Simone Des Roches, PhD
intraspecific variation | eco-evo dynamics | rapid adaptation | ecomorphology | conservation
Urban Ecology Lab
College of Built Environments
University of Washington
Institute for the Study of Ecological & Evolutionary Climate Impacts
University of California, Santa Cruz
I have recently joined the Urban Ecology and Evolution Network led by Marina Alberti at the University of Washington. I will be examining the complexities of eco-evolutionary dynamics in urban environments and exploring the relationships between urbanization and climate change.
California's estuaries vary dramatically with climate, from clear rushing rapids during heavy rain, to densely-vegetated ponds during dry weather. Threespine Stickleback have adaptations for each habitat. Those with more plates are better swimmers in fast, clear water; those with fewer plates maneuver better in slow, vegetated water.
In the 1970s & 80s, Baumgartner and Bell showed that stickleback had more plates in wetter northern estuaries, and fewer in drier southern estuaries.
I resurveyed Californian estuaries, comparing current and past stickleback plate numbers. I showed that the latitudinal pattern still holds, and confirmed its strong relationship to precipitation, temperature, and habitat features like streamflow. I also showed that as climate change has brought hotter and drier weather, stickleback have generally evolved fewer plates.
My work in California estuaries is done in collaboration with
Climate-driven habitat change causes evolution in Threespine Stickleback. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.14892