Todd R. Disotell

Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D. 1992, M.A. 1987, Harvard, B.A. 1985, Cornell.

Office Address: Rufus D. Smith Hall 25 Waverly Place New York, NY 10003


Phone: 212-998-3811

Fax: 212-995-4014

Personal Homepage

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Research/Interest

biological anthropology, primate evolution, molecular evolution, genomics, mitochondrial DNA, phylogenetic systematics, bioinformatics, conservation genetics, Darwinian medicine, human variation, the history of biological anthropology.

External Affiliations

Member - Center for the Study of Human Origins


Bergey CM, Pozzi L, Disotell TR,  Burrell AS. A new method for genome-wide marker development and genotyping holds great promise for molecular primatology. International Journal of Primatology, in press, 2013.

Disotell TR. Archaic human genomics. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Suppl 55:24-39, 2012.

Pozzi L, Hodgson JA, Burrell AS, Disotell TR. The stem catarrhine Saadanius does not inform the timing of the origin of crown catarrhines. Journal of Human Evolution 61:209-210, 2011.

Hodgson JA, Disotell TR. Anthropological Genetics: Inferring the History of Our Species Through the Analysis of DNA. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 3:387-398, 2010.

Hodgson JA, Bergey CM, Disotell TR. Neanderthal genome: the ins and outs of African genetic diversity. Current Biology 20:R517-9, 2010.

Burrell AS, Disotell TR. Panmixia Postposted: ancestry-related assortative mating in contemporary human populations. Genome Biology 10:245, 2009.

Li J, Han K, Xing J, Kim H-S, Rogers J, Ryder OA, Disotell T, Yue B, Batzer MA. Phylogeny of the macaques (Cercopithecidae: Macaca) based on Alu elements. Gene 448:242-249, 2009.

Hodgson JA, Sterner KN, Matthews LJ, Burrell AS, Jani RA, Raaum RL, Stewart CB, Disotell TR. Successive radiations, not stasis, in the South American primate fauna. Proceedings of the National Acadamy of Sciences USA. 106:5534-5539, 2009.

Burrell AS, Jolly CJ, Tosi AJ, Disotell TR. Mitochondrial evidence for the hybrid origin of the kipunji, Rungwecebus kipunji (Primates: Papionini). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51:340-348, 2009.

Di Fiore A, Disotell TR, Gagneux P, Ayala FJ. Primate malarias: Evolution, adaptation, and species jumping. in Huffman MA, Chapman CA (eds). In: Primate Parasite Ecology: The Dynamics and Study of Host-Parasite Relationships. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Bilgin R, Karatas A, Coraman E, Disotell T, Morales JC. Regionally and climatically restricted patterns of distribution of genetic diversity in a migratory bat species, Miniopterus schreibersii (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:209, 2008.
Hodgson JA, Disotell TR. No evidence of Neanderthal contribution to modern human diversity. Genome Biology 9:206, 2008.

Disotell TR. Primates phylogenetics. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Disotell TR. Modern human origins and evolution. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Ting N, Tosi, AJ, Li Y, Zhang Y-P, Disotell TR. Phylogenetic incongruence between nuclear and mitochondrial markers in the Asian colobines and the evolutiona of the langurs and leaf monkeys. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46:466-474, 2008.

Disotell TR, Tosi AJ. The monkey's perspective. Genome Biology 8:226, 2007.

Disotell TR. Phylogenetic Relationships (Biomolecules). in Henke W, Tattersall I (eds). Handbook of Paleoanthropology, Vol. 3: Phylogeny of Hominids. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2007.

Listman JB, Malison RT, Sughondhabirom A, Yang BZ, Raaum RL, Thavichachart N, Sanichwankul K, Kranzler HR, Tangwonchai S, Mutirangura A, Disotell TR, Gelernter J. Demographic changes and marker properties affect detection of human population differentiation. BMC Genetics 8:21, 2007.

Xing J, Wang H, Zhang Y, Ray DA, Tosi AJ, Disotell TR, Batzer MA. A Mobile Element Based Evolutionary History of Guenons (Tribe Cercopithecini). BMC Biology 5:5, 2007.

Disotell TR. 'Chumanzee' evolution: the urge to diverge and merge. Genome Biology 7:240, 2006.

Gonder MK, Disotell TR, Oates JF. New genetic evidence on the evolution of chimpanzee populations and implications for taxonomy. International Journal of Primatology 27:1103-1127, 2006.

Gonder MK, Disotell TR. Contrasting Phylogeographic Histories of Chimpanzees in Nigeria and Cameroon: A Multi-Locus Genetic Analysis. in Lehman SM and Fleagle J (eds). Primate Biogeography: Progress and Perspectives. New York: Springer, 2006.

Sterner KN, Raaum RL, Zhang Y-P, Stewart C-B, Disotell TR. Mitochondrial Data Support an Odd-Nosed Colobine Clade. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40:1-7, 2006.

Sutton WK, Knight A, Underhill PA, Neulander JS, Disotell TR, Mountain JL. Toward resolution of the debate regarding purported crypto-Jews in a Spanish-American population: evidence from the Y-chromosome. Annals of Human Biology 33:100-111, 2006.

Xing J, Wang H, Han K, Ray DA, Huang CH, Chemnick LG, Stewart C-B, Disotell TR, Ryder OA, Batzer MA. A Mobile Element Based Phylogeny of Old World Monkeys. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37:872-80, 2005.

Tosi AJ, Detwiler KM, Disotell TR. X-chromosomal window into the evolutionary history of the guenons (Primates: Cercopithecini). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36:58-66.

Tosi AJ, Detwiler KM, Disotell TR. Y-chromosomal markers suitable for non-invasive studies of guenon hybridization. International Journal of Primatology 26:685-696, 2005.

Raina SZ, Faith JJ, Disotell TR, Seligmann H, Stewart CB, Pollock DD. Evolution of base-substiution gradients in primate mitochondrial genomes. Genome Research 15:665-673, 2005.

Raaum RL, Sterner KN, Noviello CM, Disotell TR, Stewart C-B. Catarrhine Primate Divergence Dates Estimated from Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Concordance with Fossil and Nuclear DNA Evidence. Journal of Human Evolution 48:237-257, 2005.

Current News / Projects
Updated January 2013

Over the last four summers, my graduate students and I taught bioinformatics and programming to high school students who participate in research through the Harlem Children’s Society. This past summer along with my colleague James Higham and his post-doc Will Allen, we introduced students to image analysis software to analyze guenon monkey facial coloration patterns in an evolutionary context.  I have also been an active participant in the Bard Prison Initiative by teaching courses at Bayview Medium Security Women’s Prison in Manhattan for the past four years.   There, I teach courses that meet their science requirement for their general studies associate degrees.My research group has been very active in training students from both New York-area universities (Columbia, Stony Brook, Rutgers, and Princeton) as well as foreign institutions. We are also fully involved in the training and supervision of graduate students in our department's M.A. program in skeletal biology.  While my research centers around the evolution of Old World monkeys and apes, I am involved in studies involving New World monkeys, lemurids and lorisids, human population history, ape and monkey conservation and behavioral genetics, forensic applications, cryptozoology, and molecular evolutionary studies of diseases such as AIDS and malaria.We have recently embarked on several new projects using Next Generation Sequencing technologies in a variety of applications.  My appointment as an Affiliated Faculty member in the Department of Biology and its center for Genomics and Systems Biology helps facilitate this research.My past and future teaching involves courses in Emerging Diseases, Human Variation, Genes, Primate Molecular Evolution, Molecular Techniques, Phylogenetic Analysis, Genetics and Human Variation, Human Evolution, and Human Origins.I am developing an outline on a book on the evolution of health and disease.

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