:: Lab Group ::

Nicole Rafferty

Associate Professor


Redirecting to new Rafferty Lab website: raffertylab.org

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arizona and University of Toronto


Postdoctoral Researchers

Kaleigh Vilchez-Russell

Ph.D., University of California, Riverside


Kaleigh is interested in studying the effects of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions. Her Ph.D. research focused on the effects of warming on the microbes associated with plant nectar. As temperatures warm, nectar-inhabiting microbial communities can shift, altering nectar sugar concentrations and potentially pollinator feeding behavior. For her postdoc she will continue to look at how different aspects of climate change interfere with plant-pollinator relationships. She is specifically interested in desert ecosystems and the extreme temperatures, increased windstorms, and lack of precipitation that are affecting these landscapes.

Clara Stuligross

Ph.D., University of California, Davis


Clara is broadly interested in the effects of environmental stressors on bees and plants in natural and managed ecosystems. For her Ph.D., she studied the individual and combined effects of resource and pesticide stressors on wild bees, as well as the potential for flower plantings to mitigate impacts. For her postdoc, she is investigating the effects of climate change on plant and pollinator interactions, phenology, and fitness.


Graduate Students

Elijah Hall

Ph.D. Candidate in EEOB


Elijah is interested in how global change impacts plants and pollinators. He is especially interested in community-level phenological patterns, the role of pollinators in plant reproductive success, and how those relationships change over space and time.

Chris Cosma

Ph.D. Candidate in EEOB

Chris is interested in how ecological communities respond to global change, and how we can apply our understanding of species interactions to biodiversity conservation. He is particularly interested in the effects of global climate change on plant-pollinator interactions, especially those involving nocturnal Lepidoptera.


Annika Rose-Person

Ph.D. Candidate in EEOB


Annika is interested in how anthropogenic global change affects community interactions. She is specifically interested in the links among underground plant-fungi interactions and pollinator communities, as well as how shifts in plant and fungal distributions may affect their connections.

Elena Kaminskaia

Ph.D. Student in EEOB


Elena is interested in the effects of global change on plant-pollinator interactions, and how these effects might inform our approaches to conservation of affected species. She is particularly interested in solitary bee communities and the effects anthropogenic climate change has on them.


Undergraduate Students

(just a few of the outstanding students who have worked in the lab over the years...)

Erin Paulson

NSF REU Mentee (2019)

Erin conducted independent research on mutualisms under the guidance of Andrea Keeler at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab.

Elizabeth Kenny

Research Intern (2019)

Elizabeth studied plant-pollinator interactions in the White Mountains with Elijah Hall and conducted independent research on floral display size.

Eva Morton

Visiting Scholar (2017)

Eva visited from the University of Manchester for a year. She worked at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab and helped with projects at UCR. She also conducted independent research on plants and insects.

Stephanie Aguiar

CAMP Mentee (2018-2019)

Stephanie graduated with a degree in Environmental Sciences in 2019. With interests in soils and plants, she helped with our projects in the greenhouse and conducted independent research.


Former Graduate Students

Andrea Keeler

Ph.D. 2022

Dissertation: "Tritrophic mutualisms in a changing climate"

Currently: Assistant Teaching Professor at The State University of New York at Buffalo

Former Postdoctoral Researchers

Natasha de Manincor

Postdoc 2020-2022

Currently: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Mons, Belgium

Alessandro Fisogni

Postdoc 2020-2022

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Mons, Belgium

Other Alumni

Lindsey Agnew

Junior Specialist


Celebrating Lindsey's time in the lab

Huan Liang

Visiting Ph.D. Student


Liang studied interactions among bumble bees and wildflowers in the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains. She has also worked on reproductive isolation in sympatric species of Pedicularis. Liang visited from the Kunming Institute of Botany, where she was a Ph.D. student in the lab of Hong Wang.