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.

Email: 

Phone: 

805 893 8778

Mailing Address: 

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

Publications

Lafferty, K. D.. (2009). Calling for an ecological approach to studying climate change and infectious diseases. Ecology, 90(4), 932-933.
Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2009). Parasites reduce food web robustness because they are sensitive to secondary extinction as illustrated by an invasive estuarine snail. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1524), 1659-1663.
Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2009). Parasitic castration: the evolution and ecology of body snatchers. Trends in parasitology, 25(12), 564-572.
Shaw, J. C., Korzan, W. J., Carpenter, R. E., Kuris, A. M., Lafferty, K. D., Summers, C. H., & Øverli, Ø.. (2009). Parasite manipulation of brain monoamines in California killifish (Fundulus parvipinnis) by the trematode Euhaplorchis californiensis. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 276(1659), 1137-1146.
Torchin, M. E., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2009). Escape from parasites. In Biological Invasions in Marine Ecosystems (pp. 203-214). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Dobson, A., Lafferty, K. D., Kuris, A. M., Hechinger, R. F., & Jetz, W.. (2008). Homage to Linnaeus: How many parasites? How many hosts?. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(Supplement 1), 11482-11489.
Hechinger, R. F., Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2008). Trematodes indicate animal biodiversity in the Chilean intertidal and Lake Tanganyika. Journal of Parasitology, 94(4), 966-968.
Hechinger, R. F., Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2008). Diversity increases biomass production for trematode parasites in snails. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 275(1652), 2707-2714.
Kuris, A. M., Hechinger, R. F., Shaw, J. C., Whitney, K. L., Aguirre-Macedo, L., Boch, C. A., ... & Lafferty, K. D.. (2008). Ecosystem energetic implications of parasite and free-living biomass in three estuaries. Nature, 454(7203), 515-518.
Lafferty, K. D., Shaw, J. C., & Kuris, A. M.. (2008). Reef fishes have higher parasite richness at unfished Palmyra Atoll compared to fished Kiritimati Island. EcoHealth, 5(3), 338-345.
Lafferty, K. D.. (2008). Ecosystem consequences of fish parasites*. Journal of Fish Biology, 73(9), 2083-2093.
Lafferty, K. D., Ostfeld, R. S., Keesing, F., & Eviner, V. T. . (2008). Effects of disease on community interactions and food web structure. Infectious disease ecology: the effect of ecosystems on disease and of disease on ecosystems (eds RS Ostfeld, F. Keesing & VT Eviner), 205-222.
Lafferty, K. D., Allesina, S., Arim, M., Briggs, C. J., De Leo, G., Dobson, A. P., ... & Thieltges, D. W.. (2008). Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links. Ecology letters, 11(6), 533-546.
Perkins, S. E., Altizer, S., Bjornstad, O., Burdon, J. J., Clay, K., Gómez-Aparicio, L., ... & Uriarte, M.. (2008). Invasion biology and parasitic infections. Infectious disease ecology: Effects of ecosystems on disease and of disease on ecosystems, 179-204.
Hechinger, R. F., Lafferty, K. D., Huspeni, T. C., Brooks, A. J., & Kuris, A. M. (2007). Can parasites be indicators of free-living diversity? Relationships between species richness and the abundance of larval trematodes and of local benthos and fishes. Oecologia, 151(1), 82-92.. (2007). Can parasites be indicators of free-living diversity? Relationships between species richness and the abundance of larval trematodes and of local benthos and fishes. Oecologia, 151(1), 82-92.
Kuris, A. M., Goddard, J. H., Torchin, M. E., Murphy, N., Gurney, R., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2007). An experimental evaluation of host specificity: the role of encounter and compatibility filters for a rhizocephalan parasite of crabs. International journal for parasitology, 37(5), 539-545.
Lafferty, K. D., Smith, K. F., & Madin, E. M.. (2007). The infectiousness of terrorist ideology: insights from ecology and epidemiology. In: Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World (eds. Sagarin, R & Taylor, T). University of California Press Berkeley, CA, pp. 186-206.
Whitney, K. L., Hechinger, R. F., Kuris, A. M., & Lafferty, K. D. . (2007). Endangered light-footed clapper rail affects parasite community structure in coastal wetlands. Ecological applications, 17(6), 1694-1702.
Dobson, A. P., Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2006). Parasites and food webs. Ecological networks: linking structure to dynamics in food webs. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 119-135.
Lafferty, K. D., Dobson, A. P., & Kuris, A. M.. (2006). Parasites dominate food web links. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(30), 11211-11216.
Lafferty, K. D., Hechinger, R. F., Shaw, J. C., Whitney, K. L., & Kuris, A. M. . (2006). Food webs and parasites in a salt marsh ecosystem. Disease ecology: community structure and pathogen dynamics, 119-134.
Lafferty, K.D.. (2006). Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 273, 2749-2755. 
Smith, K. F., Sax, D. F., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2006). Evidence for the role of infectious disease in species extinction and endangerment. Conservation Biology, 20(5), 1349-1357.
Gerber, L. R., McCallum, H., Lafferty, K. D., Sabo, J. L., & Dobson, A.. (2005). Exposing extinction risk analysis to pathogens: is disease just another form of density dependence?. Ecological Applications, 15(4), 1402-1414.
Goddard, J. H., Torchin, M. E., Kuris, A. M., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2005). Host specificity of Sacculina carcini, a potential biological control agent of the introduced European green crab Carcinus maenas in California. Biological Invasions, 7(6), 895-912.
Hechinger, R. F., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2005). Host diversity begets parasite diversity: bird final hosts and trematodes in snail intermediate hosts. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 272(1567), 1059-1066.
Huspeni, T. C., Hechinger, R. F., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2005). Trematode parasites as estuarine indicators: opportunities, applications and comparisons with conventional community approaches. Estuarine indicators. CRC Press, Boca Raton, 297-314.
Lafferty, K. D.. (2005). Look what the cat dragged in: do parasites contribute to human cultural diversity?. Behavioural Processes, 68(3), 279-282.
Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2005). Parasitism and environmental disturbances. Parasitism and ecosystems, 113-123.
Lafferty, K. D., & Dunham, E. J.. (2005). Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California salt marshes. Journal of Parasitology, 91(2), 474-476.
Lafferty, K. D., Hechinger, R. F., Lorda, J., & Soler, L.. (2005). Trematodes associated with mangrove habitat in Puerto Rican salt marshes. Journal of Parasitology, 91(3), 697-699.
Lafferty, K. D., Smith, K. F., Torchin, M. E., Dobson, A. P., & Kuris, A. M.. (2005). The role of infectious disease in natural communities: what introduced species tell us.
Shaw, J. C., Aguirre-Macedo, L., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2005). An efficient strategy to estimate intensity and prevalence: sampling metacercariae in fishes. Journal of Parasitology, 91(3), 515-521.
Torchin, M. E., Hechinger, R. F., Huspeni, T. C., Whitney, K. L., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2005). The introduced ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) in Estero de Punta Banda, Mexico: interactions with the native cord grass, Spartina foliosa. Biological Invasions, 7(4), 607-614.
Warren, C., Pascual, M., Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2005). Parasitic Networks on Food Webs: Clustering, Nestedness and the Inverted Niche Model. Unpublished paper (in preparation).
Behrens, M. D., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2004). Effects of marine reserves and urchin disease on southern Californian rocky reef communities. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 279, 129-139.
Huspeni, T. C., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2004). Using larval trematodes that parasitize snails to evaluate a saltmarsh restoration project. Ecological Applications, 14(3), 795-804.
Lafferty, K. D.. (2004). Fishing for lobsters indirectly increases epidemics in sea urchins. Ecological Applications, 14(5), 1566-1573.
Lafferty, K. D., Porter, J. W., & Ford, S. E.. (2004). Are diseases increasing in the ocean?. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 31-54.
McCallum, H. I., Kuris, A., Harvell, C. D., Lafferty, K. D., Smith, G. W., & Porter, J.. (2004). Does terrestrial epidemiology apply to marine systems?. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 19(11), 585-591.
Ward, J. R., & Lafferty, K. D.. (2004). The elusive baseline of marine disease: are diseases in ocean ecosystems increasing. PLoS Biol, 2(4), e120.
Choisy, M., Brown, S. P., Lafferty, K. D., & Thomas, F.. (2003). Evolution of trophic transmission in parasites: why add intermediate hosts?. The American Naturalist, 162(2), 172-181.
Lafferty, K. D.. (2003). Is disease increasing or decreasing, and does it impact or maintain biodiversity. Journal of Parasitology, 89, s101-s105.
Lafferty, K. D., & Holt, R. D.. (2003). How should environmental stress affect the population dynamics of disease?. Ecology Letters, 6(7), 654-664.
Packer, C., Holt, R. D., Hudson, P. J., Lafferty, K. D., & Dobson, A. P.. (2003). Keeping the herds healthy and alert: implications of predator control for infectious disease. Ecology Letters, 6(9), 797-802.
Torchin, M. E., Lafferty, K. D., Dobson, A. P., McKenzie, V. J., & Kuris, A. M.. (2003). Introduced species and their missing parasites. Nature, 421(6923), 628-630.
Lafferty, K. D., & Gerber, L. R.. (2002). Good medicine for conservation biology: the intersection of epidemiology and conservation theory. Conservation Biology, 16(3), 593-604.
Lafferty, K. D., Lewis, E. E., Campbell, J. F., & Sukhdeo, M. V. K.. (2002). Interspecific interactions in trematode communities. The behavioural ecology of parasites, 153-169.
Torchin, M. E., Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M. . (2002). Parasites and marine invasions. Parasitology, 124(07), 137-151.
Lafferty, K. D., & Kuris, A. M.. (2002). Trophic strategies, animal diversity and body size. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 17(11), 507-513.