Claire B. Paris-Limouzy, PhD

Assistant Scientist, Marine Biology and Fisheries
Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science
University of Miami
email: [email protected]

One of the most significant questions facing marine ecology today is to understand the spatial structure of populations and how changes in the environment may affect population persistence, biogeography, and biodiversity in general. My primary interest is in the biological and physical processes that control marine population dynamics with an emphasis on the pelagic larval stages. Larval ecology encompasses studies of processes on three different time scales - affecting populations, affecting species distribution, and affecting rapid and long-term evolution. I am therefore focusing on research projects that can contribute to both our basic understanding of ecosystems and have applications in conservation biology. For this purpose, I have developed a modeling system for the study of population connectivity (i.e. larval movement, survival, and exchange between breeding subpopulations). Such biophysical model has contributed to gain new insight on interactions of larvae with the environment and provides an effective way to design improved strategies to conserve the coral reef ecosystems, in particular in light of the ongoing climate changes. Although my work involves modeling and theoretical ecology, I have also been developing innovative empirical methods to study the sensory envelop of larvae in situ and to compare larval capabilities and related cues between temperate and tropical species.


Ph.D. 2001 - Coastal Oceanography, State University of New York at Stony Brook 

M.S. 1987 - Biology and Living Resources, University of Miami, RSMAS

Maitrise 1982 Biochemistry & Marine Ecology, University of Bordeaux, France

Areas of Specialization

Biological Oceanography: biophysical measurements and modeling; physical-biological interactions in the larval phase of marine organisms

Ecology: Metapopulation theory and seascape ecology; population connectivity, spatial ecology and conservation; in situ observation of larval behavior and recruitment processes; taxonomy of early life history stages of fishes

Selected Publications

Steneck RS, Cowen RK, Paris CB, Srinivasan A (in press) Response to Rapid evolution of connectivity in networks of marine protected areas, Science

Baums I, Paris CB Cherubin L (in press) A bio-oceanographic filter to larval dispersal in a reef-building coral, Limnology and Oceanography

Ramos S, Cowen RK, Paris CB, P Re, Bordalo AA (2006) Environmental forcing and larval fish assemblage dynamics in the Lima River estuary (Northwest Portugal), Journal of Plankton Research 28(3): 275-286

Cowen RK, Paris CB, Srinivasan A (2006) Scaling connectivity in marine populations, Science 311:522-527

Paris CB, Sponaugle, S, Cowen RK, Rotunno T (2005) Pomacentridae: Damselfishes. In Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes, Richards JW [Ed], CRC Press

Paris CB, Cowen RK, Claro R, Lindeman KC (2005) Larval transport pathways from Cuban spawning aggregations (Snappers; Lutjanidae) based on biophysical modeling. Marine Ecology Progress Series 296:93-106

Paris CB, Cowen RK (2004) Direct evidence of a biophysical retention mechanism for coral reef fish larvae, Limnology and Oceanography 49(6): 1964-1979

Cowen RK, Paris CB, Olson DB, Fortuna JL (2003) The role of long distance dispersal in replenishing marine populations. Gulf and Caribbean Research 14(2):129-137

Serafy JE, Cowen RK, Paris CB, Capo TR, Luthy SA (2003) Evidence of blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, spawning in the vicinity of Exuma Sound, Bahamas. Marine and Fresh Water Research 54:1-8

Cowen RK, Sponaugle S, Paris CB, Fortuna JL, Lwiza KMM, Dorsey S. (2003) Impact of North Brazil Current rings on local circulation and coral reef fish recruitment to Barbados, West Indies. In: Interhemispheric Water Exchange, GJ Goni [Ed], Elsevier Oceanographic Series, Chap 17: 443-462

Paris CB, Cowen RK, Lwiza KMM, Wang DP, Olson DB (2002) Objective analysis of three-dimensional circulation in the vicinity of Barbados, West Indies: Implication for larval transport. Deep Sea Research 49: 1363-1386

Paris-Limouzy CB (2001) Transport dynamics and survival of the pelagic larval stages of a coral reef fish, the bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus (Poey). Ph.D. Thesis, Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, N.Y. 11794-5000, 246 pp

Olson DB, Paris CB, Cowen RK (2001) Lagrangian biological models, p. 1437-1443. In: Steele JH, Turekian KK, Thorpe SA (Eds) Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, Academic Press

Cowen RK, Lwiza KMM, Sponaugle S, Paris CB, Olson DB (2000) Connectivity of marine populations: Open or closed?  Science 287: 857-859

Graber HC. and Limouzy-Paris CB (1997) Transport patterns of tropical reef fish larvae by spin-off eddies in the Straits of Florida. Oceanography 10 (2): 68-71

Limouzy-Paris CB, Graber HC, Jones DL, Ropke AW, Richards WJ (1997) Translocation of larval coral reef fishes via sub-mesoscale spin-off eddies from the Florida Current. Bulletin of Marine Science 60 (3): 966-983


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