James Herrera

James Herrera
Duke University | DU · Duke Lemur Center

PhD

About

41
Publications
25,018
Reads
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965
Citations
Citations since 2017
26 Research Items
849 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
conservation biology, conservation and development, food security, ecology, evolution, regenerative agriculture
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
Duke University
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • I coordinate and facilitate conservation and research programs in Madagascar
July 2017 - present
Duke University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Examining the effects of parasites on primate evolution. Initiating investigation of disease transmission pathways among native and exotic small mammals and people in Madagascar
January 2017 - May 2017
American Museum of Natural History
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Survey of Mammalogy: topic-based lectures and lab component identifying all mammalian families based on morphology

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
1. Ecological associations between hosts and parasites are influenced by host exposure and susceptibility to parasites, and by parasite traits, such as transmission mode. Advances in network analysis allow us to answer questions about the causes and consequences of traits in ecological networks in ways that could not be addressed in the past. 2. We...
Article
Full-text available
Social and spatial network analysis is an important approach for investigating infectious disease transmission, especially for pathogens transmitted directly between individuals or via environmental reservoirs. Given the diversity of ways to construct networks, however, it remains unclear how well networks constructed from different data types effe...
Article
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Future biodiversity loss threatens the integrity of complex ecological associations, including among hosts and parasites. Almost half of primate species are threatened with extinction, and the loss of threatened hosts could negatively impact parasite associations and ecosystem functions. If endangered hosts are highly connected in host–parasite net...
Article
Ending hunger and alleviating poverty are key goals for a sustainable future. Food security is a constant challenge for agrarian communities in low-income countries, especially in Madagascar. We investigated agricultural practices, household characteristics, and food security in northeast Madagascar. We tested whether agricultural practices, demogr...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities can increase or decrease risks of acquiring a zoonotic disease, notably by affecting the composition and abundance of hosts. This study investigated the links between land use and infectious disease risk in northeast Madagascar, where human subsistence activities and population growth are encroaching on native habitats and the asso...
Article
Full-text available
Aim To test the hypothesis that adaptive convergent evolution of climate niches occurred in multiple independent lemur lineages. Location Madagascar. Taxon Lemurs. Methods I collected climate and altitude data from WorldClim and summarized the niches of almost all living lemurs (83 species) into phylogenetically controlled principal components....
Article
Full-text available
Behaviour underpins interactions among conspecifics and between species, with consequences for the transmission of disease-causing parasites. Because many parasites lead to declines in population size and increased risk of extinction for threatened species, understanding the link between host behaviour and disease transmission is particularly impor...
Article
Full-text available
Background Given rapid land use changes and climate change underway in many low-income and middle-income countries, it is vitally important to understand how ecosystem changes influence biodiversity and human health, and to identify actions that can improve conservation, while also improving human health. We are investigating how human activities a...
Article
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Host movements, including migrations or range expansions, are known to influence parasite communities. Transitions to captivity-a rarely studied yet widespread human-driven host movement-can also change parasite communities, in some cases leading to pathogen spillover among wildlife species, or between wildlife and human hosts. We compared parasite...
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Vertebrate color vision is an ideal system for studying the gains and losses of genetic variation across lineages and impacts on behavior. Among placental mammals, trichromatic vision is unique to primates and is argued to be adaptive for foraging on reddish food. However, trichromacy is variably present in lemurs, including species within the cath...
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Aim Species’ distributions and abundances are primarily determined by the suitability of environmental conditions, including climate and interactions with sympatric species, but also increasingly by human activities. Modelling tools can help in assessing the extinction risk of affected species. By combining species distribution modelling of abiotic...
Article
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The assembly, or disassembly, of ecological communities is thought to be driven by competition, environmental filtering, and dispersal limitation. These processes leave patterns in the functional, phylogenetic, and taxonomic diversity of communities. Bat communities in the tropics tend to have many species that are niche specialists with varying di...
Article
Amoebiasis, caused by Entamoeba histolytica, affects 50 million people worldwide, and results in 100,000 deaths annually. It is particularly prevalent in developing nations where poverty and poor sanitation contribute to contamination of food and water. E. histolytica is also a zoonotic protozoan parasite with the potential to infect non-human prim...
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Monitoring and evaluation are central to ensuring that innovative, multi-scale, and interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability are effective. The development of relevant indicators for local sustainable management outcomes, and the ability to link these to broader national and international policy targets, are key challenges for resource manage...
Article
Biodiversity arises from the balance between speciation and extinction. Fossils record the origins and disappearance of organisms, and the branching patterns of molecular phylogenies allow estimation of speciation and extinction rates, but the patterns of diversification are frequently incongruent between these two data sources. I tested two hypoth...
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Full-text available
Geographic patterns of biodiversity result from broad-scale biogeographic and present-day ecological processes. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative importance of biogeographic history and ecology driving patterns of diversity in modern primate communities in Madagascar. I collected data on endemic lemur species co-occurrence from...
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Full-text available
Biodiversity is affected by anthropogenic activities, with a trend of decreasing species richness with habitat degradation. Decreasing species richness erodes evolutionary history and ecosystem function, but taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity can have contrasting patterns. It is essential to measure these dimensions of biodiversity ex...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ethnoprimatology, the combining of primatological and anthropological practice and the viewing of humans and other primates as living in integrated and shared ecological and social spaces, has become an increasingly popular approach to primate studies in the twenty-first century. Offering an insight into the investigation and documentation of human...
Article
Full-text available
Lemurs, the diverse, endemic primates of Madagascar, are thought to represent a classic example of adaptive radiation. Based on the most complete phylogeny of living and extinct lemurs yet assembled, I tested predictions of adaptive radiation theory by estimating rates of speciation, extinction and adaptive phenotypic evolution. As predicted, lemur...
Data
Supporting methods, data, and results accompanying the manuscript "Testing the adaptive radiation theory for the lemurs of Madagascar"The supplementary materials contain raw data, phylogenetic trees, and further details and clarifications on the methodology and results presented in the main text
Article
Full-text available
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Data
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Article
Full-text available
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Article
Full-text available
Paleontological and neontological systematics seek to answer evolutionary questions with different datasets. Phylogenies inferred for combined extant and extinct taxa provide novel insights into the evolutionary history of life. Primates have an extensive, diverse fossil record and molecular data for living and extinct taxa are rapidly becoming ava...
Chapter
The dwarf and mouse lemurs of Madagascar are two very species-rich lemur genera, yet there is a relative paucity of information on this primate family in published literature. In this first ever treatment of the Cheirogaleidae, international experts are brought together to review and integrate our current knowledge of the behaviour, physiology, eco...
Article
1.Models of ecological community assembly predict how communities of interacting organisms may be shaped by abiotic and biotic factors. Competition and environmental filtering are the predominant factors hypothesized to explain community assembly. 2.This study tested the effects of habitat, phylogenetic and phenotypic trait predictors on species co...
Conference Paper
Evolution is a long-term and often stochastic process. Thus, understanding the evolutionary history of long-lived animals such as primates, as well as the complex ecosystems in which they interact, requires both collaborative and integrative research that spans several decades of behavioral, ecological, and climatic observations. Unfortunately, whi...
Chapter
Full-text available
We present findings from 25 years of studying 13 species of sympatric primates at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Long-term studies have revealed that lemur demography at Ranomafana is impacted by climate change, predation from raptors, carnivores, and snakes, as well as habitat disturbance. Breeding is seasonal, and each species (except Eule...
Article
We tested four major hypotheses on the ecological aspects of body mass variation in extant Malagasy strepsirrhines: thermoregulation, resource seasonality/scarcity, resource quality, and primary productivity. These biogeographic hypotheses focus on the ecological aspects of body mass variation, largely ignoring the role of phylogeny for explaining...
Article
Full-text available
The alarming rate of deforestation in Madagascar is driving some endemic primates to extinction. Surprisingly, anthropogenic habitat disturbance is not always deleterious. The effect of disturbance on lemur abundance may be related to diet, with frugivorous species more prone to population declines than folivores or insectivores. To test the effect...

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