Anne Daphne Yoder

Braxton Craven Professor of Evolutionary Biology

External address: 
128 Biol Sciences Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338
(919) 660-7275


My work integrates field inventory activities with molecular phylogenetic techniques and geospatial analysis to investigate Madagascar, an area of the world that is biologically complex, poorly understood, and urgently threatened. Madagascar has been designated as one of the most critical geographic priorities for conservation action, retaining less than 10% of the natural habitats that existed before human colonization. It is critical that information be obtained as quickly as possible to document the biota that occurs in the remaining and highly threatened forested areas of western Madagascar, to gain an understanding of the evolutionary processes and associated distributional patterns that have shaped this diversity, and to use this information to help set conservation priorities. Phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of Malagasy vertebrates, each with unique life-history and dispersal characteristics, are conducted to identify areas of high endemism potentially associated with underlying geological features, and also to test for the role that geographic features have played in generating patterns of vertebrate diversity and distribution. My lab also has a significant focus on capacity-building through the education and training of both American and Malagasy students. Research opportunities for American graduate students are enhanced by the formation of Malagasy/American partnerships.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Duke University 1992

  • B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1981

Selected Grants

CSBR Living Stocks: Continued Support of the Duke Lemur Center for the Study of Primate Biology and History awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Collaborative Research: Species tree reconstruction using neutral and non-neutral phylogenomic data awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2017

DLC SAVA Conservation: protecting forest corridors awarded by Conservation, Food & Health Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Gene Expression and Physiologic Extremes in Primate Hibernation awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2017

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Gut Instincts: Microbial Community Assembly After Birth and Disease in Captive Lemur Spe awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2017

Continued support of the Duke Lemur Center awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2011 to 2016

Duke Lemur Center Video Project awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Developing statistical expertise for estimating the temporal origins of Primates awarded by Burroughs Wellcome Fund (Principal Investigator). 2014

Continued Support of the Duke University Primate Center for the Study of Primate Biology and History awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2011


Yoder, AD, and Heckman, K. "Mouse lemur phylogeography revises a model of ecogeographic constraint in Madagascar." Primate Biogeography: Progress and Prospects. Ed. J Fleagle and SM Lehman. Kluwer Press, 2006. 255-268. (Chapter)

Yoder, AD, Olson, LE, Hanley, C, Heckman, KL, Rasoloarison, R, Russell, AL, Ranivo, J, Soarimalala, V, Praveen Karanth, K, Raselimanana, AP, and Goodman, SM. "A multidimensional approach for detecting species patterns in malagasy vertebrates." Systematics and the Origin of Species: On Ernst Mayr's 100th Anniversary. October 28, 2005. 203-228. Full Text

Yoder, AD, and Flynn, JJ. "Origin of Malagasy Carnivora." The Natural History of Madagascar. Ed. SM Goodman and J Benstead. University of Chicago Press, 2003. 1253-1256. (Chapter)

Yoder, AD. "Phylogeny of the lemurs." The Natural History of Madagascar. Ed. SM Goodman and J Benstead. University of Chicago Press, 2003. 1242-1247. (Chapter)

Yoder, AD. "The phylogenetic position of genus Tarsius: whose side are you on?." Tarsiers: Past, Present, and Future. Ed. PC Wright, EL Simons, and S Gursjy. Rutgers Universioty Press, 2003. 161-175. (Chapter)

Yoder, AD, and Delefosse, T. "Ancient DNA." Yearbook of Science and Technology. McGraw-Hill, 2002. 9-14. (Chapter)

Yoder, AD, Rakotosamimanana, B, and Parsons, TJ. "Ancient DNA in subfossil lemurs: methodological challenges and their solutions." New Directions in Lemur Studies. Ed. HB Rasaminanana, S Rakotosamimanana, S Goodman, and J Ganshorn. Plenumn Press, 1999. 1-17. (Chapter)

Yoder, AD. "The use of phylogeny for reconstructing lemuriform biogeography." Biogeographie de Madagascar. Ed. WR Lourenco. Paris: Editions de l’ORSTROM, 1996. 245-258. (Chapter)

Yoder, AD, Weisrock, DW, Rasolorison, RM, and Kappeler, PM. "Cheirogaleid diversity and evolution: big questions about small primates (In preparation)." . Evolutionary Biology and Ecology of the Cheirogaleidae. Ed. SL Lehman, L Radespiel, and E Zimmermann. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Chapter)

McKenney, EA, Maslanka, M, Rodrigo, A, and Yoder, AD. "Bamboo Specialists from Two Mammalian Orders (Primates, Carnivora) Share a High Number of Low-Abundance Gut Microbes." Microbial ecology (November 29, 2017). Full Text

Larsen, PA, Harris, RA, Liu, Y, Murali, SC, Campbell, CR, Brown, AD, Sullivan, BA, Shelton, J, Brown, SJ, Raveendran, M, Dudchenko, O, Machol, I, Durand, NC, Shamim, MS, Aiden, EL, Muzny, DM, Gibbs, RA, Yoder, AD, Rogers, J, and Worley, KC. "Hybrid de novo genome assembly and centromere characterization of the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)." BMC biology 15.1 (November 16, 2017): 110-. Full Text

Larsen, PA, Lutz, MW, Hunnicutt, KE, Mihovilovic, M, Saunders, AM, Yoder, AD, and Roses, AD. "The Alu neurodegeneration hypothesis: A primate-specific mechanism for neuronal transcription noise, mitochondrial dysfunction, and manifestation of neurodegenerative disease." Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 13.7 (July 2017): 828-838. Full Text Open Access Copy

Faherty, SL, Campbell, CR, Hilbig, SA, and Yoder, AD. "The effect of body mass and diet composition on torpor patterns in a Malagasy primate (Microcebus murinus)." Journal of comparative physiology. B, Biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology 187.4 (May 2017): 677-688. Full Text

McCluskey, K, Boundy-Mills, K, Dye, G, Ehmke, E, Gunnell, GF, Kiaris, H, Polihronakis Richmond, M, Yoder, AD, Zeigler, DR, Zehr, S, and Grotewold, E. "The challenges faced by living stock collections in the USA." eLife 6 (March 7, 2017). Full Text

Nunziata, SO, Wallenhorst, P, Barrett, MA, Junge, RE, Yoder, AD, and Weisrock, DW. "Population and Conservation Genetics in an Endangered Lemur, Indri indri, Across Three Forest Reserves in Madagascar." International Journal of Primatology 37.6 (December 2016): 688-702. Full Text

Blanco, MB, Dausmann, KH, Faherty, SL, Klopfer, P, Krystal, AD, Schopler, R, and Yoder, AD. "Hibernation in a primate: does sleep occur?." Royal Society Open Science 3.8 (August 10, 2016): 160282-.

Faherty, SL, Villanueva-Cañas, JL, Klopfer, PH, Albà, MM, and Yoder, AD. "Gene Expression Profiling in the Hibernating Primate, Cheirogaleus Medius." Genome biology and evolution 8.8 (August 2016): 2413-2426. Full Text

Yoder, AD, Campbell, CR, Blanco, MB, Dos Reis, M, Ganzhorn, JU, Goodman, SM, Hunnicutt, KE, Larsen, PA, Kappeler, PM, Rasoloarison, RM, Ralison, JM, Swofford, DL, and Weisrock, DW. "Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113.29 (July 18, 2016): 8049-8056. Full Text

Hotaling, S, Foley, ME, Lawrence, NM, Bocanegra, J, Blanco, MB, Rasoloarison, R, Kappeler, PM, Barrett, MA, Yoder, AD, and Weisrock, DW. "Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs." Molecular ecology 25.9 (May 2016): 2029-2045. Full Text


Perry, G, Kistler, L, Godfrey, LR, Crowley, BE, Muldoon, KM, Malhi, R, Schuster, S, Miller, W, Yoder, AD, and Louis, EE. "Nuclear genome sequences from the extinct subfossil lemurs Palaeopropithecus ingens and Megaladapis edwardsi." March 2015.

Zehr, SM, Taylor, JP, Roach, RG, Haring, D, Cameron, FH, Dean, M, and Yoder, AD. "Prosimian primate life history profiles generated from the new Duke Lemur Center Database (coming soon to a URL near you!)." March 2014.

Mckenney, EA, Rodrigo, A, and Yoder, AD. "Species-specific assembly of the gut microbiota in lemurs." 2014.

Heilman, AM, Chan, LM, Rakotomalala, Z, Goodman, SM, and Yoder, AD. "A multilocus phylogeographic study of a rodent (Eliurus myoxinus) distributed throughout western Madagascar." March 2011.