Simone Des Roches


illustrator, naturalist

I study:
ecological (habitat use, ecomorphology, foodwebs, demographics)
evolutionary (ongoing natural selection, adaptation)dynamics


Adjunct Faculty
Department of Biology
St Mary's College of California, Moraga, CA, USA 

starting this year:

Postdoctoral Fellow (July 2016 - tbd)
Advisor: E. Palkovacs
Institute for the Study of Ecological Effects of Climate Impacts
University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, USA


Berkeley Connect Fellow (2014 - 2015)
Advisors: E.B. Rosenblum, J. Brashares, D. Winickoff
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

PhD (2008 - 2014)
Advisors: E.B. Rosenblum, L.J. Harmon
Department of Biology
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA

BSc Honours (2002 - 2007)
Advisors: D. Schluter, J. Shurin
Department of Zoology
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

research questions:

I study 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?


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 started my PhD on ecological and evolutionary diversity in desert lizards. I now have a one-year postdoctoral position continuing my work on the White Sands lizards. I am partially funded through the Berkeley Connect program, where I am mentoring undergraduates at UC Berkeley.


about biological illustration 

the material on this site is the intellectual property of Simone Des Roches 2010
this page was last updated 11-January-2016