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The Museum Conservation Institute - Staff


Christine A.M. France

Christine A.M. France

Physical Scientist

 

Phone: 301-238-1261
Fax: 301-238-3709
E-mail Address: FranceC [at] si.edu

Address:
Museum Conservation Institute
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746


Education

B.S. University of Maryland, College Park (2001)
M.S. North Carolina State University (2004)
Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park (2008)

Research Specialties and Interests

My primary field of interest is stable isotopic applications to vertebrate paleontology and archeology.  I utilize stable isotopes in well preserved bones and teeth as proxies for ecological influences, diet, climate, and physiologic mechanisms.  To this end I also study the preservation of vertebrate fossil material with an emphasis on the potential diagenetic alteration of original isotopic values.

In addition to my personal research I manage the Smithsonian OUSS/MCI Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry Laboratory which performs stable isotope analyses (C, N, O, H, S) for all Smithsonian units.  I oversee all users of the facility, provide technical support, and consult on a variety of projects.

Recent Research Activities

My most current research focuses on dietary reconstruction of Pleistocene ecosystems in North America.  I am specifically interested in the changing structure of food webs and the role this may play in the end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinction.  As a corollary to this research, I have been using my sample sets from a variety of different aged Pleistocene sites to examine the biogeochemical diagenesis of bones with time and in differing environments.

In addition to these diagenetic studies, I am analyzing the preservation of isotopic signals in museum collections.  I am currently examining the effect of different chemical preservation treatments on the isotopic signals in bones and teeth.  I am attempting to determine which treatments result in isotopic exchange between applied chemicals and the original bones/teeth.

I am also collaborating on projects involving the use of stable isotopes in dendrochronology and the use of stable isotopes in determining thermoregulatory mechanisms of dinosaurs.

Professional Activities

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (member)
The Paleontological Society (member)
Geologic Society of America (member)
American Geophysical Union (member)

Recent Publications

Marra, P.P., Dove, C.J., Dolbeer, R., Dahlan, N.F., Heacker, M., Whatton, J.F., Diggs, N.E., France, C., and Henkes, G.A., 2009.  Migratory Canada geese cause crash of US Airways Flight 1549.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7(6):  297-301.

France, C.A.M., Zelanko, P.M., Kaufman, A.J., and Holtz, T.R., 2007.  Carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis of Pleistocene mammals from the Saltville Quarry (Virginia, USA):  Implications for trophic relationships.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 249:  271-282.

France, C., Zelanko, P., Kaufman, A., and Holtz, T., 2006.  Carbon and nitrogen isotopic reconstruction of trophic relationships between herbivorous mammals from Saltville, Virginia.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26 (3-supplemental):  63A.

Recent talks

Poster:  France, C.A.M., Sheppard, P.R., Cano, N.J., and Speakman, R.J., 2009.  Stable isotopic and chemical indicators of volcanic eruptions in tree rings from Paricutin, Mexico.  American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, Dec. 14-18.

Presentation:  France, C.A.M., 2006.  Carbon and nitrogen isotopic reconstruction of trophic relationships between herbivorous mammals from Saltville, Virginia.  Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting.  Ottowa, Canada.

 

Journal Articles

Moini, Mehdi, O'Halloran, Aoife, Peters, Alan M., France, Christine A. M., Vicenzi, Edward P., DeWitt, Tamsen G., Langan, Esther, Walsh, Tim and Speakman, Robert J. 2014 Understanding Irregular Shell Formation of Nautilus in Aquaria: Chemical Composition and Structural Analysis Zoo Biology ( ): - Hoboken Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/zoo.21132

France Christine, A. M., Owsley Douglas, W. and Hayek Lee-Ann, C. 2014 Stable isotope indicators of provenance and demographics in 18th and 19th century North Americans Journal of Archaeological Science 42 ( ): 356- 366 Elsevier 10.1016/j.jas.2013.10.037

France, Christine A. M., Thomas, Daniel B., Doney, Charlotte R. and Madden, Odile 2014 FT-Raman spectroscopy as a method for screening collagen diagenesis in bone Journal of Archaeological Science 42 ( ): 346- 355 Elsevier 10.1016/j.jas.2013.11.020

Moini, Mehdi, O'Halloran, Aoife, Peters, Alan M., France, Christine A. M., Vicenzi, Edward P., DeWitt, Tamsen G., Langan, Esther, Walsh, Tim and Speakman, Robert J. 2014 Understanding irregular shell formation of Nautilus in aquaria: Chemical composition and structural analysis Zoo Biology 33 (4): 285- 294 Hoboken Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/zoo.21132

Moini, Mehdi, Rollman, Christopher M. and France, Christine A. M. 2013 Dating Human Bone: Is Racemization Dating Species-Specific? Analytical Chemistry 85 (23): 11211- 11215 Washington, DC ACS Publications 10.1021/ac402917z

France, C. and Owsley, D. W. 2013 Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Spacing Between Bone and Tooth Collagen and Hydroxyapatite in Human Archaeological Remains International Journal of Osteoarchaeology ( ): - 10.1002/oa.2300

Vaslet, Amandine, Phillips, D. L., France, Christine, Feller, Ilka C. and Baldwin, Carole C. 2012 The relative importance of mangroves and seagrass beds as feeding areas for resident and transient fishes among different mangrove habitats in Florida and Belize: Evidence from dietary and stable-isotope analyses Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology 434–435 ( ): 81- 93 Elsevier 10.1016/j.jembe.2012.07.024

Vaslet, Amandine, France, Christine, Baldwin, Carole C. and Feller, Ilka C. 2012 Dietary habits of juveniles of the Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus, in mangrove ponds of an offshore islet in Belize, Central America Neotropical Ichthyology 10 (3): 667- 674 Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia 10.1590/S1679-62252012000300021

Cappitelli, Francesca, Salvadori, Ornella, Albanese, Domenico, Villa, Federica and Sorlini, Claudia 2012 Cyanobacteria cause black staining of the National Museum of the American Indian Building, Washington, DC, USA Biofouling 28 (3): 257- 266 10.1080/08927014.2012.671304

France, Christine A. M., Giaccai, Jennifer A. and Cano, Nadia 2011 The effects of PVAc treatment and organic solvent removal on [delta]13C, [delta]15N, and [delta]18O values of collagen and hydroxyapatite in a modern bone Journal of Archaeological Science 38 (12): 3387- 3393 10.1016/j.jas.2011.07.024

Vaslet, Amandine, France, Christine, Phillips, D. L., Feller, Ilka C. and Baldwin, Carole C. 2011 Stable-isotope analyses reveal the importance of seagrass beds as feeding areas for juveniles of the speckled worm eel Myrophis punctatus (Teleostei: Ophichthidae) in Florida Journal of Fish Biology 79 (3): 692- 706 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.03052.x

Ropret, Polonca, Miliani, Costanza, Centeno, Silvia A., Tavzes, Crtomir and Rosi, Francesca 2010 Advances in Raman mapping of works of art Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 41 (11): 1172- 1177 https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/11183 10.1002/jrs.2733

Marra, Peter P., Dove, Carla J., Dolbeer, Richard, Dahlan, N. F., Heacker, M., Whatton, J. F., Diggs, N. E., France, C. and Henkes, G. A. 2009 Migratory Canada geese cause crash of US Airways Flight 1549 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7 (6): 297- 301 https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/7872 10.1890/090066

France, Christine A. M., Zelanko, Paula M., Kaufman, Alan J. and Holtz, Thomas R.,Jr. 2007 Carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis of Pleistocene mammals from the Saltville Quarry (Virginia, USA): Implications for trophic relationships Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 249 (3-4): 271- 282 10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.02.002