Greg Ragland

Greg Ragland
Assistant Professor
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Colorado, Denver
Campus Box 171
Denver, CO 80217-3364
PHONE: (303) 556-5970
gregory DOT ragland AT ucdenver DOT edu

Greg Ragland
. I have been an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at CU Denver since 2016. When I am not immersed in bugs and data, I am usually wrangling my daughters, hiking, running, or cycling.


Jantina Toxopeus. Jantina will be joining the lab in October 2018 to study the relationship between overwintering and thermal hardiness in several insect systems, and to develop RNAi knockout of diapause candidate genes in Rhagoletis. She completed her dissertation in Brent Sinclair’s lab, studying mechanisms of insect freeze tolerance.

 Graduate Students


Phil Freda (currently based at KSU). (website) I am broadly interested in the evolution of complex life cycles and levels of constraint (or lack thereof) across metamorphic boundaries. In other words, is performance under a given set of environmental conditions constrained across metamorphosis or is there the potential for adaptive decoupling in distinct life stages? I aim to answer this question by estimating genetic correlations in thermal limits across metamorphosis using the fully sequenced Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) of Drosophila melanogaster.


McCall Calvert (Mac). I am broadly interested in the mechanisms and processes that contribute to host shifts in phytophagous insects. In the Ragland lab, I am engaged in projects to identify genes responsible for host synchronization in Ragoletis pomonella and the suite of parasitoids that attack them. I also hope to dig deeper into questions surrounding the evolution of host generalism. I have previously worked on disease vector population dynamics and control, mule deer migration, systematics of Bactrocera spp., and ecotoxicology of estuarine systems.

Marianne    MB_deadstandingtree

Marianne Davenport. (website) I am a current graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver and study the spruce bark beetle, Dendroctonus rufipennis, which is causing tree mortality in Colorado’s upper elevation forests. I am most interested in biotic and abiotic factors that promote and support increased populations. Previously my research has focused on changes in surface fuels and tree regeneration following the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in the Colorado Front Range.

Undergraduate Researchers

Erina Rader. Erina is a UROP-funded student working on long-read sequencing to elucidate inversion breakpoints associated with adaptation in Rhagoletis.

Lalitya Andaloori. Lalitya is a UROP-funded student working on the overwintering metabolism of rose flies (Rhagoletis basiola) distributed across altitudinal gradients in the Colorado Rockies.

Matin Sanaei. Matin just join the lab in Fall 2018, and is working on a little bit of everything!


Nooshin Sanaei.

Lab Alumni


Eddy Dowle was a postdoc in the lab from 2015 – 2017 studying local adaptation and population structure in the Mountain Pine Beetle and developmental transcriptomics of diapause regulation in apple maggot flies. She is currently a postdoc in the Gemmell lab at the University of Otago.

You-Jin Hao, Chongqing Normal University , Chongqing, China. You-Jin is an insect molecular biologist who studies mechanisms of seasonality and diapause regulation. He is currently developing RNAi approaches in Rhagoletis pomonella and is collaborating on studies of gene expression and developmental dynamics during diapause development.


Adam Schieferecke was a summer research assistant who mined genomic and transcriptomic data for diapause candidate genes and worked with Phil on thermal physiology experiments in spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). He is now completing a BS/MS at KSU after earning a prestigious Barry M Goldwater scholarship.


Mariah Brown

Mariah Brown worked on various thermal ecology experiments in D. melanogaster and suzuki, and  continues to work towards her BS at KSU.

Evan Keep worked on gene orthology and comparative transcriptomics as a summer REU student. He has recently completed his BS and is now employed at LabAnswer.



Dan Hahn and Tom Powell (U. Florida), Jeff Feder and Mike Pfrender (Notre Dame), Barbara Bentz (USDA), Karen Mock (Utah State U.), Stewart Berlocher and Hugh Robertson (U. Illinois), Christian Stauffer (BOKU, Vienna). Photo credit: Hannes Schuler.