NYCEP Alumnus Profile

Katy Gonder

Associate Professor Department of Biology Drexel University


B.A. 1993, University of Alabama at Birmingham M.Phil. 1997, City University of New York Ph.D. 2000, City University of New York




Overview of Research

My research is focused on better understanding the evolutionary genetics of primates in western equatorial Africa. In particular, my research aims to clarify the key role that chimpanzees in Nigeria and Cameroon have played in recent chimpanzee evolution. As part of this research, I am also investigating patterns of genetic diversity in chimpanzees separated by biogeographic boundaries such as the Sanaga River, which is a major boundary that separates chimpanzees in western Africa from those in central and eastern Africa. As an extension of my research into the genetics and biogeography of chimpanzees, I am examining patterns of diversity in genes associated with HIV resistance in humans to understand the basis of the unusual pattern of SIVcpz infection among chimpanzees in Cameroon in collaboration with Dr. Caro-Beth Stewart.


W. Liu, Y. Li, G.H. Learn, R.S. Rudicell, J.D. Robertson, B.F. Keele, J.B.N. Ndjango, C.M. Sanz, D.B. Morgan, S. Locatelli, M.K. Gonder,  P.J. Kranzusch, P.D. Walsh, E. Delaporte, E. Mpoudi-Ngole, A.V. Georgiev, M.N. Muller, G.M. Shaw, M. Peeters, P.M. Sharp, J.C. Rayner and B.H. Hahn. Origin of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in gorillas. Natue, Vol. 467, 2010, pp. 420-425. PMID: 20864995.

C. Neel, L. Etienne, Y. Li, J. Takehisa, R.S. Rudicell, I. Ndong, J. Moudindo, A. Mebenga, A. Esteban, F. Van Heuverswyn, F. Liegeois, P.J. Kranzusch, P.D. Walsh, C.M. Sanz, D.B. Morgan, J.-B. N. Ndjango, J.-C. Plantier, S. Locatelli, M.K. Gonder, F.H. Leendertz, C. Boesch, A. Todd, E. Delaporte, E.M. Ngole, B. H. Hahn and M. Peeters. Molecular epidemiology of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in wild-living gorillas. Journal of Virology, Vol. 84 (3), 2010, pp. 1464 1476. PMID: 19906908.

L. Ghobrial, F. Lankester, J.A. Kiyang, A.E. Akih, S. de Vries, R. Fotso, E.L.Gadsby, P.D. Jenkins, Jr. and M.K. Gonder. Tracing the Origins of Rescued Chimpanzees Reveals Widespread Chimpanzee Hunting in Cameroon. BMC Ecology, vol. 10 (2), 2010.

S.A. Tishkoff, M.K. Gonder, B.M. Henn, H. Mortensen, N. Fernandopulle, C. Gignoux, A. Knight, P.A. Underhill, U. Ramakrishnan, F.A. Reed and J.L. Mountain. History of Click-Speaking Populations of Africa Inferred from mtDNA and Y Chromosome Genetic Variation. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 24, 2007, pp. 2180-2195.

M. K. Gonder, H. M. Mortensen, F. A. Reed, A. de Sousa, and S. A. Tishkoff. Whole mtDNA genome sequence analysis of ancient African lineages. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 24, 2007, pp. 757-768.

S.A. Tishkoff and M.K. Gonder. Human origins within and out of Africa. Anthropological Genetics: Theory Methods and Applications, M. Crawford, ed, Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 337-379.

M. K. Gonder, T.R. Disotell, and J.F. Oates. New genetic evidence on the evolution of chimpanzee populations, and implications for taxonomy. International Journal of Primatology, vol. 27 (4), 2006, pp. 1103-1127. PDF

J. Wang, L. Song, M. K. Gonder, S. A. Tishkoff, S. Azrak, D.A. Ray, M. Batzer and P. Liang. Intra-species genome comparison reveals 800 polymorphic Alus and a dynamic Alu distribution in the human genome. Gene, vol. 365, 2006, pp. 11-20.

M. K. Gonder and T. R. Disotell. Contrasting phylogeographic histories of chimpanzees in Nigeria and Cameroon: A multilocus analysis. Primate Biogeography, eds. Lehman and Fleagle. New York: Plenum/Kluwer Press, 2006, pp. 129-159.

J. Oates, L. Gadsby, P. Jenkins, M.K. Gonder, C. Bocian and A. Adeleke. Nigeria. West African chimpanzees: status survey and conservation action plan, IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, and IUCN--The World Conservation Union eds. R. Kormos C. Boesch, M.I. Bakarr and T. M Butynski, Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 2003, pp. 123-130.

P. Gagneux, M.K. Gonder, T.L. Goldberg and P.A. Morin. Gene flow in wild chimpanzee populations: What genetic data tell us about chimpanzee movement over time and space. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, vol. 356, 2001, pp. 889-897.

M.K. Gonder, J.F. Oates, T.R. Disotell, M. Forstner, J.C. Morales and D.J. Melnick. A new west African chimpanzee subspecies? Nature, vol. 388, 24 July 1997, p.337.

B.P. Wheatley, D.K.H. Putra and M.K. Gonder. A comparison of wild and food-enhanced long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Evolution and Ecology of Macaque Societies, eds. E. Fa and D. Lindberg, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 182-206.