I'm a doctoral candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources specializing in environmental health sciences. I study how pollution from extractive industries affects reproductive health and contributes to health disparities. I apply interdisciplinary methods from epidemiology, econometrics, and decision science, and conduct field work and population-level studies in California and Peru. My work is supported by the Stanford Graduate Fellowship, the DARE Doctoral Fellowship, and the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.

Honors & Awards

  • Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship, Stanford University (2019)
  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2016)
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science & Engineering, Stanford University (2016)
  • Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Doctoral Fellowship, Stanford University (2016)
  • Fox International Fellowship, Yale University and El Colegio de México (2015)

Education & Certifications

  • MS, Stanford University, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Global Health Concentration (2018)
  • MESc, Yale University, Environmental Science, Global Health Concentration (2015)
  • BS, University of California at Davis, Evolution and Ecology, with Honors (2011)

Stanford Advisors

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • Graduate Public Service Fellow, Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University (September 2017 - June 2018)


    562 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford, CA

  • Volunteer Tutor, East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT) (January 2017 - Present)


    Stanford, CA

  • Co-Coordinator, Frosh Scholars Program, El Centro Chicano y Latino, Stanford University (September 2017 - Present)


    514 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

David is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University in environmental health sciences. He studies how pollution from extractive industries affects reproductive health and contributes to health disparities.

2019-20 Courses

All Publications

  • Mercury exposure, risk factors, and perceptions among women of childbearing age in an artisanal gold mining region of the Peruvian Amazon. Environmental research Gonzalez, D. J., Arain, A., Fernandez, L. E. 2019; 179 (Pt A): 108786


    Recent studies from the Madre de Dios region of Peru report elevated mercury exposure among the general population. Our objective was to assess mercury exposure, risk factors, risk perceptions, and knowledge among women of childbearing age, a population of concern due to risks to infant and fetal health. We collected hair samples and administered a survey among 200 women aged 18-49 years residing in Madre de Dios. Hair total mercury (THg) concentrations were analyzed in accordance with EPA Method 7473. Associations between exposures and potential risk factors were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models. Geometric mean hair THg concentration (±standard deviation) for all participants was 1.62 ± 2.54 μg/g (range: 0.01-30.12 μg/g), and 67 participants (33.5%) had concentrations above the 2.2 μg/g reference dose established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Higher exposure was significantly associated with higher fish consumption (p = 0.03) and less mercury knowledge (p < 0.0001), but not with age or educational attainment. Most participants (86.2%) expressed concern about mercury contamination, but few (26.2%) had knowledge of the health risks associated with exposure. Many residents consumed fish species previously found to have low mercury concentrations, but more than 25% of participants reported consuming fish species with high mercury concentrations. We did not observe cross-sectional differences in fish intake among women who were pregnant or breastfeeding at the time of data collection.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108786

    View details for PubMedID 31605870

  • Mineralization ratios of nitrogen and phosphorus from decomposing litter in temperate versus tropical forests GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY Marklein, A. R., Winbourne, J. B., Enders, S. K., Gonzalez, D. J., van Huysen, T. L., Izquierdo, J. E., Light, D. R., Liptzin, D., Miller, K. E., Morford, S. L., Norton, R. A., Houlton, B. Z. 2016; 25 (3): 335-346

    View details for DOI 10.1111/geb.12414

    View details for Web of Science ID 000371436200008

  • Indirect effects of global change accumulate to alter plant diversity but not ecosystem function in alpine tundra JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY Farrer, E. C., Ashton, I. W., Spasojevic, M. J., Fu, S., Gonzalez, D. J., Suding, K. N. 2015; 103 (2): 351-360