headshot photo of Dr. Gregory Goldsmith

Dr. Gregory Goldsmith

Associate Professor, Director of the Grand Challenges Initiative
Schmid College of Science and Technology; Biological Sciences
Expertise: Plant Ecophysiology; Climate Change; Tropical Forests; Ecosystem Ecology; Ecohydrology; Science Engagement
Office Location: Keck Center for Science and Engineering 260
Phone: (714) 516-5881
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
Bowdoin College, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D.


Dr. Goldsmith is an assistant professor of biological sciences and the first director of the Grand Challenges Initiative. Goldsmith is a plant physiological ecologist who studies the flow of water and carbon through forest ecosystems. His research uses observational and experimental approaches drawn from ecohydrology, community and ecosystem ecology, as well as stable isotope biogeochemistry. He has recently conducted research in Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Peru, and Switzerland.

Goldsmith is also deeply interested in evidence-based practices for effective formal and informal science education. He is a founding member of the Education Section of the American Geophysical Union.

Prior to joining the faculty, he was a Marie Curie Fellow in the Ecosystem Fluxes Research Group at the Paul Scherrer Institute and a postdoctoral research associate in the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. Goldsmith is an Explorer of the National Geographic Society and an Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

Research Interests

Dr. Goldsmith’s research interests are focused on understanding the implications of climate change for plant structure and function, particularly as pertains to water and carbon cycling through forests. His research uses observational and experimental approaches from plant ecophysiology, ecohydrology community, and ecosystem ecology, as well as stable isotope biogeochemistry.


plant ecophysiology, climate change, tropical forests, ecosystem ecology, ecohydrology, science engagement, educational technology

Recent Publications

Allen, S.T. J. von Freyberg, M. Weiler, G.R. Goldsmith, & J.W. Kirchner. In Press The seasonal origins of streamwater in Switzerland. Geophysical Research Letters

Berry, Z.C. & G.R. Goldsmith. In Press Light quality and leaf wetting differentially affect tropical tree photosynthesis. New Phytologist doi.org/10.1111/nph.16121

Allen, S.T., S. Jasechko, W.R. Berghjuis, J.M. Welker, G.R. Goldsmith, & J.W. Kirchner. 2019. Global sinusoidal seasonality in precipitation isotopes. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences 23: 3423-3436.

Aguirre-Gutiérrez, C.A., F. Holwerda, G.R. Goldsmith, J. Delgado-Balbuena, E. Yepez-Gonzalez, N. Carbajal, M. Escoto-Rodriguez, & J.T. Arredondo. 2019. The importance of dew in the water balance of a continental semiarid grassland. Journal of Arid Environments 168: 26-35.

Yu, K., G.R. Goldsmith, Y. Wang, & W.R.L. Anderegg. 2019. Phylogenetic and biogeographic controls of plant nighttime stomatal conductance. New Phytologist 222: 1778-1788.

Allen, S.T., J.W. Kirchner, S. Braun, R.T.W. Siegwolf, & G.R. Goldsmith. 2019. Seasonal origins of soil water used by trees. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences 23: 1199-1210.

Berry, Z.C., N.C. Emery, S.G. Gotsch, & G.R. Goldsmith. 2019. Foliar water uptake: processes, pathways, and integration into plant water budgets. Plant, Cell and Environment 42: 410-423.

Goldsmith, G.R., T. Allen, S. Braun, N. Engbersen, C. Romero González-Quijano, J.W. Kirchner, & R.T.W. Siegwolf. 2019. Spatial variation in throughfall, soil, and plant water isotopes in a temperate forest. Ecohydrology 12: e2059.

Doughty, C.E., P.E. Santos-Andrade, A. Shenkin, G.R. Goldsmith, L.P. Bentley, B. Blonder, S. Díaz, N. Salinas, B. Enquist, R.E. Martin, G.P. Asner, & Y. Malhi. 2018. Tropical forest leaves may darken in response to climate change. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2: 1918-1924.

Dawson, T.E. & G.R. Goldsmith 2018. The value of wet leaves. New Phytologist 219: 1156-1159.

Allen, S.T., J.W. Kirchner, & G.R. Goldsmith. 2018. Predicting spatial patterns in precipitation isotope (d18O and d2H) seasonality using sinusoidal isoscapes. Geophysical Research Letters 45: 4859-4868.

Goldsmith, G.R. What is in a name? Science 359: 1472. <Invited Review>

Blonder, B., N. Salinas, L.P. Bentley, A. Shenkin, P.O. Chambi Porroa, Y. Valdez Tejeira, T.E. Boza Espinoza, G.R. Goldsmith, L. Enrico, R. Martin, G.P. Asner, S. Díaz, B.J. Enquist, & Y. Malhi. 2018. Structural and defensive roles of angiosperm leaf venation network reticulation across and Andes-Amazon elevation gradient. Journal of Ecology 106:1683-1699.

Lehmann, M.M., G.R. Goldsmith, L. Schmid, A. Gessler, M. Saurer, & R.T.W. Siegwolf. 2018. The effect of 18O-labelled water vapour on the oxygen isotope ratio of water and assimilates at high humidity. New Phytologist 217: 105-116.