Genetics Expert Joins the Faculty of Harte Research Institute

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. John R. Gold, an expert in the field of Genetics, has joined the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.  He will begin his work as Regents Professor and Endowed Chair for Genetics and Biodiversity on Jan. 1, 2014.

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"Dr. Gold's passion for genetics research makes him a perfect fit for the Island University as we strive to attain emerging research status," said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President/CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. "His vast knowledge and experience will only serve to enhance the excellence of the faculty and the quality of education we offer at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi." 

Gold comes from Texas A&M University-College Station where he was a Regents Professor, Cintron Endowed Professor, and Senior Faculty Fellow in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. A member of the faculty at Texas A&M University since 1975, he is a leading authority on the organization and evolution of fish genomes and the study of genetic molecules to resolve both basic and applied problems involving fish species.

"We are pleased to welcome someone of Dr. Gold's stature and expertise to the Harte Research Institute," said HRI Executive Director Dr. Larry McKinney. "As we expand our focus on recreational fisheries, he will open new research avenues and also advance our overall understanding of the health and productivity of Gulf of Mexico."

At HRI, Gold will continue his groundbreaking research to determine the population structure, genetic demographics and conservation of a variety of important marine fish species, including red drum, spotted sea trout, red snapper and several species of sharks. He will also continue long-term studies on restoration enhancement of red drum, spotted seatrout, and southern flounder in collaboration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Many of Gold's studies have aided state and federal regulatory agencies in the management of fishery resources and in identifying places where commercial and government hatcheries can be built.

"The relatively new technologies that utilize next-generation DNA sequencing will now be housed at HRI on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus," said Gold. "This will allow us to study entire genomes of several species and determine if there are localized genetic adaptations that make certain types of fish better suited to survive in conditions that are common to a particular bay or estuary, or a specific offshore locality across the Gulf."

After earning his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California-Davis in 1973, Gold worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the university's Department of Animal Science for two years before being appointed as Assistant Professor of Genetics at Texas A&M University. During his tenure, he has served as Chair of the Intercollegiate Program in Genetics and as Director of the Center for Biosystematics and Biodiversity. In addition, he has served a term as a Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. Gold has conducted research throughout the world, including Europe, South America and the Caribbean. He has also presented plenary lectures at several international conferences.

Among his many honors, Gold was elected as a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received two prestigious Fulbright Research Fellowships. He has also received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching from the Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

About Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi: Offering more than 60 of the most popular degree programs in the state, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has proudly provided a solid academic reputation, renowned faculty, and highly-rated degree programs since 1947.  The Island University has earned its spot as a premier doctoral-granting institution, supporting two institutes and 13 research centers and labs. Discover your island at http://www.tamucc.edu/.

About HRI: The Harte Research Institute (HRI), an endowed research component of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is dedicated to advancing the long­term sustainable use and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. Expertise at the HRI includes the integration of social and natural sciences, including policy, economics, ecosystems, fisheries, biodiversity and conservation, and geospatial science. The HRI is made possible by an endowment from the Ed Harte family. 

Click here for high resolution photo of Dr. Gold

SOURCE Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi



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