1986 B.S. (Biology, Honours with Great Distinction) Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
1992 Ph.D. (Oceanography) Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA
My research focuses on the evolution of deep-sea benthic invertebrates and the processes that generate the surprisingly high species diversity observed in this environment. In particular, I am interested in determining what factors isolate populations and lead to genetic and morphological differentiation in this vast, continuous habitat. Relatively little is known about the genetic population structure of deep-sea species, and the geographic extent over which they maintain interbreeding populations remains a major unresolved question in marine biology. To identify barriers to dispersal and gene flow, I examine the geographic scale of diversity and genetic variation at the intra- and inter specific levels. The genetic data is obtained primarily by DNA sequencing, although I have also employed allozyme electrophoresis in the past. By design, the results of the population-level analyses of variation lead to taxonomic and systematic inquiries at and above the species-level and therefore contribute to the recent increased interest in marine biodiversity. These systematic studies extend to shallow-water marine species as well to provide insights into larger-scale patterns of evolution. The primary focus of my lab's current research is deep-sea coral. Octocorals (e.g., sea fans and sea whips) and black corals are relatively common in the cold waters of the deep sea, particularly where hard substrates rise from the bottom and current speeds are greater, such as on seamounts and in canyons.
To learn more about how we find and collect these deep-sea corals, visit the Deep-Sea Corals Portal
Feel free to contact me at this address:
Scott C. France , Department of Biology, PO Box 43602, Lafayette, LA 70504 or
france-at-louisiana.edu, Telephone: (337) 482-6320