Principal Investigator

Nancy Emery

Nancy C. Emery, PhD

Assistant Professor
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
I am an evolutionary ecologist that is broadly interested in understasnding how ecological processes shape the evolutionary trajectories of plant populations . The majority of my research strives to understand the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that determine where species live in spatially and temporally variable environments.
Nancy.Emery@Colorado.edu     (303)735-7548

Graduate Students

Kelly Carscadden

Kelly Carscadden

PhD student
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
I research the mechanisms and nested levels of biological organization underlying species' niche breadth. Through greenhouse experimentation with monkeyflowers, I aim to determine how among-population variation in tolerance contributes to species-level drought tolerance and clarify trait syndromes responsible for drought resistance. Additionally, I am collaborating to synthesize diverse questions in niche breadth research and compare methods of quantifying niche breadth.
Margaret Habib

Margaret Habib

MS student
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology / Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology
My research uses field and laboratory methods to study the genetic structure of plant populations and its importance for the conservation and management of threatened taxa. I work on vernal pool ecosystems in the bay delta region of California, studying two endangered vernal pool species, Burke's goldfields and Contra Costa goldfields.
Silas Tittes

Silas Tittes

PhD student
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
My research is motivated by the interaction of genes and environment, and how their interplay produces variation in fitness and phenotype. I use greenhouse experiments, molecular data, and probabilistic modeling to study how variation in soil moisture influences plant performance. By comparing among individuals, populations, and species, my research aims to improve our understanding of how evolution shapes organisms' responses to variable environments.
Courtney Van Den Elzen

Courtney Van Den Elzen

PhD student
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology / Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology
My research focuses on interactions between seed dispersal evolution and environmental adaptation in plants. I use simulation modeling techniques to study evolutionary feedback loops between seed dispersal evolution and environmental adaptation in changing environments, and empirical techniques to study the influence of environmental factors on traits that control seed dispersal in California goldfields.

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Raffica LaRosa

Raffica La Rosa, PhD

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in adaptive traits and species conservation, with a soft spot for plant-pollinator interactions. My dissertation focused on contemporary selection on milkweed ( Asclepias ) floral traits and their evolutionary history. In the Emery Lab I study adaptation to variable environments in vernal pool goldfields.
Anne Marie Panetta

Anne Marie Panetta, PhD

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
My research focuses on the roles that gene flow and local adaptation play in facilitating and/or constraining population persistence in the face of global change. I use a combination of climate manipulation, greenhouse common garden experiments, and genetically explicit in situ transplant experiments to investigate population-level responses of a native mountain wildflower, Rock Jasmine, to local changes in temperature, moisture, and snowpack dynamics.

Lab Alumni

Sally Chambers

Sally Chambers, PhD

Research Botanist
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens • Sarasota FL
Michelle Jensen

Michelle Jensen, MS

Preserve Ecologist
Pepperwood Preserve • Santa Rosa CA
Elizabeth LaRue

Elizabeth LaRue

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources • Purdue University
Lorena Torres Martinez

Lorena Torres-Martinez, PhD

Koch-Richardson Postdoctoral Fellow
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology • Tulane University
Joey Walker

Joseph Walker, MS

PhD candidate
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology • University of Michigan