Julie Etterson

Professional Title
Distinguished McKnight Professor


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

Curriculum Vitae


Research and Teaching Interests

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


  • BIOL 3401 Evolution
  • BIOL 3402 Evolution in the News
  • BIOL 4818 Biotic Response to Climate Change
  • BIOL 5240 Ecological Genetics
  • IBS 8012 Integrated Evolutionary Processes

Current Graduate Student Project

  • Jessy Carlson (M.S., Integrated Biosciences)

Previous Graduate Student Projects

  • Haley Golz (M.S., Integrated Biosciences)
  • Erin Bergen (M.S., Integrated Biosciences) co-advised with Dr. Salli Dymond
  • Riley Pizza (M.S., Integrated Biosciences)


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