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This profile was last updated on 9/1/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Kevin D. Lafferty Ph.D.

Wrong Dr. Kevin D. Lafferty Ph.D.?

Research Scientist

Phone: (805) ***-****  
Email: k***@***.gov
Local Address:  California , United States
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston , Virginia 20192
United States

Company Description: The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize the loss of life and property from natural...   more

Employment History

183 Total References
Web References
Rosemont in the News, 12 July 2012 [cached]
Dr. Kevin Lafferty, Research Scientist, USGS, USA
"If you are not including parasites ..., 18 June 2013 [cached]
"If you are not including parasites in food webs, you aren't getting the whole picture," said Kevin Lafferty, a marine ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and adjunct professor in the UCSB Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB). "They are consumers like predators, but they are less visible and easy to forget."
Lafferty, along with research biologist Ryan Hechinger, professor of zoology Armand Kuris, and graduate student researcher John McLaughlin, all from UCSB EEMB and the campus's Marine Science Institute, provided many of the missing pieces to fill out the whole picture.
The paper was the result of a working group led by Lafferty at UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.
IMAGE: This image shows Armand Kuris (left), Kevin Lafferty (front) and Ryan Hechinger, University of California - Santa Barbara.
Environmental Solutions International, LLC (ESI) —, 12 Oct 2012 [cached]
In a forum in the April issue of Ecology, Kevin Lafferty of the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center suggests that instead of a net expansion in the global range of diseases, climate change ...
Standing on a promontory, Kevin ... [cached]
Standing on a promontory, Kevin Lafferty, a marine biologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, watches the teeming scene and sees another, more compelling drama. For him, the real drama of the marsh lies beneath the surface in the life of its invisible inhabitants: the parasites. A curlew grabs a clam from its hole. "Just got infected," Lafferty says. He looks at the bank of snails. "More than 40 percent of these snails are infected," he pronounces.
At the Carpinteria salt marsh, Kevin Lafferty has been exploring how parasites may shape an entire region's ecology. In a series of exacting experiments, he has found that a single species of fluke--Euhaplorchis californiensis--journeys through three hosts and plays a critical role in orchestrating the marsh's balance of nature.
In his research, Lafferty set out to answer one main question: Would Carpinteria look me same if there were no flukes? He began by examining the snail stage of the cycle. The relationship between fluke and snail is not like the one between predator and prey. In a genetic sense, infected snails are dead, because they can no longer reproduce. But they live on, grazing on algae to feed the flukes inside them. That puts them in direct competition with the marsh's uninfected snails.
To see how the contest plays out, Lafferty put healthy and fluke-infested snails in separate mesh cages at sites around the marsh. "The tops were open so the sun could shine through and algae could grow on the bottom," says Lafferty. What he found was that the uninfected snails grew faster, released far more eggs, and could thrive in far more crowded conditions. The implication: In nature, the parasites were competing so intensely that the healthy snails couldn't reproduce fast enough to take full advantage of the salt marsh. In fact, if flukes were absent from the marsh, the snail population would nearly double. That explosion would ripple out through much of the salt marsh ecosystem, thinning out the carpet of algae and making it easier for the snails' predators, such as crabs, to thrive.
Lafferty then studied the killifish. Initially, he found little evidence that flukes harmed or changed the fish they colonized; the fish didn't even mount an immune response. But Lafferty was suspicious. He figured that flukes
Lafferty and Morris followed up with a marsh experiment in which they set up two pens, each filled with 53 uninfected killifish and 95 infected fish.
After birds had visited the pen for three weeks, Lafferty and Morris added up how many fish were alive. (The covered pen acted as a control for the researchers to see how many fish died of natural causes.) The results were startling: The birds were 30 times more likely to feast on one of the flailing, parasitized fish than on a healthy fish.
The fluke that Lafferty studied is but one parasite, living in one salt marsh.
Zwire National News, 5 Feb 2003 [cached]
"Introduced species may be such a problem because they leave their parasites and pathogens (disease-causing organisms) behind, just as we may have as we expanded our range across the globe," study co-author Kevin Lafferty, assistant adjunct professor of biology at UCSB and marine ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told United Press International.
"Although this is bad news, it helps us to identify the Achilles' heel of introduced parasites, a weakness we may turn to our advantage if safe biological controls can be found," Lafferty added.
The results come at a time of increased efforts to control sprawling contingents of foreign organisms cutting a catastrophic course around the globe.
Scientists blame these encroachers for the extinction of dozens of local species, disruption of native ecosystems and dastardly effects on agriculture and human health.
The consequences can range from decreased food production and increased need for pesticides to multi-million-dollar-a-year economic losses for such remedial work as cleaning pipes clogged by zebra mussels around the Great Lakes area, Lafferty explained.
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