Earth and Planetary Sciences
Dr. David Gold graduated with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolution from UC Irvine (2007) and a Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA (2014). He went on to do postdoctoral research at MIT and Caltech before joining the faculty at UC Davis. The Gold lab uses molecular paleontology — or the combination of geologic, genetic, and developmental tools — to study the early evolution of animal life. The lab is currently involved in two areas of research. The first focuses on the evolution of genes relevant to important geobiological processes, including biomineralization and geochemical biomarkers. The second direction involves studying early-branching animals, such as jellyfish and sea sponges, to see how these animals develop and respond to changing environmental conditions. In particular, the lab uses the moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) as a model organism for questions surrounding animal development, tissue regeneration, and cell type evolution. Dr. Gold has significant experience working with first-generation students and others from diverse backgrounds, and is interested in developing teaching and mentoring techniques that increase representation in the sciences.