V. Louise Roth

V. Louise Roth

Professor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

External address: 
241 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338
(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, V. L. “Insular dwarf elephants - a case study in body mass estimation and ecological inference.” Body Size in Mammalian Paleobiology: Estimation and Biological Implications, edited by J. Damuth and B. J. MacFadden, Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 151–80.

Roth, V. L. “The biological basis of homology.” Ontogeny and Systematics, edited by C. J. Humphries, Columbia University Press, 1988, pp. 1–26.


Curtin, A. J., et al. “Non-invasive histological comparison of bone growth patterns among fossil and extant neonatal elephantids using synchrotron radiation X-ray microtomography.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 49, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, Feb. 2009, pp. E42–E42.

Louise Roth, V., and J. M. Mercer. “Differing rates of macroevolutionary diversification in arboreal squirrels.” Current Science, vol. 95, no. 7, Oct. 2008, pp. 857–61.

Davis, C. M., and V. L. Roth. “The evolution of sexual size dimorphism in cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus, Leporidae).” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 95, no. 1, Sept. 2008, pp. 141–56. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01035.x. Full Text

Mercer, John M., and V. Louise Roth. “The effects of Cenozoic global change on squirrel phylogeny.Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 299, no. 5612, Mar. 2003, pp. 1568–72. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1079705. Full Text

Roth, V. Louise, and John M. Mercer. “Morphometrics in Development and Evolution.” American Zoologist, vol. 40, no. 5, Oxford University Press (OUP), Oct. 2000, pp. 801–10. Crossref, doi:10.1093/icb/40.5.801. Full Text

Agenbroad, L., et al. “Pygmy mammoths Mammuthus exilis from Channel Islands National Park, California (USA).” Deinsea: Annual of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, 1999, pp. 89–102.

Abouheif, E., et al. “Homology and developmental genes.Trends in Genetics : Tig, vol. 13, no. 11, Nov. 1997, pp. 432–33. Epmc, doi:10.1016/s0168-9525(97)01271-7. Full Text

Velhagen, W. A., and V. L. Roth. “Scaling of the mandible in squirrels.Journal of Morphology, vol. 232, no. 2, May 1997, pp. 107–32. Epmc, doi:10.1002/(sici)1097-4687(199705)232:2<107::aid-jmor1>3.0.co;2-7. Full Text

Roth, V. L., and W. D. Dawson. “Coat color genetics of Peromyscus: V. California blonde, a new recessive mutation in the deer mouse.The Journal of Heredity, vol. 87, no. 5, Sept. 1996, pp. 403–06. Epmc, doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jhered.a023025. Full Text

Louise Roth, V. “Cranial integration in the sciuridae.” American Zoologist, vol. 36, no. 1, Jan. 1996, pp. 14–23. Scopus, doi:10.1093/icb/36.1.14. Full Text