Message in a Bottle
Observing Marine Ecosystems Through eDNA
Environmental DNA or eDNA is an emerging conservation genetics tool for monitoring ecosystems. Just like we shed skin and hair in the shower, organisms shed their DNA into the environment. We can capture and sequence this DNA by collecting sea water and reconstruct the species living there. My research goals are to develop and implement rapid, reliable, and repeatable eDNA methods to to provide both scientists, resource managers, and policymakers better tools to assess marine biodiversity and the impacts of human stressors on marine ecosystems. All of my research projects have a strong conservation focus whether it is to survey endangered and threatened species or monitor or marine protected areas. eDNA has the potential to transform the way that marine ecosystems are monitored, giving resource managers the ability to monitor biodiversity, in a simple, cost effective manner.
- Gold Z, Sprague J, Kushner DJ, Zerecero Marin E, Barber PH (2021) eDNA metabarcoding as a biomonitoring tool for marine protected areas. PLOS ONE 16(2): e0238557. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0238557
- Meyer R, Ramos M, Lin M, Schweizer T, Gold Z, Ramos D, Shirazi S, Kandlikar G, Kwan W, Curd E, Freise A, Parker J, Sexton J, Wetzer R, Pentcheff N, Wall A, Pipes L, Garcia-Vedrenne A, Mejia M, Moore T, Orland C, Ballare K, Worth A, Beraut E, Aronson E, Nielsen R, Lewin H, Barber P, Wall J, Kraft N, Shapiro B, Wayne R. 2021. The CALeDNA program: Citizen scientists and researchers inventory California's biodiversity. Calif Agr 75(1):20-32. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2021a0001.
- Gold, Z., Wall., A.R., Curd, E.E., Ripma, L., Pentcheff, D.N., Kelly, R., Barber, P.H., Wetzer, R. (2020). eDNA metabarcoding bioassessment of endangered fairy shrimp (Branchinecta spp.). Conservation Genetics Resources, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12686-020-01161-9
- Gold, Z. J. (2020). Design and Implementation of Environmental DNA Metabarcoding Methods for Monitoring the Southern California Marine Protected Area Network. UCLA. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7zf5g0cb
- Emily Curd, Zachary Gold, Gaurav Kandlikar, Jesse Gomer, Max Ogden, TaylorO'Connell, Lenore Pipes, Teia Schweizer, Laura Rabichow, Meixi Lin, Baochen Shi, PaulBarber, Nathan Kraft, Robert Wayne, Rachel S. Meyer. "Anacapa Toolkit: an environmental DNA toolkit for processing multilocus metabarcode datasets. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13214
- Kandlikar, Gaurav S., Zachary Gold, Madeline C. Cowen, Rachel S. Meyer, Amanda C. Freise, Nathan JB Kraft, Jordan Moberg-Parker, Joshua Sprague, David J. Kushner, and Emily E. Curd. "ranacapa: An R package and Shiny web app to explore environmental DNA data with exploratory statistics and interactive visualizations." F1000Research 7 (2018). doi: 10.12688/f1000research.16680.1
- Gold, Zachary, and Stephen R. Palumbi. "Long-term growth rates and effects of bleaching in Acropora hyacinthus." Coral Reefs 37, no. 1 (2018): 267-277. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-018-1656-3