Lois Roe is a geologist by training, but grew up in a musical household and her interests in the natural sciences have long shared the stage with her ardent enthusiasm for music and foreign languages. Though her father is a classically-trained pianist and organist, Lois's early musical tastes were influenced most by her mother's popular music. One of her earliest and fondest musical memories is of learning to sing the entire soundtrack of the "Pajama Game," and swooning over the wonderful tenor voice of John Raitt. In high school, she got her first real taste of R&B music, which at that time included Ashford and Simpson, Cameo, Earth Wind and Fire, Rufus and Chaka Khan, and Teena Marie - all of whom remain favorites of hers today. Hearing George Benson inspired her to learn to play the guitar and eventually led her to explore jazz music. In her professional work, Lois studies the ecology and physiology of the earliest known (50 million-year-old) fossil whales by making geochemical analyses of their teeth and bones. Her studies have been in collaboration with colleagues in the U.S. and Pakistan who discovered the "walking whale" in Pakistan in 1992. Lois loves being in the field collecting fossils, but also enjoys lab work and writing and has contributed to scientific articles about early whales in an edited volume (The Emergence of Whales) and a couple of scientific journals, including Nature. Her geochemical work on early whales is also briefly described in the 1998 popular book, At the Water's Edge. Currently, Lois resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she spends most of her free time attending jazz concerts, volunteering at Yoshi's Jazz Club, and listening to and writing about music on various online sites.
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