Dr Serge Planes has been involved in the study of population genetics of marine fish since the beginning of his career that started with his PhD in 1989. Over the past 15 years, he has published about 40 papers in international journals dealing with the population genetics of coral reef fishes and an additional 20 dealing with ecology and recruitment of reef fishes. Recently, ISI Essential Science Indicators (ESI) analyzed research into coral reef ecosystems in the past decade and ranked his work at #19 in the world out of 5,060 authors (see http://esi-topics.com/coralreef). His early work suggested that coral reef fish populations are much more limited in space than was generally believed prior to the early 1990s. Most of the recent work using both genetic markers and other techniques has confirmed Planes' view that marine populations conform to a stepping stone model, with limited gene flow occurring between adjacent populations. Most of his early work was done using allozymes. However, new expertise and laboratory facilities now allow him to develop similar approaches using DNA markers such as microsatellites and introns. Aside from his main research field, Dr Planes has also been involved with studies on fish recruitment, both in coral reefs and in the Mediterranean Sea. Over these projects, Dr Serge Planes has been awarded a career total of about 1.5 million euros in competitive research grants, including 6 from the European Union on Marine Protected Areas, development of DNA chips, mapping of essential fishing ground habitats, genetic description of fishing stocks, etc.
Dr Serge Planes was first appointed to the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) as a Research Scientist (Chargé de recherche) in 1993, has received rapid promotion to Senior Research Scientist in 1997 and to Principal Research Scientist in 2004 on the basis of his research record. In recognition of his contribution to the research in genetics in coral reef fish, he has been invited to contribute to the current state-of-the-art text on coral reef fish ecology "Coral Reef Fishes: Dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem" (Academic Press, 2002).