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Dr. Emily Curd Guswa

Dr. Emily Curd Guswa headshot

Assistant Professor of Biology

EMAIL: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
PHONE: 802-387-6770

MacFarlane 220


Dr. Emily Curd, a Southern California transplant, developed a love of microbiology, ecology, and evolutionary biology as an undergraduate at UC Davis. While pursuing a masters at UMASS Amherst, she learned that people can take small samples from the environment (e.g., soil or water) and discover entire communities of organisms based on the DNA left behind. She explored this field of study during her Ph.D. and Post-doc at UCLA to investigate communities of micro and macro organisms. She joined the Landmark College faculty in 2021 eager to develop students’ science identity and passions for small organisms and all things molecular.


Ph.D., Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
M.S., Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
B.S., Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis


Lin, M., Simons, A.L., Harrigan, R.J., Curd, E.E., Schneider, F.D., Ruiz‐Ramos, D.V., Gold, Z., Osborne, M.G., Shirazi, S., Schweizer, T.M. and Moore, T.N., 2021. Landscape analyses using eDNA metabarcoding and Earth observation predict community biodiversity in California. Ecological Applications, p.e2379.

Meyer, R., Ramos, M., Lin, M., Schweizer, T., Gold, Z., Ramos, D., Shirazi, S., Kandlikar, G., Kwan, W., Curd, E. and Freise, A., 2021. The CALeDNA program: Citizen scientists and researchers inventory California's biodiversity. California Agriculture, 75(1), pp.20-32.

Gold, Z., Curd, E.E., Goodwin, K.D., Choi, E.S., Frable, B.W., Thompson, A.R., Walker, H.J., Burton, R.S., Kacev, D., Martz, L.D. and Barber, P.H., 2021. Improving metabarcoding taxonomic assignment: A case study of fishes in a large marine ecosystem. Molecular Ecology Resources.

Gold, Z., Curd, E., Goodwin, K., Choi, E., Frable, B., Thompson, A., Burton, R., Kacev, D. and Barber, P., 2021. Improving Metabarcoding Taxonomic Assignment: A Case Study of Fishes in a Large Marine Ecosystem.

Parker, S.S., Zdon, A., Christian, W.T., Cohen, B.S., Mejia, M.P., Fraga, N.S., Curd, E.E., Edalati, K. and Renshaw, M.A., 2020. Conservation of Mojave Desert springs and associated biota: status, threats, and policy opportunities. Biodiversity and Conservation, pp.1-17.

Palacios Mejia, M., Curd, E., Edalati, K., Renshaw, M.A., Dunn, R., Potter, D., Fraga, N., Moore, J., Saiz, J., Wayne, R. and Parker, S.S., The utility of environmental DNA from sediment and water samples for recovery of observed plant and animal species from four Mojave Desert springs. Environmental DNA.

Gold, Z., Wall, A.R., Curd, E.E., Kelly, R.P., Pentcheff, N.D., Ripma, L., Barber, P.H. and Wetzer, R., 2020. eDNA metabarcoding bioassessment of endangered fairy shrimp (Branchinecta spp.). Conservation Genetics Resources, 12(4), pp.685-690.

Bangayan, N.J., Shi, B., Trinh, J., Barnard, E., Kasimatis, G., Curd, E. and Li, H., 2020. MG-MLST: Characterizing the Microbiome at the Strain Level in Metagenomic Data. Microorganisms, 8(5), p.684.

Curd, E.E., Gold, Z., Kandlikar, G., Gomer, J., Ogden, M., O'Connell, T., Pipes, L., Schweizer, T., Rabichow, L., Lin, M. and Shi, B., et al., 2019. Anacapa Toolkit: an environmental DNA toolkit for processing multilocus metabarcode datasets. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 10(9), pp.1469-1475.

Nichols, R.V., Curd, E., Heintzman, P.D. and Shapiro, B., 2019. Targeted Amplification and Sequencing of Ancient Environmental and Sedimentary DNA. In Ancient DNA (pp. 149-161). Humana Press, New York, NY.

Kandlikar, G.S., Gold, Z.J., Cowen, M.C., Meyer, R.S., Freise, A.C., Kraft, N.J., Moberg-Parker, J., Sprague, J., Kushner, D.J. and Curd, E.E., 2018. ranacapa: An R package and Shiny web app to explore environmental DNA data with exploratory statistics and interactive visualizations. F1000Research, 7.

Curd, E.E., Martiny, J.B., Li, H. and Smith, T.B., 2018. Bacterial diversity is positively correlated with soil heterogeneity. Ecosphere, 9(1).

Shi, B., Bangayan, N.J., Curd, E., Taylor, P.A., Gallo, R.L., Leung, D.Y. and Li, H., 2016. The skin microbiome is different in pediatric versus adult atopic dermatitis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 138(4), pp.1233-1236.

Curd, E.E., 2016. Microbial community diversity, function, and succession in California’s Mediterranean habitats (Doctoral dissertation, UCLA).

Brown, C., Curd, E. and Friscia, A., 2017. An actualistic experiment to determine skeletonization and disarticulation in the La Brea tar seeps. Palaios, 32(3), pp.119-124.

Liu, J., Cheng, A., Bangayan, N.J., Barnard, E., Curd, E., Craft, N. and Li, H., 2014. Draft genome sequences of Propionibacterium acnes type strain ATCC6919 and antibiotic-resistant strain HL411PA1. Genome announcements, 2(4), pp.e00740-14.

Curd, E., Pollinger, J., Toffelmier, E. and Smith, T., 2011. Rapid influenza A detection and quantitation in birds using a one-step real-time reverse transcriptase PCR and High Resolution Melting. Journal of virological methods, 176(1-2), pp.125-130.

Fuller, T.L., Saatchi, S.S., Curd, E.E., Toffelmier, E., Thomassen, H.A., Buermann, W., DeSante, D.F., Nott, M.P., Saracco, J.F., Ralph, C.J. and Alexander, J.D., 2010. Mapping the risk of avian influenza in wild birds in the US. BMC infectious diseases, 10(1), p.187.

Curd, E.E., 2007. Wild Mammals Harbor Bacteria with a Diversity of Novel and Known Antibiotic Resistance Genes: A Resistance Gene Reservoir in the Wild? (Masters Thesis, University of Massachusetts Amherst).

Kost, G.J., Tang, Z., Tran, N.K., Curd, E.E., Louie, R.F., Albertson, T.E., Derlet, R.W. and Azari, R., 2003. Economic Implications of Optimal Diagnosis and Treatment of Sepsis–Work in Progress: Marginal Penalties, Antibiotic Alterations, and Outcome Hypotheses. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, 63(sup239), pp.16-26.

Academic Interests

Environmental DNA, Metagenomics, Microbiology, Community Ecology, Conservation and Sustainability, STEM Education, Computational Biology, and Bioinformatics.

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