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Willem Roosenburg

Willem Roosenburg, portrait with terrapins
Professor & Vice Chair
Life Sciences Building 247

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Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests

  • Vertebrate Population Biology, Evolutionary Ecolog.
  • Roosenburg Lab Website
  • Lab: Life Sciences Building 260A/C

In my research, I investigate the evolution of life history traits (e.g. survivorship, reproductive rates, age of first reproduction etc.) and the conservation biology (extinction and loss of biodiversity due to anthropomorphic causes) of long-lived organisms. My research philosophy is to develop a species of interest as a model system and to gain a mechanistic understanding of how environmental variation affects population dynamics of that species, using a variety of tools. I combine demographic and experimental techniques to observe variation within populations and to predict the outcome of environmental perturbations on survivorship and reproductive rates. The utility of my approach is that it allows me to simultaneously address basic ecological and evolutionary questions as well as conservation and management issues. My research focuses on how population structure, behavior, and offspring phenotype are influenced by the interaction between the incubation environment and environmental sex determination (ESD), a peculiar sex determining system in which the sex of the developing embryos is determined by the incubation temperature after the eggs are laid.