V. Louise Roth

Professor in the Department of Biology

External address: 
241 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90325, Durham, NC 27708-0325
(919) 660-7352


In addition to conceptual work on the biological bases of homology, variation, and parallel evolution, my research has focused on evolutionary changes in size and shape in mammals: the functional consequences of these changes, and the evolutionary modifications of ontogenetic processes that produce them. This work makes use of DNA sequences, morphometric data, and geographic distributions to study macroevolutionary changes within a phylogenetic context. Projects have included DNA sequence phylogenies of squirrels, experimental work on prenatal maternal effects on body size in large insular deermice, and morphometric studies of growth in elephants, dwarfism in an insular (Pleistocene) dwarf mammoth, and gigantism in insular deermice.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Yale University 1982

  • M.Phil., Yale University 1978

  • B.S., Brown University 1975

Roth, VL. "Insular dwarf elephants - a case study in body mass estimation and ecological inference." Body Size in Mammalian Paleobiology: Estimation and Biological Implications. Ed. J Damuth and BJ MacFadden. Cambridge University Press, 1990. 151-180. (Chapter)

Roth, VL. "The biological basis of homology." Ontogeny and Systematics. Ed. CJ Humphries. Columbia University Press, 1988. 1-26. (Chapter)


Roth, VL, and Mercer, JM. "Differing rates of macroevolutionary diversification in arboreal squirrels." Current Science 95.7 (2008): 857-861.

Davis, CM, and Roth, VL. "The evolution of sexual size dimorphism in cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus, Leporidae)." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 95.1 (2008): 141-156. Full Text

Mercer, JM, and Roth, VL. "The effects of Cenozoic global change on squirrel phylogeny." Science 299.5612 (March 7, 2003): 1568-1572. Full Text

Roth, VL, and Mercer, JM. "Morphometrics in Development and Evolution." American Zoologist 40.5 (October 2000): 801-810. Full Text

Agenbroad, L, Morris, D, and Roth, VL. "Pygmy mammoths Mammuthus exilis from Channel Islands National Park, California (USA)." Deinsea: Annual of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam (1999): 89-102.

Abouheif, E, Akam, M, Dickinson, WJ, Holland, PWH, Meyer, A, Patel, NH, Raff, RA, Roth, VL, and Wray, GA. "Homology and developmental genes." TRENDS IN GENETICS 13.11 (November 1997): 432-433. Full Text

Velhagen, WA, and Roth, VL. "Scaling of the mandible in squirrels." J Morphol 232.2 (May 1997): 107-132. Full Text

Roth, VL, and Dawson, WD. "Coat color genetics of Peromyscus: V. California blonde, a new recessive mutation in the deer mouse." J Hered 87.5 (September 1996): 403-406.

Roth, VL. "Cranial integration in the sciuridae." American Zoologist 36.1 (1996): 14-23.

Ball, SS, and Roth, VL. "Jaw muscles of New World squirrels." J Morphol 224.3 (June 1995): 265-291. Full Text