Welcome to the Ragland Lab at the University of Colorado, Denver. We are interested in the process of local adaptation, particularly in response to seasonal variability. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms and targets of natural selection, integrating studies from genomes, to physiology, to whole organism performance. You can read more about our research here. The lab is actively recruiting graduate students. Please direct inquiries to Greg Ragland.

Lab News and Photos

9/21/2018 — Jantina Toxopeus has successfully defend her PhD dissertation with Brent Sinclair, and will be joining the lab as a postdoc in a few weeks. Welcome, Jantina!

9/21/2018 — Our paper on sixtoothed spruce bark beetle phylogeography lead by Martin Schebeck in Christian Stauffer’s lab is now published.

8/28/2018 — Erina Radar has been awarded a EUReCA! fellowship to support a new project on rose fly population structure.

8/23/2018 — Mac Calvert presented his MS research on genetic modularity of seasonal adaptation in an invited symposium at the Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier, France.

5/18/2018 — Our paper detailing how geographic, genetic variation contributes to local adaptation is now published in Genes.

5/8/18 — Lalitya Andaloori and Erina Rader have both won CU Denver UROP awards to support their research projects. Congrats!


8/2/2017 — Start of a spruce beetle gallery. This happens when the female bores into the tree and then she will lay eggs on either side of the gallery. Photo taken by Marianne at Guanella Pass, Colorado.



6/7/2017 — Photo from Marianne of fir engraver bark beetle gallery under the bark. This was taken near Ouray, Colorado.

6/1/2017 — Marianne Davenport has taken a summer position with the forest service to survey bark beetle infestations in Colorado, and will join the lab to pursue a MS in the fall. She will focus on seasonality and population dynamics of forest pest insects.



5/24/2017 — Enjoying the food truck-a-palooza at Civic Center Eats

5/13/2017 — Our new Molecular Ecology paper studying genetic modularity during rapid adaptations has two important implications. First, it suggests that genetic independence among phenotypes may facilitate the process of speciation with gene flow. Second, it suggests that multiple diapause components, such as initiation and termination, may evolve independently.




4/22/2017 — March for Science, CO State Capital. A great turnout from CU Denver and in general, with a very positive vibe.

4/17/2017 — Our paper examining diapause transcriptomics across insect species is now available on early view, to be published in a special issue of Physiological Entomology associated with the ICE 2016 symposium on Photoperiodic induction of diapause and seasonal morphs. The results support multiple evolutionary origins of insect diapause, but also reveal a strong signal of convergence on similar patterns of gene expression during diapause across Insecta.

3/31/2017 — The Entomological Society of America meetings will be in Denver for 2017, and we are hosting a symposium, ‘Genomics of Adaptation: Linking the Next Generation of Genome-Wide Analysis to Understand and Manage Complex Traits’, co-organized by Greg Ragland, Glen Hood, Scott Egan, Dan Hahn, and Meredith Doellman. We’ve got a fantastic group of speakers, schedule should be available in the summer.

1/15/2017 — The symposium ‘Evolutionary Impacts of Seasonality‘ at SICB 2017, co-organized by Caroline Williams and Greg Ragland, was great fun and a fantastic opportunity to hear about and discuss the latest and greatest research with the community. Stay tuned for a companion special issue in Integrative and Comparative Biology…

12/15/16 — Mcall Calvert (Mac) joins the lab to pursue an MS. He will be working on genomic differentiation and speciation in flies and parasitoid wasps




9/18/16 — Field site for Rose Hip fly (R. basiola) collections, near Mt. Evans, CO.




9/7/2016 — Easy field day in the park. Haw collections, Cheeseman Park.




7/20/16 — The Ragland lab will be re-locating to the University of Colorado, Denver, Department of Integrative Biology, starting 15 August 2016. Dr. Eddy Dowle will be moving to Denver as well, while Phil Freda will remain at KSU to complete his PhD. Photo: lab farewell BBQ, Manhattan, KS.

7/1/16 — Our NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity proposal with Jeff Feder, Dan Hahn, and Tom Powell has been recommended for funding! This project will examine how seasonal adaptations to changing environments affect co-evolution with parasitoid communities, following up on Glen Hood’s and Adrew Forbe’s excellent work on cascading speciation.

7/1/16 — Our Journal of Experimental Biology paper using RNAseq to test for adaptive divergence in regulation of seasonal timing during winter is now available online. We also found an interesting pattern consistent with active suppression of growth/development during exposure to elevated temperatures.

8/20/15 — Greg presented a comparative transcriptomic study of general stress responses at the ISEPEP meeting in Aarhus, Denmark. Great to catch up with the comparative physiology crowd, very fun meeting with a good mix of sub-organismal physiology, physiological ecology, and ecological genomics.

8/5/15 — Christian Stauffer arrived in Manhattan to start his Fulbright Fellowship. Excited to have him at KSU. Should be a productive semester for our Ips typograpus diapause project.

8/1/15 — Full NSF proposal on acclimation in eastern Newts submitted in collaboration with Nancy Berner at the University of the South and Berea College. Fingers crossed!

6/19/15 — Eddy, Phil, Adam, and Greg presented research at the Arthropod Genomics Symposium in Manhattan, Ks. Nice having a great international crowd just steps from your own front door.

6/15/15 — Our Ecology Letters paper on natural selection and genomic divergence in Rhagoletis flies has now been published (open access). Seems to be getting some good press coverage!

5/14/15 — Our study of transcriptomic responses to host shifts has been published in Molecular Ecology. Cool result suggesting that early in a host shift selection may act strongly against non-adaptive plasticity.

2/15/15 — Phil wins the Reginald Painter memorial scholarship through KSU entomology. Well done, Phil!

5/8/2014 — Christian Stauffer’s Austrian FWF proposal to study the genetics of obligate vs. facultative diapause in spruce bark beetles has been funded! We are collaborators on this work, and very excited to get the project up and running.