David                          Jacobs

David Jacobs


email:   djacobs@ucla.edu
phone:  (310) 206-7885
office:  LS 5127B

Recent Courses

EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C17 - Earth Process and Evolutionary History
EE BIOL C173 | EE BIOL C228 - Earth Process and Evolutionary History
EE BIOL CM173 | EE BIOL CM228 | EPS SCI CM173 | EPS SCI CM273 - Earth Process and Evolutionary History

Research Interests

The Jacobs lab takes a synthetic approach to reconstructing evolutionary history. Studies combine information from the fossil record, or large-scale physical process, with molecular approaches.

Our recent studies of molecular rates assess why molecular and fossil data appear to be in conflict about the timing of the Cambrian radiation. Other studies in the lab use molecular aspects of development to address issues of the origin of skeletons, a critical issue in the Cambrian radiation, and we are recovering and studying the expression of sense-organ development genes in basal animals such as jellyfish and sponges to better understand the evolution of our senses - a critical issue in the evolution of our animal nature.

Other work in the lab examines how global-scale changes in physical process control the evolution of biodiversity. For example, in a recent synthesis we combine molecular phylogenies and fossil data to document that the diverse marine fauna of the California coast is not a product of present conditions, but a relict of a spike in upwelling and productivity that lasted from 12 to 5 million years ago. Other projects in this area involve the evolution of the deep-sea and hot-vent faunas and detailed work on speciation process, and the discovery of cryptic species only resolvable by molecular means, in the estuaries of California and the Gulf of California.

Selected Publications

Gold, D. A., Gates, R.D. Jacobs, D.K., "The Early Expansion and Evolutionary Dynamics of POU Class Genes", Molecular Biology and Evolution, 1-10 (2014) .

Richmond, J. Q., Jacobs, D. K., Backlin, A. R., Swift, C. C., Dellith, C., Fisher, R. N., "Ephemeral stream reaches preserve the evolutionary and distributional history of threespine stickleback in the Santa Clara and Ventura River watersheds of southern California", Conservation Genetics, 2014 : 1-17 (2014) .

Ellingson, R. A., Swift, C. C., Findley, L. T., & Jacobs, D. K, "Convergent evolution of ecomorphological adaptations in geographically isolated Bay gobies (Teleostei: Gobionellidae) of the temperate North Pacific", Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 70 : 464-477 (2014) .

Gold, D. A., Robinson, J., Farrell, A. B., Harris, J. M., Thalmann, O., & Jacobs, D. K., "Attempted DNA extraction from a Rancho La Brea Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi): prospects for ancient DNA from asphalt deposits", Ecology and Evolution, 4 : 329-336 (2014) .

Hartenstein, V., & Jacobs., D., "Developmental Plasticity, Straight from the Worm's Mouth", Cell, 155 (4): 742-743 (2013) .

Winchell, C.J., D.K. Jacobs, "Expression of the Lhx genes apterous and lim1 in an errant polychaete: implications for bilaterian appendage evolution, neural development, and muscle diversification", EvoDevo, 4 : 1-19 (2013) .

Gold, D.A., D.K. Jacobs, "Stem cell dynamics in Cnidaria: are there unifying principles?", DevGenes & Evol, 223 : 53-66 (2013) .

Miura, O. , M.E. Torchin, E. Bermingham, D.K. Jacobs and R.F. Hechinger, "Flying shells: historical dispersal of marine snails across Central America", Proc. R. Soc. B, 223 : 1-7 (2011) .

Swift, C.C., Findley, L.T., Ellingson, R.A., Flessa, K.W., Jacobs, D.K., "Gillichthys detrusus, the Colorado River Mudsucker, a Valid Species (Pisces: Gobionellidae) Endemic to the Mouth of the Colorado River, Upper Gulf of California, Mexico", Copeia, 2011 : 93-102 (2011) .

Winchell, C. J., Valencia, J. E., and Jacobs, D.K., "Expression of Distal-less, dachshund, and optomotor blind in Neanthes arenaceodentata (Annelida, Nereididae) does not support homology of appendage-forming mechanisms across the Bilateria", Dev. Genes & Evol, 220 : 275-295 (2010) .