James (Jeb) Byers

Associate Dean for Research and Operations
Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Ecology
Lothar Tresp Honors Professor
Graduate Program Faculty
UGA Athletic Association Professor

Professional Website


PhD, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara

Honors, Awards, and Achievements

Fellow, Ecological Society of America (ESA), 2018
Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, University of Georgia, 2017.
Fulbright Fellow, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2017.
Outstanding Teacher Award, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, 2017.
UGA Teaching Academy Inductee, 2016.
TEDxUGA Speaker, 2016. “Parasites: The Unlikely Heroes”.
The Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Award for Excellence in Research Mentoring, University of Georgia, 2015.
Finalist for Outstanding Mentoring of Graduate Research Award, University of Georgia, 2015.
Outstanding Teaching Award, First-Year Odyssey Seminar Program, Univ. of Georgia, 2014.

Research Interests


  • Marine community and population ecology
  • Biological invasions
  • Marine parasites and disease
  • Ecosystem engineers
  • Species range boundaries
  • Marine reserves
  • Conservation biology


  • Impacts of non-native species on native marine communities
  • Mechanisms driving variation in parasites in nearshore communities
  • Effects of parasites on communities and ecosystems
  • Effects of black gill disease in shrimp
  • Interactions between ecosystem engineers in the face of climate change
  • Predicting species’ spread and distribution in coastal oceans
Selected Publications

Haram, L. E., K. A. Kinney, E. E. Sotka, & J. E. Byers. 2018. Mixed effects of an introduced ecosystem engineer on the foraging behavior and habitat selection of predators. Ecology.

Smith, R. S., J. A. Blaze, T. Z. Osborne, & J. E. Byers. 2018. Facilitating your replacement? Ecosystem engineer legacy affects establishment success of an expanding competitor. Oecologia.

Gehman, A. M., R. J. Hall, & J. E. Byers. 2018. Host and parasite thermal ecology jointly determine the effect of climate warming on epidemic dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(4): 744-749. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705067115

Byers, J. E., Z. C. Holmes, & J. C. Malek. 2017. Variation in strength of a trophic cascade influenced by contrasting complexity of adjacent habitats. Oecologia 185: 107-117. doi: 10.1007/s00442-017-3928-y

Keogh, C. L., O. Miura, T. Nishimura, & J. E. Byers. 2017. The double edge to parasite escape: invasive host is less infected but more infectable. Ecology 98(9): 2241-2247.

Pringle, J. M., J. E. Byers, R. He, P. Pappalardo, & J.P. Wares. 2017. Ocean currents and competitive strength interact to cluster benthic species range boundaries in the coastal ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series 567: 29-40.

McDowell, W. G., W. H. McDowell, & J. E. Byers. 2017. Mass mortality of a dominant invasive species in response to an extreme climate event: implications for ecosystem function. Limnology and Oceanography 62: 177-188.

Byers, J. E., Z. C. Holmes, & A. M. H. Blakeslee. 2016. Consistency of trematode infection prevalence in host populations across large spatial and temporal scales. Ecology 97(7): 1643-1649.

Keogh, C. L., M. E. Sanderson, & J. E. Byers. 2016. Local adaptation to parasite selective pressure: comparing three congeneric co-occurring hosts. Oecologia 180(1): 137-147. doi:10.1007/s00442-015-3461-9.

Pintor, L. M. and J. E. Byers. 2015. Do native predators benefit from non-native prey? Ecology Letters 18: 1174-1180.

Byers, J. E., J. H. Grabowski, M. F. Piehler, A. R. Hughes, H. W. Weiskel, J. C. Malek, & D. L. Kimbro. 2015. Geographic variation in intertidal oyster reef properties and the influence of tidal prism. Limnology & Oceanography 60: 1051-1063.

Byers, J. E., A. J. Malek, L. E. Quevillon, I. Altman, & C.L. Keogh. 2015. Opposing selective pressures decouple pattern and process of parasitic infection over small spatial scale. Oikos 124(11): 1511-1519. doi 10.1111/oik.02088