lab and field assistants

I have had the great opportunity to work with several spectacular undergraduate field assistants. Each has provided me with remarkable help towards my dissertation and postdoctoral work and they've seemed to enjoy themselves in the meantime!


PROJECT: The effect of climate change on ecology and evolution 
of threespine stickleback in California Estuaries

Julia is a summer research student in Biology at St Mary's College of California. 
Her research looks at the relationship between genotype and phenotype of armour plating in 
estuarine stickleback from the coastal Santa Cruz area.

Kyla, also at St Mary's College, is an Environmental Science major. 
She is examining the whether stickleback trophic morphology (gill raker shape, size, and number) vary with both diet, habitat, and armour plating genotype and phenotype.

Annie is in Environmental Studies and St Mary's college and is looking at food availability (zooplankton and benthic invertebrates) & diet of stickleback in estuaries. 
Further, she hopes to discover how availability and diet change across habitats and with the extent of marine and freshwater mixing.


KAREN POHL (2011) In loving memory
PROJECT: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards

Karen worked in the Rosenblum lab on the relationship between the chytrid fungus and amphibian declines. As a "reward" for her stellar performance and good behaviour in the lab, Karen was invited to spend some time catching lizards in White Sands. Karen took to fieldwork perfectly and proved to us all that she was no Mc1r mutant with her superb tanning skills. Karen was awarded her undergraduate degree from the University of Idaho in 2012.

On the 14th April, 2012, Karen passed away unexpectedly from complications of a stroke. Like many of my field assistants, Karen had become one of my great friends. Her devotion to nature and charity continues to inspire all who knew her.

PROJECT: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards

Monica & Emani joined the field team in 2015 for my last field season in White Sands and before their final year at UC Berkeley. They were both eager to spend their summer outside in the sands and thoroughly enjoyed their experience with fieldwork.

PROJECT: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards

Kendall has been a great help in the UC Berkeley lab, working tirelessly to extract and run PCR on the Mc1r gene in Sceloporus cowlesi
Kendall was able to come visit us down in White Sands briefly in the 2014 field season and helped radio tracking lizards.

PROJECT: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards

Silvia joined the field team in 2014 eager to take on her first field experience. 
A natural reptile-spotter, she became particularly attached to female earless lizards and was known to squeal with excitement and adoration every time she caught a particularly pudgy one. 
Silvia is passionate about outreach, particularly that which involves young female scientists. 
She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 and is currently living closer to home in the LA area looking to continue a career in Biology.

PROJECT: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards

Abbey also joined the field team in 2014. 
She quickly became a master lizard-catcher and lizard-scanning pro. 
After returning from the field, Abbey soon found she had developed a naturalist's eye and was constantly seeing lizards on her runs in the bay area. 
Abbey recently left for an exchange in Chilé to experience yet another great adventure. 
She is currently attending UC Berkeley in her third year.

PROJECTS:   Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards; Ecomorphology of White Sands lizards

As an undergrad just finishing her first year, Mikki was the youngest assistant to go explore the White Sands desert. 
What she may have lacked in 'experience' she certainly made up for in enthusiasm. Mikki feels like she met her true calling in the field in New Mexico. 
Mikki is a natural hunter of the lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata), although occasionally fooled by the sly "Faux-brookia" (clumps of lizard-shaped sand). 
Mikki was so keen on the desert and its dragons that she triple-dipped as field assistant again in 2012 and 2014. 
Mikki recently graduated from the University of Idaho and is looking to pursue more work in the field before beginning graduate school.

PROJECT: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards

Jackie was the first undergraduate to come to the White Sands project from the University of California, Berkeley, where she is currently completing her undergraduate degree. 
Although she had never been to the Southwest before, Jackie adapted to the desert, and lizard-hunting wonderfully. 
Jackie also began her own project exploring habitat use and genetics of colour in the southwest fence lizard.
 Jackie is looking forward to graduate school in the future, but for now, is working at a lab studying type I diabetes at UCSF.

PROJECT: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards

Isaiah started work in the Rosenblum Lab in 2011 working on preparing slides of frog skin that had become infected with chytrid fungus. 
Isaiah was thrilled to come down to White Sands to work on the collaborative effort of capturing hundreds of little ectotherms squirming about the gypsum.
Isaiah even collected preliminary data for his own project investigating thermal habitat use of the Earless Lizard. 
Isaiah graduated from the University of Idaho in 2013 and is has been working various field jobs both in the US and abroad.

TRAVIS MORGAN (2011-2013)
PROJECTS: Ongoing natural selection on White Sands lizards
Ecomorphology of White Sands lizards

Travis started working in the field at White Sands in 2011. 
He became a lizard-capturing fanatic; however, he made some scaled-enemies in the field including one little fellow so-named "Nemisis," who eluded capture day after day after day (and finally succumbed to a team effort with Simone).
After the summer, Travis helped measure and analyze sprint speed data from 2010, where he painstakingly digitally tracked the three species of lizards running on dark soil and white sand race-tracks. 
Travis recently graduated from the University of Idaho and then joined for another field season in 2013. He now lives in Portland, OR and works for a lab there.

PROJECT: Ecomorphology of White Sands lizards

Cara found out about the White Sands project during a guest lecture in Herpetology. Soon after, she became involved in the functional morphology project initiated in 2010. 
She is now working in the lab extracting muscle from lizard tails for stable isotope analysis on a project that will link changes in head morphology, bite strength, prey consumption, and ecology of the three species of lizard in White Sands. 
Cara is considering continuing on to graduate school after her undergraduate degree.

PROJECT: Ecomorphology of White Sands lizards

Jack was one of the first undergraduates to become involved in the Harmon Lab at the University of Idaho in 2008. 
He wasa natural choice as a field assistant in White Sands in 2010 where he helped catch, measure, and measure the sprint speed of lizards. 
Jack's mad lizarding skills were put to good use capturing the elusive and fast-moving Little Striped Whiptail, Aspidoscelis inornata, and his clever construction abilities were crucial for the race-track building. 
Jack has now finished his undergraduate degree and has been spending time in Trinidad doing field work with the Reznick lab on the local guppies.

PROJECT: Ecological release in White Sands lizards

After a wonderful stint in the Rosenblum lab at UI, during which Knut explored the hormonal underpinning of behavioural differences of male Fence Lizards of White Sands, Knut migrated across state lines to Washington State University.Since January 2011 Knut has held full-time employment as a technician in the Rodgers’ molecular endocrinology lab in the Department of Animal Sciences at WSU. 
Current studies explore molecular mechanisms behind myostatin’s inhibitory effects in both skeletal and cardiac muscle. 
The research will develop novel therapies in the treatment of muscular related diseases such as the various muscular dystrophies. 
Knut's career goals include attending medical school, and he is currently interviewing at a number of programs.

the material on this site is the intellectual property of Simone Des Roches 2010
this page was last updated 25-June-2016