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Emma Goldberg

Assistant Professor


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Ph.D., University of California - San Diego, 2007

Graduate Faculty Memberships

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Plant Biological Sciences


Over long timescales, biological diversity is shaped by trait evolution within populations and by the speciation and extinction of lineages.  My research focuses on geographic ranges and plant mating systems as two examples of characters influenced by both these microevolutionary and macroevolutionary forces.

Questions include: How do regional differences in rates of speciation, extinction, and range shifts determine geographic variation in species richness?  How are range limits affected by interspecific interactions, dispersal, and local adaptation?  How does species selection shape the diversity of plant reproductive systems?  How does breeding system affect the establishment and evolution of polyploid species?

I address these topics through the development and application of mathematical models, usually in collaboration with experts in various empirical systems.  On the macroevolutionary side, I work with phylogenetic models of lineage diversification and trait evolution.  I am especially interested in how phylogenetic analyses can be extended to incorporate additional processes and lines of evidence, and for which questions this is essential.  For microevolutionary questions, I work with spatial models of resource competition, hybridization, dispersal, and the evolution of quantitative traits.

Selected Publications

Huang, D., E.E. Goldberg, and K. Roy. 2015. Fossils, phylogenies, and the challenge of preserving evolutionary history in the face of anthropogenic extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112:4909-4914.

Rabosky, D.L. and E.E. Goldberg. 2015. Model inadequacy and mistaken inferences of trait-dependent speciation. Systematic Biology 64: 340-355.

Servedio, M.R., Y. Brandvain, S. Dhole, C.L. Fitzpatrick, E.E. Goldberg, C.A. Stern, J. Van Cleve, and D.J. Yeh. 2014. Not just a theory: The utility of mathematical models in evolutionary biology. PLoS Biology 12:e1002017.

Goldberg, E.E., R. Lande, and T.D. Price. 2012. Population regulation and character displacement in a seasonal environment. The American Naturalist 179:693-705.

Goldberg, E.E., L.T. Lancaster, and R.H. Ree. 2011. Phylogenetic inference of reciprocal effects between geographic range evolution and diversification. Systematic Biology 60:451-465.

Goldberg, E.E., J.R. Kohn, R. Lande, K.A. Robertson, S.A. Smith, B. Igic.2010. Species selection maintains self-incompatibility. Science 320:493-495.

Goldberg, E.E. and B. Igic. 2008. On phylogenetic tests of irreversible evolution. Evolution 62:2727-2741.

Goldberg, E.E. and R. Lande. 2006. Ecological and reproductive character displacement on an environmental gradient. Evolution 60:1344-1357.

Goldberg, E.E., K. Roy, R. Lande, and D. Jablonski. 2005. Diversity, endemism, and age distributions in macroevolutionary sources and sinks. The American Naturalist 165:623-633.



408 Ecology
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108