Raffica J. La Rosa, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate


I am a botanist, with training in ecology and evolutionary biology. I am interested in rare plant conservation and adaptation, with a soft spot for plant-pollinator interactions. Currently, I am a postdoc with Dr. Nancy Emery at the University of Colorado Boulder, working on projects related to plant distributions, adaptation to changing environments, and endangered species conservation. I completed my doctorate at Michigan State University in the Department of Plant Biology and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, & Behavior program, working with Dr. Jeff Conner at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). For my dissertation, I studied the adaptive floral traits in milkweeds (Asclepias). Milkweeds are a diverse group of plants with awesomely unique floral structures. I studied contemporary selection on floral traits in five species in southwest 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.