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Roxaneh Khorsand

Roxaneh Khorsand

Visiting Assistant Professor

Biological Sciences
Natural and Health Sciences

Contact Information

Ross Hall 2570
Mailing Address
University of Northern Colorado
Biological Sciences
Campus Box 92
Greeley, CO 80639


Postdoctoral, 2013 – 2015, Florida International University, Miami, FL.; Phenological responses of tundra plants to an extension of the growing season and soil warming. Advisor: Steven Oberbauer
Ph.D. Biology, 2013, Florida International University, Miami, FL.; The influence of habitat on the reproductive ecology of the Amazonian palm, Mauritia flexuosa, in Roraima, Brazil.
Advisor: Suzanne Koptur
B.A. Biology (Dean’s List), 2003, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
B.A. Spanish Literature, 2003, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Professional/Academic Experience

Professional experience

2015 – Present: Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado, School of Biological Sciences
2015: Adjunct Instructor, Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences
2008 – 2010: Visiting Researcher, National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA), Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil.
2005: Field Assistant, Maracá Ecological Station, Roraima, Brazil.
2005: Herbarium Technician in collaboration with New York Botanical Garden, Executive Commission of Cacao Plantations (CEPLAC), Ilhéus,                  Bahia, Brazil.
2004: English Editor, Iran News, Tehran, Iran.
2001– 2003: Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Colorado Mentor: Dr. Pamela Diggle

Classes taught

Research/Areas of Interest

My research addresses a broad question: how does climate change and land use change affect plant reproductive patterns? By combining pollination ecology with plant ecophysiology, I investigate how changes in the abiotic environment affect plant-pollinator interactions, phenology, and plant reproductive output. The next question, then, becomes: once we can quantify changes in plant reproduction, what are the implications for potential trophic mismatches, species diversity, and ecosystem productivity? And how can we use this information to predict ecosystem effects and develop effective management tools?

My dissertation explored the effect of habitat variation on the reproductive ecology of an agroforestry palm, buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), in the Brazilian Amazon. My post-doctoral research analyzed the phenological responses of tundra plant species to an extension of the growing season and soil warming, both expected consequences of climate change. Presently, at the University of Northern Colorado, my research focuses on shifts in phenology of plants and pollinators in the Rocky Mountains.  I also continue to collaborate with my post-doctoral advisor and his team, to investigate plant ecophysiological responses to climate change in the Arctic.  My research experience in tropical, temperate, and arctic systems gives my research program a unique and global perspective, enabling me to draw connections between ecologically different systems, guided by overarching ecological principles. 

Publications/Creative Works

Koptur, S. and Khorsand, R. In review. Pollination interactions of three sympatric palms of southern Florida pine rocklands. Natural Areas Journal.

Khorsand Rosa, R., Oberbauer, S.F., Starr, G. Parker LaPuma, I., Pop, E., Ahlquist, L., and Baldwin, T. 2015. Plant phenological responses to a long-term experimental extension of growing season and soil warming in tussock tundra of Alaska. Global Change Biology 21: 4520–4532.

 Khorsand Rosa, R., Imbrozio Barbosa, R., and Koptur, S. 2014. Which factors explain reproductive output of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae) in forest and savanna habitats of northern Amazonia? International Journal of Plant Sciences 175(3):307-318.

 Khorsand Rosa, R. 2014. A review of the pollination biology of Mauritia flexuosa. Palms 58(2): 77-82.

 Khorsand Rosa, R. and Koptur, S. 2013. New findings on the pollination biology of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae) in Roraima, Brazil: linking dioecy, wind, and habitat. American Journal of Botany 100(3): 613-621.

Khorsand Rosa, R., Imbrozio Barbosa, R., and Koptur, S. 2013. How do habitat and climate variation affect phenology of the Amazonian palm, Mauritia flexuosa? Journal of Tropical Ecology 29(3): 255-259.

Khorsand Rosa, R. 2011. Bees collect resin from Mauritia flexuosa in Roraima, Brazil. Palms 55(4): 200-203.

Khorsand Rosa, R. and Koptur, S. 2009. Preliminary observations and analyses of pollination in Coccothrinax argentata: Do insects play a role? Palms 3(2): 75-83.

Honors and Awards

2017: University of Northern Colorado Undergraduate Research Fellowship; Mentor for McNairs Scholar Undergraduate Research Assistant 
2016: Continental Divide Research Learning Center – Rocky Mountain National Park-Funded Research (Applied, not funded)
2013: Florida International University, Worlds Ahead Graduate.
           Florida International University Biology Symposium, Best Graduate Student Talk, Honorable Mention.
2012: Florida International University Dissertation Year Fellowship, $25,000. Botanical Society of America, Best Graduate Student Paper,                        Ecological Section, Columbus, OH.
           Florida International University Biology Symposium, Best Graduate Student Talk.
2011 National Science Foundation Supplement to Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Project Award
2010 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Project Award, $15,000.
          Fulbright Scholar Fellowship, $15,000.
2009 Montgomery Botanical Center Research Fellowship, $2,000.
2008 International Palm Society Fellowship, $4,500.
          National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention.
2007 National Science Foundation Cyber Bridges Award, $5,000.