Anne Daphne Yoder

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

Behavioral and Physiology in Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2015 to 2020

CSBR: Continued Support of the Duke Lemur Center for the Study of Primate Biology and History awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2020

Genetics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1979 to 2020

CSBR: Ownership Transfer: Miocene Colombian Vertebrates and Conservation of the Duke Lemur Center Fossil Collections awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2018

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

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


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)

Blanco, MB, Dausmann, KH, Faherty, SL, and Yoder, AD. "Tropical heterothermy is "cool": The expression of daily torpor and hibernation in primates." Evolutionary Anthropology (July 17, 2018). Full Text

Reis, MD, Gunnell, GF, Barba-Montoya, J, Wilkins, A, Yang, Z, and Yoder, AD. "Using Phylogenomic Data to Explore the Effects of Relaxed Clocks and Calibration Strategies on Divergence Time Estimation: Primates as a Test Case." Systematic Biology 67.4 (July 2018): 594-615. Full Text

Yoder, AD, Poelstra, JW, Tiley, GP, and Williams, RC. "Neutral Theory Is the Foundation of Conservation Genetics." Molecular Biology and Evolution 35.6 (June 2018): 1322-1326. Full Text

McKenney, EA, Koelle, K, Dunn, RR, and Yoder, AD. "The ecosystem services of animal microbiomes." Molecular Ecology 27.8 (April 2018): 2164-2172. Full Text

Larsen, PA, Hunnicutt, KE, Larsen, RJ, Yoder, AD, and Saunders, AM. "Warning SINEs: Alu elements, evolution of the human brain, and the spectrum of neurological disease." Chromosome research : an international journal on the molecular, supramolecular and evolutionary aspects of chromosome biology 26.1-2 (March 2018): 93-111. Full Text

Faherty, SL, Villanueva-Cañas, JL, Blanco, MB, Albà, MM, and Yoder, AD. "Transcriptomics in the wild: Hibernation physiology in free-ranging dwarf lemurs." Molecular Ecology 27.3 (February 2018): 709-722. Full Text

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

McKenney, EA, O'Connell, TM, Rodrigo, A, and Yoder, AD. "Feeding strategy shapes gut metagenomic enrichment and functional specialization in captive lemurs." Gut microbes (November 28, 2017): 1-16. 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


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.