Simone Des Roches

evolutionary ecology, functional morphology, and ongoing natural selection
of lizards at white sands, new mexico

PhD Candidate
Harmon Lab
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Visiting Student Researcher
Rosenblum Lab
University of California, Berkeley, CA 


When I was four years old I wanted to be a paleontologist. I remember asking my father what colour dinosaurs were. He replied ‘Well, Simone, no one knows, but someday you could discover that.’ 

My whole life, I maintained the idea that I could grow up and make discoveries about the natural world. I specialized in ecology for my BSc and my honour’s project focused on the influence of fish evolution on surrounding ecosystems. I continued lab work before traveling to the Galapagos Islands to observe a famously diverse biological landmark. I was inspired to start my PhD on ecological and evolutionary diversity in desert lizards. My desire to make discoveries about the natural world has persisted since an early age. I hope to inspire and teach others to take an active interest in the nature that is around them. 

research questions

I use the recent lizard colonists of White Sands, NM to answer the following:

What can recent colonization tell us about evolution and ecology?
Have the lizards in White Sands undergone ecological release?
Do parallel phenotypic shifts in the three lizard species have functional significance?
What is the form and direction of current selection on White Sands lizards?

email me about biological illustration

the material on this site is the intellectual property of Simone Des Roches 2010
this page was last updated 11/08/2013