Dr. Julie Etterson

Professional title




  • Ph.D. 2000, University of Minnesota
  • B.S. 1994, University of Minnesota, summa cum laude
  • B.A. 1986, School for International Training



My research focuses on evolution of populations in response to anthropogenic stressors, especially climate change, and appropriate management practices to ameliorate negative impacts of environmental perturbation. I have evaluated the role of evolution for biotic response to climate change by predicting evolution using quantitative genetic approaches, imposing evolution through artificial selection in ambient and water-stressed conditions, and preparing a baseline collection of seeds that can be used to study evolution using the resurrection approach for the next 50 years. In addition, I conducted several studies to evaluate the effectiveness and potential risks of assisted migration, a climate change management strategy.

Selected Publications

Authors were undergraduates*, graduate students**, postdoctoral researcher***

  • Espeland, E.K., N.C. Emery, K.L. Mercer, S.A. Woolbright, K.M. Kettenring, P.L. Gepts, J.R. Etterson. 2017. Evolution of plant materials for ecological restoration: insights from the applied and basic literature. Journal of Applied Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12739

  • Special Issue of the American Journal of Botany. January 2016 “Evolutionary insights from studies of geographic variation: Establishing a baseline and looking to the future"

  • 2016 Etterson, J.R., S. Franks, S. Mazer, H. Schneider***, N. Soper Gorden***, J. Weber***, R.G. Shaw, K. Winkler**, A. Weis. Project Baseline, an unprecedented resource to study evolution across space and time. American Journal of Botany

  • 2016 Soper Gorden, N.***, K. Winkler**, M. Jahnke**, E. Marshall*, J. Horky*, C. Huddelson*, and J.R. Etterson. Geographic patterns of seed mass are associated with climate factors, but relationships vary between species. American Journal of Botany

  • 2016 Etterson, J.R., R.H Toczydlowski*, K.J Winkler**, J.A. Kirschbaum**, T.S. McAulay** Solidago altissima differs with respect to ploidy frequency and clinal variation across the prairie-forest biome border in Minnesota. American Journal of Botany 103:1-11

Other representative publications

  • 2012 Shaw, R.G. and J.R. Etterson. 2012. Tansley Review Rapid climate change and the rate of adaptation: in-sight from experimental quantitative genetics. New Phytologist 195:752–765

  • 2012 Schwartz, M.W. et al. Managed Relocation: Integrating the Scientific, Regulatory, and Ethical Challenges. Bioscience 62:732-743

  • 2007 Galloway, L.F., J.R. Etterson. 2007. Transgenerational plasticity is adaptive in the wild. Science 318:1134-1136

  • 2005 Davis, M.B., R.G. Shaw and J.R. Etterson. Evolutionary responses to climate change. Ecology. 86:1704–1714

  • 2001 Etterson, J.R. and R.G. Shaw. 2001. Constraint to adaptive evolution in response to global warming. Science 294:151-154


  • 3401 Evolution

  • 3402 Evolution in the News
  • 4818 Biotic Response to Climate Change

  • 5240 Ecological Genetics

  • 8012 Integrated Evolutionary Processes


I enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, botanizing, and birding with my husband, Matt Etterson, daughter, Abby, and son, Zak.