Aaron Goldman

  • Associate Professor of Biology

Areas of Study


  • BA, Swarthmore College, 2003
  • PhD, University of Washington, 2010
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 2010-2013


My primary research interests revolve around the early history of life on Earth as understood from the perspective of molecular evolution. The evolutionary tree of life coalesces into a single root representing an ancestral population that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago. Many features of these ancestors are still buried within the genomes of organisms alive today, but evolution over billions of years has obscured the ancient signature of most of these features. Our lab takes advantage of the tremendous growth in genomic and proteomic data and the continued development of computational tools to find these ancient genes and protein, characterize their ancestral functions, and use them to understand what the very earliest organisms were like. If you would like to know more, please visit the Goldman lab website.

  • Crapitto AJ, Campbell A, Harris A-J, Goldman AD (2022) A Consensus View of the Proteome of the Last Universal Common Ancestor. Ecology and Evolution, 12:e8930.

  • Harris AJ, Goldman AD (2021) The very early evolution of protein translocation across membranes. PLoS Computational Biology, 17(3): e1008623

  • Goldman AD, Kaçar B (2021) Cofactors are remnants of life’s origin and early evolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 89:127–133.

  • Takagi YA, Nguyen DH, Wexler TB, Goldman AD (2020) The Coevolution of cellularity and metabolism following the origin of life. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 88:598–617.

  • Harris AJ, Goldman AD (2020) The complex phylogenetic relationships of a 4mC/6mA DNA methyltransferase in prokaryotes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 15:106837.

See Google Scholar for a complete list of publications.

Spring 2024

Genomics — BIOL 336

Fall 2024

Astrobiology: The Scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Life — FYSP 069
Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry Lecture — BIOL 223
Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry Lab — BIOL 224


Fins to the Left (and Right)

May 25, 2023

Biology major Jules Lieberman to study shark and ray migratory patterns through NOAA Hollings Scholarship.

Faculty Members Receive Promotions

May 15, 2019

Eleven faculty members have been promoted to the rank of professor or associate professor. We asked each about their most memorable experience and what they enjoy about being a professor.