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Monica Geber


Monica Geber

Dale R Corson Bio Science Wing, Room E413

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Utah (1989)

M.Sc., Oregon State University (1982)

B.A., Reed College (1978)




I am an evolutionary biologist and ecologist, interested in the causes of underlying patterns of species' abundance and distribution, the scale of local adaptation in plants, and plant mating systems and interactions with pollinators. My current work focuses on the limits of geographic range expansion in plants. I teach a variety of courses at Cornell including: BioEE 7670 Current Topics in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and BioEE 7600 Special Topics in Ecology and Evolution: Dissertation Improvement Grant Writing.    


Evolution and ecology of plant populations, limits to adaptation, plant mating systems and reproductive biology


  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


My research falls into three areas at the interface of ecology and evolutionary biology. First, my main focus is on the genetic and ecological limits to adaptive evolution, especially in relation to species' range limits. Second, I am interested in the direct and indirect links between species diversity and community change, on the one hand and genetic diversity and evolution within species, on the other. Finally, I have a long-standing interest in interactions between plants and their pollinators and the consequences of these interactions for plant mating system evolution.



Fall 2020



  • Anderson, J. A., V. M. Eckhart, and M. A. Geber. Experimental studies of adaptation in Clarkia xantiana. III. Phenotypic selection across a subspecies border. Evolution 69:2249-2261.
  • Gould, Billie, S. McCouch, and M. A. Geber. De novo transcriptome assembly and identification of gene candidates for rapid evolution in response to soil aluminum tolerance in Anthoxanthum odoratum at the long-term Park Grass Experiment. PLoS One 10:e0124424; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124424.


  • Moeller, D. A., M. A. Geber, V. M. Eckhart, and P. Tiffin. Reduced pollinator service and elevated pollen limitation at the geographic range limit of an annual plant. Ecology 93:1036-1048.


  • Geber, M. A. Ecological and evolutionary limits on species geographic ranges. American Naturalist 178:S1-S5.
  • Eckhart, V. M, Geber, M. A., Morris, W. F., Fabio, E. S., Tiffin, P. L., and D. A. Moeller. The geography of demography: Long-term demographic studies and species distribution models reveal a species border limited by adaptation. American Naturalist 178:S26-S43
  •  Ellner, S. P., Geber, M. A., and N. G. Hairston Jr. Does rapid evolution matter? Measuring the rate of contemporary evolution and its impacts on ecological dynamics. Ecology Letters 14:603-614.
  •  Moeller, D. A., Geber, M. A., and P. L. Tiffin. Population genetics and the evolution of geographic range limits in an annual plant. American Naturalist 178:S44-S61.


  • Eckert C. G., Kalisz S., Geber M. A., Sargent R. D., Elle E., Cheptou P.-O., Goodwillie C., Johnston M. O., Kelly J. K., Moeller D. A., Porcher E., Ree R. H., Vallejo-Marín M.,  and A. A. Winn. Plant mating systems in a changing world. Trends in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 25:35-43.


  • Johnston, M. O., E. Porcher, P-O Cheptou, C. G. Eckert, E. Elle. M. A. Geber, S. Kalisz, J. K. Kelly, D. A. Moeller, M. Vallejo-Marin and A. A. Winn. Correlations among fertility components can maintain mixed mating in plants. American Naturalist 173:1-11.


  • Barringer, B. C. and M. A. Geber.  Mating system and ploidy influence levels of inbreeding depression in Clarkia (Onagraceae).  Evolution 62:1040-1051.


  • Bronstein, J. L., R. Alarcon, and M. A. Geber.  Tansley review:  The evolution of plant‑insect mutualisms.  New Phytologist 172(3):412‑428. 
  • Geber, M. A. and D. A. Moeller.  Pollinator responses to plant communities and implications for reproductive character evolution.  In:  The Ecology and Evolution of Flowers, L. D. Harder and S. C. H. Barrett (eds.).  Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 102-119.


  • Geber, M. A. and V. M. Eckhart. Experimental studies of adaptation in Clarkia xantiana (Onagraceae). II. Fitness variation across a subspecies border. Evolution 59: 521-531.
  • Hairston, N. G. Jr., Ellner S. P., Geber, M. A., Yoshida T., and J. A. Fox. Rapid evolution and the convergence of ecological and evolutionary time. Ecology Letters 8:1114-1127.
  • Moeller, D. A., and M. A. Geber.  Ecological context of selection of self-pollination in Clarkia xantiana: population size, communities, and reproductive assurance. Evolution 59: 786-799.
  • Vellend, M., and M. A. Geber.  Connections between species diversity and genetic diversity. Ecology Letters 8: 767-781.