K.D.. (2016). Intraguild predation by shore crabs affects mortality, behavior, growth, and densities of California horn snails. Ecosphere, 7
Mordecai, E.A., Jaramillo, A.G., Ashford, J.E., Hechinger, R.F., Lafferty, K.D. . (2016). The role of competition - colonization tradeoffs and spatial heterogeneity in promoting trematode coexistence. Ecology, 97, 1484-1496
Sokolow, Susanne H, Wood, Chelsea L, Jones, Isabel J, Swartz, Scott J, Lopez, Melina, Hsieh, Michael H, Lafferty, Kevin D, Kuris, Armand M, Rickards, Chloe, De Leo, Giulio A,. (2016). Global assessment of schistosomiasis control over the past century shows targeting the snail intermediate host works best. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 10, e0004794.
Strona, G., Lafferty, K.D. . (2016). Environmental change makes robust ecological networks fragile. Nature Communications, 7
Wood, C.L., Lafferty, K.D., DeLeo, G., Young, H.S., Hudson, P.J., Kuris, A.M. . (2016). Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease? Reply. Ecology, 97, 542-545
Ben-Horin, T., Lafferty, K.D., Bidegain, G., Lenihan, H.S.,. (2016). Fishing diseased abalone to promote yield and conservation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 371
Johnson, Leah R., Ben-Horin, Tal, Lafferty, Kevin D., McNally, Amy, Mordecai, Erin, Paaijmans, Krijn P. Pawar, Samraat Ryan, Sadie J.. (2015). Understanding uncertainty in temperature effects on vector-borne disease: a Bayesian approach. Ecology, 96, 203-213.
K. D. Lafferty, G. DeLeo, C. J. Briggs, A. P. Dobson, Thilo Gross, Armand M. Kuris. K. D. Lafferty, G. DeLeo, C. J. Briggs, A. P. Dobson, Thilo Gross, Armand M. Kuris 2015.  A general consumer-resource population model.  Science 349:854-857.
K. D. Lafferty, G. DeLeo, C. J. Briggs, A. P. Dobson, T. Gross, A. M. Kuris. See Lafferty et al. 2015 Science
Lafferty, K. D.. (2015). Sea otter health: Challenging a pet hypothesis. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 4(3), 291-294. 
Needles, Lisa A., Lester, Sarah E., Ambrose, Richard, Andren, Anders, Beyeler, Marc, Connor, Michael S., Eckman, James E., Costa-Pierce, Barry A., Gaines, Steven D., Lafferty, Kevin D., Lenihan, Hunter S., Parrish, Julia, Peterson, Mark S., Scaroni, Amy E., Weis, Judith S., Wendt, Dean E.. (2015). Managing bay and estuarine ecosystems for multiple services. Estuaries and Coasts, 38, S35-S48.
Ryan, Sadie J., McNally, Amy, Johnson, Leah R., Mordecai, Erin A., Ben-Horin, Tal, Paaijmans, Krijn, Lafferty, Kevin D.. (2015). Mapping physiological suitability limits for malaria in Africa under climate change. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 15, 718-725.
Sanders, J.L., Jaramillo, A.G., Ashford, J.E., Feist, S.W., Lafferty, K.D., Kent, M.L.. (2015). Two myxozoans from the urinary tract of topsmelt, Atherinops affinis. Journal of Parasitology, 101, 577-586.
Sime-Ngando, T., Lafferty, K.D., Biron, D.G.. (2015). Roles and mechanisms of parasitism in aquatic microbial communities. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6.
Sokolow, S. H., Huttinger, E., Jouanard, N., Hsieh, M. H., Lafferty, K. D., Kuris, A. M., ... & De Leo, G. A.. (2015). Reduced transmission of human schistosomiasis after restoration of a native river prawn that preys on the snail intermediate host. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(31), 9650-9655.
Weinstein, S. B., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2015). How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?. Trends in parasitology, 31(5), 222-227. 
Friedman, C. S., Wight, N., Crosson, L. M., VanBlaricom, G. R., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2014). Reduced disease in black abalone following mass mortality: phage therapy and natural selection. Frontiers in microbiology, 5. 
Hewson, Ian, Button, Jason B., Gudenkauf, Brent M., Miner, Benjamin, Newton, Alisa L., Gaydos, Joseph K., Wynne, Janna, Groves, Cathy L., Hendler, Gordon, Murray, Michael, Fradkin, Steven, Breitbart, Mya, Fahsbender, Elizabeth, Lafferty, Kevin D., Kilpatrick, A. Marm, Miner, C. Melissa, Raimondi, Peter, Lahner, Lesanna, Friedman, Carolyn S., Daniels, Stephen, Haulena, Martin, Marliave, Jeffrey, Burge, Colleen A., Eisenlord, Morgan E., Harvell, C. Drew. (2014). Densovirus associated with sea-star wasting disease and mass mortality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111, 17278-17283.
Johnson, Leah R, Lafferty, Kevin D, McNally, Amy, Mordecai, Erin, Paaijmans, Krijn P, Pawar, Samraat, Ryan, Sadie J. (2014). Mapping the distribution of malaria: current approaches and future directions. In: Analyzing and Modeling Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Infectious Diseases. John Wiley & Sons, pp. 189-209.
Kuris, A. M., Lafferty, K. D., & Sokolow, S. H.. (2014). Sapronosis: a distinctive type of infectious agent. Trends in parasitology, 30(8), 386-393. 
Lafferty, K.D., Kuris, A.M.. (2014). Ecological consequences of host manipulation by parasites. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54, E117-E117
Lafferty, K.D., Harvell, C.D. . (2014). The role of infectious diseases in marine communities. In: Marine Community Ecology and Conservation (eds. Bertness, MD, Bruno, JF, Silliman, BR & Stachowicz, JJ). Sinauer Associates Sunderland Massachusetts, pp. 85-108.
Lafferty, K. D., & Tinker, M. T.. (2014). Sea otters are recolonizing southern California in fits and starts. Ecosphere, 5(5), art50.
Wood, C. L., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2014). How have fisheries affected parasite communities?. Parasitology, 142(01), 134-144. 
Lafferty, K.D., Shaw, J.C. . (2013). Comparing mechanisms of host manipulation across host and parasite taxa. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216, 56-66.
Sokolow, S. H., Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2013). Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp.(Decapoda, Palaemonidae): Implications for control of schistosomiasis. Acta tropica, 132, 64-74. 
Strona, G., Palomares, M. L. D., Bailly, N., Galli, P., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2013). Host range, host ecology, and distribution of more than 11 800 fish parasite species: Ecological Archives E094-045. Ecology, 94(2), 544-544. 
Hechinger, R. F., Lafferty, K. D., McLaughlin, J. P., Fredensborg, B. L., Huspeni, T. C., Lorda, J., ... & Kuris, A. M.. (2011). Food webs including parasites, biomass, body sizes, and life stages for three California/Baja California estuaries: Ecological Archives E092-066. Ecology, 92(3), 791-791.
Hechinger, R. F., Lafferty, K. D., Dobson, A. P., Brown, J. H., & Kuris, A. M.. (2011). A common scaling rule for abundance, energetics, and production of parasitic and free-living species. Science, 333(6041), 445-448.
Rudolf, V. H. W., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2011). Stage structure alters how complexity affects stability of ecological networks. Ecology letters, 14(1), 75-79.
Johnson, P. T., Dobson, A., Lafferty, K. D., Marcogliese, D. J., Memmott, J., Orlofske, S. A., ... & Thieltges, D. W.. (2010). When parasites become prey: ecological and epidemiological significance of eating parasites. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 25(6), 362-371.
Lafferty, K. D., Hathaway, S. A., Wegmann, A. S., Shipley, F. S., Backlin, A. R., Helm, J., & Fisher, R. N. . (2010). Stomach nematodes (Mastophorus muris) in rats (Rattus rattus) are associated with coconut (Cocos nucifera) habitat at Palmyra Atoll. Journal of Parasitology, 96(1), 16-20.
Lafferty, K. D.. (2010). Interacting parasites. Science(Washington), 330(6001), 187-188.
Shaw, J. C., Hechinger, R. F., Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2010). Ecology of the brain trematode Euhaplorchis californiensis and its host, the California killifish (Fundulus parvipinnis). Journal of Parasitology, 96(3), 482-490.
Wood, C. L., Lafferty, K. D., & Micheli, F.. (2010). Fishing out marine parasites? Impacts of fishing on rates of parasitism in the ocean. Ecology Letters, 13(6), 761-775.
Amundsen, P. A., Lafferty, K. D., Knudsen, R., Primicerio, R., Klemetsen, A., & Kuris, A. M.. (2009). Food web topology and parasites in the pelagic zone of a subarctic lake. Journal of Animal Ecology, 78(3), 563-572.
Blakeslee, A. M., Keogh, C. L., Byers, J. E., Kuris, A. M., Lafferty, K. D., & Torchin, M. E.. (2009). Differential escape from parasites by two competing introduced crabs. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 393, 83-96.
Dobson, A., Allesina, S., Lafferty, K., & Pascual, M.. (2009). The assembly, collapse and restoration of food webs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1524), 1803-1806.
Hechinger, R. F., Lafferty, K. D., Mancini III, F. T., Warner, R. R., & Kuris, A. M. . (2009). How large is the hand in the puppet? Ecological and evolutionary factors affecting body mass of 15 trematode parasitic castrators in their snail host. Evolutionary Ecology, 23(5), 651-667.
Lafferty, K. D.. (2009). The ecology of climate change and infectious diseases. Ecology, 90(4), 888-900.