Phone: 208-885-6111
Toll-free: 88-88-UIDAHO
Fax: 208-885-9119
Student Union Building
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264


Phone: 208-334-2999
Fax: 208-364-4035
322 E. Front Street
Boise, ID 83702


Coeur d'Alene

Phone: 208-667-2588
Toll-free: 888-208-2268
Fax: 208-664-1272
1031 N. Academic Way,
Suite 242
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814


Idaho Falls

Phone: 208-282-7900
Fax: 208-282-7929
1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 306
Idaho Falls, ID 83402


Caren Goldberg, Ph.D.

Caren Goldberg

Research Scientist

Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences


Research Interests:

My research focuses on investigating spatiotemporal processes influencing species-habitat relationships, including gene flow across landscapes. I integrate principles of spatial ecology with geographic information systems (GIS), conservation genetics, and empirical models to develop novel techniques for using ecological and evolutionary theories to address applied questions. One goal of this work is to inform spatially-explicit predictions of the impacts of landscape and climate change on species in natural and anthropogenic systems. My work also includes projects involving population demography, disease ecology, interdisciplinary team science, and development of population monitoring methods. A new focal area of my research is to develop and apply environmental DNA methods (where macroorganisms are detected through water sampling) for detection and monitoring of rare and cryptic species. Inspiration for this research comes from my past experiences involving efforts to detect and monitor rare species in North and Central America. This new method enables the development of landscape-level species occurrence datasets that are unprecedented in accuracy and resolution as well as providing an efficient method for local and regional population monitoring.

Publications by subject (*indicates mentored undergraduate):

Environmental DNA (for more information):

Goldberg, C. S., A. Sepulveda, A. Ray, J. Baumgardt, and L. P. Waits. Accepted. Environmental DNA as a new method for early detection of New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum). Freshwater Science.

Goldberg, C. S., D. S. Pilliod, R. S. Arkle, and L. P. Waits. 2011. Molecular detection of cryptic vertebrates in stream water: a demonstration using Rocky Mountain tailed frogs and Idaho giant salamanders. PLoS One 6:e22746. Featured in Trends in Ecology and Evolutions’ Horizon Scan of Global Conservation Issues 2013. [PDF]

Landscape and spatial ecology

Goldberg, C. S., A. Pocewicz, M. Nielsen-Pincus, L. P. Waits, P. Morgan, J. E. Force, and L. Vierling. 2011. Predictions of ecological and social impacts of alternative residential development policies to inform decision-making in a rural landscape. Conservation Letters 4:423-432.

Goldberg, C. S. and L. P. Waits. 2010. Comparative landscape genetics of two pond-breeding amphibian species in a highly modified agricultural landscape. Molecular Ecology 19:3650-3663 (invited paper for special issue on landscape genetics).

Goldberg, C. S. and L. P. Waits. 2010. Quantification and reduction of bias from sampling larvae to infer population and landscape genetic structure. Molecular Ecology Resources 10:304-313.

Nielsen-Pincus, M., C. S. Goldberg, A. Pocewicz, J. E. Force, L. P. Waits, P. Morgan, and L. Vierling. 2010. Predicted impacts of residential development on a northern Idaho landscape under alternative growth management and land protection policies. Landscape and Urban Planning 94:255-263. On list of top papers cited in this journal 2012

Goldberg, C. S. and L. P. Waits. 2009. Using habitat models to identify conservation priorities for pond-breeding amphibians in a privately owned landscape. Biological Conservation 142:1096-1104.

Pocewicz, A., M. Nielsen-Pincus, C. S. Goldberg, M. H. Johnson, P. Morgan, J. E. Force, L. P. Waits, and L. Vierling. 2008. Predicting land use change: comparison of models based on landowner surveys and historical land cover trends. Landscape Ecology 23:195-210.

Storfer, A., M. A. Murphy, J. S. Evans, C. S. Goldberg, S. Robinson, S. F. Spear, R. Dezzani, E. Delmelle, L. Vierling, and L. P. Waits. 2007. Putting the “landscape” in landscape genetics. Heredity 98:128-142.

Edwards, T., C. R. Schwalbe, D. E. Swann, and C. S. Goldberg. 2004. Implications of anthropogenic landscape change on inter-population movements of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Conservation Genetics 5:485-499.

Goldberg, C. S. and C. R. Schwalbe. 2004. Habitat and spatial population structure of barking frogs (Eleutherodactylus augusti) in southern Arizona. Journal of Herpetology 38:305-312.

Population demography and disease ecology

Baumgardt, J., C. S. Goldberg, K. P. Reese, J. W. Connelly, D. D. Musil, E. O. Garton, and L. P. Waits. Early view. Estimating the population sex ratio using non-invasive genetic samples: greater sage grouse as a case study. Molecular Ecology Resources.

*Falcón-Linero, W., C. S. Goldberg, L. P. Waits, W. A. Estes-Zumpf, and J. L. Rachlow. 2011. First record of multiple paternity in the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis): evidence from analysis of 16 microsatellite loci. Western North American Naturalist 71:271-275.

*Russell, D. M., C. S. Goldberg, L. Sprague, L. P. Waits, D. E. Green, K. L. Schuler, E. B. Rosenblum. 2011. Ranavirus outbreaks in amphibian populations of northern Idaho. Herpetological Review 42:223-225. [PDF]

Manning, J. A. and C. S. Goldberg. 2010. Estimating population size using capture-recapture encounter histories created from point-coordinate locations of animals. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1:389-397. (cover feature)

*Russell, D., C. S. Goldberg, L. P. Waits, and E. B. Rosenblum. 2010. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection dynamics in the Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris) in north Idaho, USA. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 92:223-230.

Goldberg, C. S., T. J. Hawley, and L. P. Waits. 2009. Local and regional patterns of amphibian chytrid prevalence on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Herpetological Review 40:309-311.

Goldberg, C. S. and C. R. Schwalbe. 2004. Considerations for monitoring a rare anuran (Eleutherodactylus augusti). Southwestern Naturalist 49:442-448.

Interdisciplinary team science

Eigenbrode, S. D., M. O’Rourke, J. D. Wulfhorst, D. M. Althoff, C. S. Goldberg, K. Marrill, W. Morse, M. Nielsen-Pincus, J. Stephens, L. Winowiecki, and N. A. Bosque-Pérez. 2007. Employing philosophical dialogue in collaborative science. Bioscience 57:55-65.

Phylogenetic Analysis

Goldberg, C. S., D. C. Tank, S. Uribe-Convers, W. R. Bosworth, H. E. Marx, and L. P. Waits. 2012. Species designation of the Bruneau Dune tiger beetle (Cicindela waynei) is supported by phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Conservation Genetics 13:373-380.

Goldberg, C. S., K. J. Field, and M. J. Sredl. 2004. Mitochondrial DNA sequences do not support species status of the Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog (Rana subaquavocalis). Journal of Herpetology 38:313-319.

Goldberg, C. S., B. K. Sullivan, J. H. Malone, and C. R. Schwalbe. 2004. Phylogeography of barking frogs (Eleutherodactylus augusti) in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Herpetologica 60:312-320.

Molecular genetic tools

Adams, J. R., C. S. Goldberg, W. R. Bosworth, J. L. Rachlow, and L. P. Waits. 2011. Rapid identification of Leporidae species from pellet DNA and fragment analysis. Molecular Ecology Resources 11:808-812.

Goldberg, C. S., K. Z. Woodruff, *R. Toldness, and L. P. Waits. 2011. Robust molecular sex identification of beaver (Castor canadensis) from non-destructive samples. Conservation Genetics Resources 3:729-731.

Edwards, T., C. S. Goldberg, M. E. Kaplan, C. R. Schwalbe, and D. E. Swann. 2003. PCR primers for microsatellite loci in desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii, Testudinidae). Molecular Ecology Notes 3:589-591.

Goldberg, C. S., T. Edwards, M. E. Kaplan, and M. Goode. 2003. PCR primers for microsatellite loci in the tiger rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris, Viperidae). Molecular Ecology Notes 3:539-541.

Goldberg, C. S., M. E. Kaplan, and C. R. Schwalbe. 2003. From the frog’s mouth: buccal swabs for collection of DNA from amphibians. Herpetological Review 34:220-221.

Field methods

Goldberg, C. S., M. Goode, C. R. Schwalbe, and J. Jarchow. 2002. External and implanted methods of radiotransmitter attachment to a terrestrial anuran (Eleutherodactylus augusti). Herpetological Review 33:191-194.