Dr. Just Cebrian


Professor, University of South Alabama
Senior Marine Scientist III, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Ph.D. 1996, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain)

Coastal Ecosystem Science; Human Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems; Coastal Resiliency and Management; Aquatic-Terrestrial Comparative Ecology

Research Interests

Dr. Cebrian has studied coastal ecosystems for over 20 years.  He did his doctorate work on coastal ecosystems of the Mediterranean coast, with an emphasis on seagrass beds.  During his post-doc years in New England (USA), he expanded his work to other types of coastal systems, such as sediment flats and marshes, as well as shifting the focus to the impacts that humans have on the functioning of coastal systems. He has continued to work on these issues during his tenure at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (Alabama, USA), in particular with research aimed at understanding coastal system resiliency and informing management policies. Throughout his career Dr. Cebrian has also studied how coastal ecosystems compare with terrestrial ones in a number of functional metrics, including trophic processes and energy flow. He has thus far authored ca. 100 publications on these topics.

Current Research Grants

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy - Living Shoreline: Using Natural and Artificial Breakwaters in Shoreline Restoration and Conservations 

US Department of Fish and Wildlife- Ecological response of marsh ecosystems to intrusion of black mangroves (Avicenna germinans)

NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center, Northern Gulf Institute, National Science Foundation, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, Alabama Center for Estuarine Studies -  Long-term Ecosystems Dynamics in Coastal Lagoons of Perdido Bay, Florida

NOAAs NERRS Science Collaborative program and US Fish and Wildlife Service - Exploring the cost-effectiveness of restored marshes as filters of runoff pollution in a world of rising seas. 


Cebrian, J. 2015. Individuals scale up carbon flow in ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (8): 2303-2304.

Schrandt, M. N., J. Cebrian, E. S. Darrow, D. J. Dalrymple, C. Marco-Mendez, L. M. Ferrero, K. L. Heck and J. L. Sanchez Lizaso. 2015. Evidence of short-term burial response by benthic macrofauna associated with the Mediterranean seagrass Cymodocea nodosa. Ciencias Marinas 41(1): 33-47. 

E. Sparks, J. Cebrian, C. R. Tobias, C. May. 2015. Groundwater nitrogen processing in Northern Gulf of Mexico restored marshes. Journal of Environmental Management 150, 206-215.

 Sparks, E. L. and J. Cebrian. 2015. Effects of Fertilization on Grasshopper Grazing of Northern Gulf of Mexico Salt Marshes. Estuaries and Coasts: Volume 38, Issue 3 (2015), Page 988-999.

Candela Marco-Mendez, Luis Miguel Ferrero-Vicente, Patricia Prado, Kenneth L. Heck, Just Cebrian, Jose Luis Sanchez-Lizaso. 2015. Epiphyte presence and seagrass species identity influence rates of herbivory in Mediterranean seagrass meadows. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 154 94-101. 

Hunter, A., J. Cebrian, J. P. Stutes, D. Patterson, B. Christiaen, C. Lafabrie and J. Goff. 2015. Magnitude and trophic fate of black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) productivity: does nutrient addition matter? Wetlands DOI 10.1007/s13157-014-0611-5. 

Prado, P., K. Heck, J. Cerbian. 2014. Moderate stoichiometric homeostasis in the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus: effect on diet and growth on C:N:P ratios. Marine Biology.  DOI 10.1007/s00227-014-2552-1. 

Christiaen, B., Bernard, R., B. Mortazavi, Ortmann, A.C., and J. Cebrian,. 2014. The degree of urbanization across the globe is not reflected in the δ15N of seagrass leaves. Marine Pollution Bulletin 83, 440-445.

 Cebrian, J., D. Corcoran, and J. Lartigue. 2014. Eutrophication-driven shifts in primary producers in shallow coastal systems: implications for system functional change. Estuaries and Coasts 37 (Suppl 1): S180-S197.

 Steele, L., K. M. Darnell, J. Cebrian and J. L. Sanchez-Lizaso. 2014. Spatial and temporal variability in Sarpa salpa herbivory on shallow reaches of Posidonia oceanica beds. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 37.1: 49–57. 

Bracken, M. E. S, H. Hillebrand, E. T. Borer, E. W. Seabloom, J. Cebrian, E. E. Cleland, J. J. Elser, D. S. Gruner, W. S. Harpole, J. T. Ngai, and J. E. Smith. 2014. Signatures of nutrient limitation and co-limitation: responses of autotroph internal nutrient concentrations to nitrogen and phosphorus additions. (selected as Editor’s Choice) Oikos DOI: 10.1111/oik.01215. 

Garrote-Moreno, A., A. McDonald, T. D. Sherman, J. L. Sanchez-Lizaso, K. L. Heck and J. Cebrian. 2014. Short-term impacts of salinity pulses on ionic ratios of the seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Halodule wrightii. Aquatic Botany http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2014.09.011.

Sparks, E. L., J. Cebrian and S. M. Smith. 2014. Removal of fast flowing nitrogen from marshes restored in sandy soils. PLoS ONE 9(10): e111456. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111456.

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