Raffica J. La Rosa, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate


I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in adaptation, with a soft spot for plant-pollinator interactions. I am currently a postdoc with Nancy Emery at the University of Colorado-Boulder working on a project examining adaptation of species to a variable environment. I did my graduate work in Jeff Conner’s lab at Michigan State University in the Department of Plant Biology and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, & Behavior program, and was a year-round resident at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS).

For my dissertation, I studied the adaptive floral traits in milkweeds (Asclepias). Milkweeds are an awesome group of plants with crazy floral structures and amazing diversity. I studied contemporary selection on floral traits in five species in Kalamazoo county (Michigan), as well as evidence for past selection across the 100+ North American species. Milkweeds have a wide range of insect pollinators, including: bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles, and flies. Check out my photo gallery for some of my favorite photos.