Anne Daphne Yoder

Braxton Craven Distinguished Professor of Evolutionary Biology

128 Biol Sciences Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
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.


  • Ph.D., Duke University 1992

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

Yoder, A. D., D. W. Weisrock, R. M. Rasoloarison, and P. M. Kappeler. “Cheirogaleid diversity and evolution: Big questions about small primates.” In The Dwarf and Mouse Lemurs of Madagascar: Biology, Behavior and Conservation Biogeography of the Cheirogaleidae, 3–20, 2016. Full Text

Yoder, A. D., and K. Heckman. “Mouse lemur phylogeography revises a model of ecogeographic constraint in Madagascar.” In Primate Biogeography:  Progress and Prospects, edited by J. Fleagle and S. M. Lehman, 255–68. Kluwer Press, 2006.

Yoder, A. D., L. E. Olson, C. Hanley, K. L. Heckman, R. Rasoloarison, A. L. Russell, J. Ranivo, et al. “A multidimensional approach for detecting species patterns in malagasy vertebrates.” In Systematics and the Origin of Species: On Ernst Mayr’s 100th Anniversary, 203–28, 2005. Full Text

Yoder, A. D. “The phylogenetic position of genus Tarsius: whose side are you on?” In Tarsiers: Past, Present, and Future, edited by P. C. Wright, E. L. Simons, and S. Gursjy, 161–75. Rutgers Universioty Press, 2003.

Yoder, A. D., and J. J. Flynn. “Origin of Malagasy Carnivora.” In The Natural History of Madagascar, edited by S. M. Goodman and J. Benstead, 1253–56. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Yoder, A. D. “Phylogeny of the lemurs.” In The Natural History of Madagascar, edited by S. M. Goodman and J. Benstead, 1242–47. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Yoder, A. D., and T. Delefosse. “Ancient DNA.” In Yearbook of Science and Technology, 9–14. McGraw-Hill, 2002.

Yoder, A. D., B. Rakotosamimanana, and T. J. Parsons. “Ancient DNA in subfossil lemurs: methodological challenges and their solutions.” In New Directions in Lemur Studies, edited by H. B. Rasaminanana, S. Rakotosamimanana, S. Goodman, and J. Ganshorn, 1–17. Plenumn Press, 1999.

Yoder, A. D. “The use of phylogeny for reconstructing lemuriform biogeography.” In Biogeographie de Madagascar, edited by W. R. Lourenco, 245–58. Paris: Editions de l’ORSTROM, 1996.

Poelstra, Jelmer W., Jordi Salmona, George P. Tiley, Dominik Schüßler, Marina B. Blanco, Jean B. Andriambeloson, Olivier Bouchez, et al. “Cryptic Patterns of Speciation in Cryptic Primates: Microendemic Mouse Lemurs and the Multispecies Coalescent.Systematic Biology 70, no. 2 (February 2021): 203–18. Full Text

Tiley, George P., Jelmer W. Poelstra, Mario Dos Reis, Ziheng Yang, and Anne D. Yoder. “Molecular Clocks without Rocks: New Solutions for Old Problems.Trends in Genetics : Tig 36, no. 11 (November 2020): 845–56. Full Text

Blanco, M. B., L. K. Greene, F. Rasambainarivo, E. Toomey, R. C. Williams, L. Andrianandrasana, P. A. Larsen, and A. D. Yoder. “Next-generation technologies applied to age-old challenges in Madagascar.” Conservation Genetics 21, no. 5 (October 1, 2020): 785–93. Full Text

Schüßler, Dominik, Marina B. Blanco, Jordi Salmona, Jelmer Poelstra, Jean B. Andriambeloson, Alex Miller, Blanchard Randrianambinina, et al. “Ecology and morphology of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) in a hotspot of microendemism in northeastern Madagascar, with the description of a new species.American Journal of Primatology 82, no. 9 (September 2020): e23180. Full Text

Williams, Rachel C., Marina B. Blanco, Jelmer W. Poelstra, Kelsie E. Hunnicutt, Aaron A. Comeault, and Anne D. Yoder. “Conservation genomic analysis reveals ancient introgression and declining levels of genetic diversity in Madagascar's hibernating dwarf lemurs.Heredity 124, no. 1 (January 2020): 236–51. Full Text

Hunnicutt, Kelsie E., George P. Tiley, Rachel C. Williams, Peter A. Larsen, Marina B. Blanco, Rodin M. Rasoloarison, C Ryan Campbell, et al. “Comparative Genomic Analysis of the Pheromone Receptor Class 1 Family (V1R) Reveals Extreme Complexity in Mouse Lemurs (Genus, Microcebus) and a Chromosomal Hotspot across Mammals.Genome Biol Evol 12, no. 1 (January 1, 2020): 3562–79. Full Text

Li, Gang, Henrique V. Figueiró, Eduardo Eizirik, and William J. Murphy. “Recombination-Aware Phylogenomics Reveals the Structured Genomic Landscape of Hybridizing Cat Species.Molecular Biology and Evolution 36, no. 10 (October 2019): 2111–26. Full Text

Greene, Lydia K., Sally L. Bornbusch, Erin A. McKenney, Rachel L. Harris, Sarah R. Gorvetzian, Anne D. Yoder, and Christine M. Drea. “The importance of scale in comparative microbiome research: New insights from the gut and glands of captive and wild lemurs.American Journal of Primatology 81, no. 10–11 (October 2019): e22974. Full Text

Nouls, John C., Rohan S. Virgincar, Alexander G. Culbert, Nathann Morand, Dana W. Bobbert, Anne D. Yoder, Robert S. Schopler, et al. “Applications of 3D printing in small animal magnetic resonance imaging.J Med Imaging (Bellingham) 6, no. 2 (April 2019): 021605. Full Text

Campbell, C. R., J. W. Poelstra, and A. D. Yoder. “What is Speciation Genomics? The roles of ecology, gene flow, and genomic architecture in the formation of species.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 124, no. 4 (August 1, 2018): 561–83. Full Text


Perry, George, Logan Kistler, Laurie R. Godfrey, Brooke E. Crowley, Kathleen M. Muldoon, Ripan Malhi, Stephan Schuster, Webb Miller, Anne D. Yoder, and Edward E. Louis. “Nuclear genome sequences from the extinct subfossil lemurs Palaeopropithecus ingens and Megaladapis edwardsi.” In American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 156:251–251. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2015.

Zehr, Sarah M., Julie Parks Taylor, Richard G. Roach, David Haring, Freda H. Cameron, Melissa Dean, and Anne D. Yoder. “Prosimian primate life history profiles generated from the new Duke Lemur Center Database (coming soon to a URL near you!).” In American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 153:281–281. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014.

Mckenney, E. A., A. Rodrigo, and A. D. Yoder. “Species-specific assembly of the gut microbiota in lemurs.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54:E137–E137. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2014.

Faherty, S. L., and A. D. Yoder. “Assessing gene expression profiles during seasonal thermoregulation in a hibernating primate, Cheirogaleus medius.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:E242–E242. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012.

Heilman, A. M., L. M. Chan, Z. Rakotomalala, S. M. Goodman, and A. D. Yoder. “A multilocus phylogeographic study of a rodent (Eliurus myoxinus) distributed throughout western Madagascar.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 51:E200–E200. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2011.

Selected Grants

Genetic and Genomics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2020 to 2025

CSBR:Continued Support of the Duke Lemur Center for the Study of Primate Biology and History awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2023

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

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

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). 2018 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