Just Cebrain
Just Cebrain

Just Cebrian

Research Professor, Coastal Ecosystem Science

1021 Balch Boulevard, Suite 1003
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Dr. Just Cebrian is a broadly trained ecologist working on a variety of topics that revolve around coastal system diversity and functionality.  His research strives to improve our understanding of how diverse coastal ecosystems function so we can have solid foundations to better manage these ecosystems and maintain a more resilient world.   His work expands over many types of coastal systems, including marshes, mangroves, sediment flats, oyster reefs, algal beds, and seagrass meadows in several areas around the world.


  • Ph.D, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Marine Sciences 1996
  • M.S., Universite de Perpignan, Oceanology, 1991
  • B.S., Universitat de Barcelona, Biology, 1990


  • 2019-Present, Research Professor (Mississippi State University); Associate Director (Northern Gulf Institute); Science Lead (National Centers for Environmental Information at Stennis)
  • 2011-2018, Full Professor (University of South Alabama); 2006-2011, Associate Professor (University of South Alabama); 2000-2005, Assistant Professor (University of South Alabama)
  • 2010-2018, Senior Marine Scientist III (Dauphin Island Sea Lab); 2006-2010, Senior Marine Scientist II (Dauphin Island Sea Lab); 2000-2005, Senior Marine Scientist I (Dauphin Island Sea Lab)
  • 2001-2018, Adjunct Professor (University of Alabama)
  • 1999, Research Assistant Professor (Boston University)
  • 1996-1998, Post-doctoral Associate (Boston University)

Research Interests

Coastal ecosystems; Ecosystem functions, goods and services; Coastal restoration; Environmental resilience; Coastal sustainable development; Environmental management applications

Graduate Students

  • Rebecca Gilpin (M.S.)
  • Tia Offner (M.S.)

Recent Publications

  • Wessel, C., K. Swanson, T. Weatherall and J. Cebrian. 2019. Accumulation and distribution of marine debris on barrier islands across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin 139: 14-22       
  • Macy, A., S. Sharma, E. Sparks, J. Goff, K. Heck, M. W. Johnson, P. Harper and J. Cebrian. 2019. Tropicalization of the barrier islands of the northern Gulf of Mexico: A comparison of herbivory and decomposition rates between smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) PLoS ONE 14(1): e0210144. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210144
  • Anton, A., N. Geraldi, C. Lovelock, E. Apostolaki, S. Bennett, J. Cebrian, D. Krause-Jensen, N. Marba, P. Martinetto, J. Pandolfi, J. Santana, and C. M. Duarte. 2019. Global ecological impacts of marine exotic species. Nature Ecology and Evolution 3: 787-800 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0851-0
  • Morris R. L., D. M. Bilkovic, M. Boswell, D. Bushek, J. Cebrian, J. Goff, K. M. Kibler, M. K. La Peyre, G. McClenachan, J. Moody, P. Sacks, J. P. Shinn, E. L. Sparks, N. A. Temple, L. J. Walters, B. M. Webb and S. E. Swearer. 2019. The application of oyster reefs in shoreline protection: are we over-engineering for an ecosystem engineer?  Journal of Applied Ecology 56: 1703-1711
  • Montemayor, D. I. E. L. Sparks and J. Cebrian. 2019 Herbivory patterns along the intertidal gradient of Juncus roemerianus salt marshes. Marine Environmental Research DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.104814
  • Hollweg, T. A., M. C. Christman, J. Cebrian, B. P. Wallace, S. L. Friedman, H. R. Ballestero, M. T. Huisenga and K. G. Benson. 2019 Meta-Analysis of Nekton Utilization of Coastal Habitats in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Estuaries and Coasts https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-019-00633-y
  • Geraldi, N. R., A. Anton, J. Santana-Garcon, S. Bennett, N. Marbà, C. E. Lovelock, E. T. Apostolaki, J. Cebrian, D. Krause-Jensen, P. Martinetto, J. M. Pandolfi, and C. M. Duarte. 2020. Ecological effects of non-native species in marine ecosystems relate to co-occurring anthropogenic pressures. Global Change Biology 26:1248-1258
  • Osland, M. J., R. H. Day, C. T. Hall, L. C. Feher, A. R. Armitage, J. Cebrian, K. H. Dunton, A. R. Hughes, D. A. Kaplan, A. K. Langston, A. Macy, C. A. Weaver, G. H. Anderson, K. Cummins, I. C. Feller and C. M. Snyder. 2020. Temperature thresholds for black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) freeze damage, mortality and recovery in North America: refining tipping points for range expansion in a warming climate. Journal of Ecology 108: 654-665
  • Anton, A., N. Geraldi, C. Lovelock, E. Apostolaki, S. Bennett, J. Cebrian, D. Krause-Jensen, N. Marba, P. Martinetto, J. Pandolfi, J. Santana, and C. M. Duarte. 2020. Reply to: Indiscriminate data aggregation in ecological meta-analysis underestimates impacts of invasive species. Nature Ecology and Evolution 4: 315-317
  • McDonald, A. M., B. Christiaen, K. Major and J. Cebrian. 2020 The influence of seagrass donor source on small-scale transplant resilience. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 30: 730-742
  • Guerrero-Meseguer, L., T. E. Cox, C. Sanz-Lazaro, S. Schmid, L. A. Enzor, K. Major, F. Gazeau and J. Cebrian. 2020 Does ocean acidification benefit seagrasses in a mesohaline environment? A mesocosm experiment in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Estuaries and Coasts https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-020-00720-5
  • Cebrian, J., H. Liu, M. Christman, T. Hollweg, D. French-McCay, R. Balouskus, C. McManus, H. Ballesteros, J. White, S. Friedman and K. Benson. 2020. Standardizing estimates of biomass at recruitment and productivity for fin- and shellfish in coastal habitats. Estuaries and Coasts https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-019-00691-2
  • Petrolia, D. R., F. Nyanzu, J. Cebrian, W. Walton, A. Harri and J. Amato. 2020. Eliciting Expert Judgment to Inform Management of Diverse Oyster Resources for Multiple Ecosystem Services. Journal of Environmental Management https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110676
  • Marshak, A. R., J. Cebrian, K. L. Heck, C. L. Hightower, A. M Kroetz, A. Macy, S. Madsen, T. Spearman and J. L. Sanchez-Lizaso. 2020. Spatiotemporal dynamics of Mediterranean shallow coastal fish communities along a gradient of marine protection. Water 2020, 12, 1537; doi:10.3390/w12061537
  • Cox, T. E., J. Cebrian, M. Tabor, L. West and J. Krause. 2020. Do diatoms dominate benthic production in shallow systems? A case study from a mixed seagrass bed. Limnology and Oceanography Letters doi: 10.1002/lol2.10167
  • Macy, A., M. Osland, J. Cherry and J. Cebrian. 2020. Changes in ecosystem nitrogen and carbon allocation with black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) encroachment into Spartina alterniflora salt marsh. Ecosystems DOI 10.1007/s10021-020-00565-w
  • Carrier, J., E. L. Sparks, M. S. Woodrey, J. Cebrian and A. Boettcher. 2020 Small-scale variation in herbivore abundance and grazing on Juncus roemerianus dominated salt marshes. Wetlands Ecology and Management 28: 983-991
  • Christie, A. P., D. Abecasis, M. Adjeroud, J. C. Alonso, T. Amano, A. Anton, B. P. Baldigo, R. Barrientos, J. E. Bicknell, D. A. Buhl, J. Cebrian, R. S. Ceia, L. Cibils-Martina, S. Clarke, J. Claudet, M. D. Craig, D. Davoult, A. De Backer, M. K. Donovan, T. D. Eddy, F. M. França, J. P. A. Gardner, B. P. Harris, A. Huusko, I. L. Jones, B. P. Kelaher, J. S. Kotiaho, A. López-Baucells, H. L. Major, A. Mäki-Petäys, B. Martín, C. A. Martín, P. A. Martin, D. Mateos-Molina, R. A. McConnaughey, M. Meroni, C. F. J. Meyer, K. Mills, M. Montefalcone, N. Noreika, C. Palacín, A. Pande, C. R. Pitcher, C. Ponce, M. Rinella, R. Rocha, M. C. Ruiz-Delgado, J. J. Schmitter-Soto, J. A. Shaffer, S. Sharma, A. A. Sher, D. Stagnol, T. R. Stanley, K. D. E. Stokesbury, A. Torres, O. Tully, T. Vehanen, C. Watts, Q. Zhao and W. J. Sutherland. 2020. Quantifying and addressing the prevalence and bias of study designs in the environmental and social sciences. Nat Commun 11: 6377. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20142-y
  • Gilby, B. L., M. P. Weinstein, R. Baker, J. Cebrian, S. B. Alford, A. Chelsky, D. Colombano, R. M. Connolly, C. A. Currin, I. C. Feller, A. Frank, J. A. Goeke, L. A. Goodridge Gaines, F. E. Hardcastle, C. J. Henderson, C. W. Martin, A. E. McDonald, B. H. Morrison, A. D. Olds, J. S. Rehage, N. J. Waltham and S. L. Ziegler. 2020. Human actions alter tidal marsh seascapes and the provision of ecosystem services. Estuaries and Coasts https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-020-00830-0
  • Baker, R., M. D. Taylor, K. W. Able, M. W. Beck, J. Cebrian, D. D. Colombano, R. M. Connolly, C. Currin, L. A Deegan, I. C. Feller, B. L. Gilby, M. E. Kimball, T. J. Minello, L. P Rozas, C. Simenstad, R. E. Turner, N. J. Waltham, M. P. Weinstein, S. L. Ziegler, P. S. E. zu Ermgassen, C. Alcott, S. B. Alford, M. Barbeau, S. C. Crosby, K. Dodds, A. Frank, J. Goeke, L. A. Goodridge Gaines, F. E. Hardcastle, C. J. Henderson, W. R. James, M. D. Kenworthy, J. Lesser, D. Mallick, C. W. Martin, A. E. McDonald, C. McLuckie, B. H. Morrison, J. A. Nelson, G. S. Norris, J. Ollerhead, J. W. Pahl, S. Ramsden, J. S. Rehage, J. F. Reinhardt, R. J. Rezek, L. M Risse, J. A. M. Smith, E. L. Sparks, and L. W. Staver. 2020. Fisheries rely on threatened salt marshes. Science 370: 670–671.
  • Martin, S., E. L. Sparks, A. J. Constantin, J. Cebrian and J. A. Cherry. 2021. Restoring fringing tidal marshes for ecological function and ecosystem resilience to moderate sea-level rise in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Environmental Management https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-020-01410-5
  • Ziegler, S. L., R. Baker, S. C. Crosby, D. D. Colombano, M. A. Barbeau, J. Cebrian, R. M. Connolly, L. A. Deegan, B. L. Gilby, D. Mallick, C. W. Martin, J. A. Nelson, J. F. Reinhardt, C. Simenstad, N. J. Waltham, T. A. Worthington and L. P. Rozas. 2021. Geographic variation in salt marsh structure and function for nekton: a guide to finding commonality across multiple scales. Estuaries and Coasts https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-020-00894-y
  • Colombano, D., S. Y. Litvin, S. L. Ziegler, S. B. Alford, R. Baker, M. A. Barbeau, J. Cebrian, R. M. Conolly, C. A. Currin, L. Deegan, J. S. Lesser, C. W. Martin, A. E. McDonald, C. McLuckie, B. H. Morrison, J. W. Pahl, L. Mark Risse, J. A. M. Smith, L. W. Staver, R. E. Turner and N. J. Waltham. 2021. Climate change implications for tidal marshes and food web linkages to estuarine and coastal nekton. Estuaries and Coasts https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-020-00891-1
  • Waltham N. J., C. Alcott, M. A. Barbeau, J. Cebrian, R. M. Connolly, L. A. Deegan, K. Dodds, L. A. Goodridge Gaines, B. L. Gilby, C.  J. Henderson, C. M. McLuckie, T. J. Minello, G. S. Norris, J. Ollerhead, J. Pahl, J. F. Reinhardt, R. J.  Rezek, C. A. Simenstad, J. A. M. Smith, E. L. Sparks, L. W. Staver, S. L. Ziegler and M. P. Weinstein. 2021. Tidal marsh restoration optimism in a changing climate and urbanizing landscape. Estuaries and Coasts https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-020-00875-1
  • Bennett, S., J. Santana-Garcon, N. Marbà, B. Jorda, A. Anton, E. Apostolaki, J. Cebrian, N. Geraldi, D. Krause-Jensen, C. Lovelock, P. Martinetto, J. Pandolfi, and C. M. Duarte. 2021 Climate-driven impacts of exotic species on marine ecosystems. Global Ecology and Biogeography DOI: 10.1111/geb.13283
  • Nyadjro, E. S., Z. Wang, J. Reagan, J. Cebrian and J. F. Shriver. Bio-physical changes in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2018 Hurricane Michael. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. DOI:10.1109/LGRS.2021.3068600
  • Macy, A., M. J. Osland, J. A. Cherry and J. Cebrian. 2020. Effects of chronic and acute stressors on transplanted black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) seedlings along an eroding Louisiana shoreline. Restoration Ecology (In Press)
  • Morris, R. L., M. K. La Peyre, B. M. Webb, D. A. Marshall, D. M. Bilkovic, J. Cebrian, G. McClenachan, K. M. Kibler, L. J. Walters, D. Bushek, E. L. Sparks, N. A. Temple, J. Moody, K. Angstadt, J. Goff, M. Boswell, P. Sacks and S. E. Swearer. Large-scale variation in wave attenuation of oyster reef living shorelines and the influence of inundation duration. Ecological Applications (In Press)