Dr Joan Alfaro-Lucas is a marine biologist interested in the patterns of biodiversity and their drivers, and how human activities may change them, in the deep sea. This includes not only the species but also the functional diversity and their change along space and time. Joan is particularly interested in understanding the role of energy, environmental stress and biological interactions as drivers of the assembly of communities both at the local and global scales. His research mainly focus on deep-sea chemosynthetic-based communities, such as those found on sunken whale carcasses and hydrothermal vents. He uses these communities as natural research laboratories to test ecological hypotheses.

Joan received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and his MSc in Biological Oceanography from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where he specialized in deep sea ecosystems. He received his PhD from the University of Bretagne Occidentale, France, for his thesis on the assembly of deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities using a functional approach. Currently, Joan is a postdoctoral fellow in the Amanda Bates Lab in the University of Victoria, Canada, where he is studying the functional diversity of hydrothermal vents at the global scale. Joan has participated in several oceanographic cruises exploring both the deep North and South Atlantic.