Primate Evolution

Non-human primates as models for hominin evolution

Many hominin lineages speciated through the Pliocene and Pleistocene.  However, with the exception of Homo sapiens, all are extinct today, limiting avenues of investigation into their evolutionary history.  I therefore use primate groups with many extant species as models for examining various aspects of the hominin radiation.  For example, my research has revealed significant Y-chromosomal exchange between modern primate lineages, and uncovered genetic patterns consistent with the notion of “hybrid origin” species.  Such findings suggest, by comparison, that hybridization may have been a significant mechanism in hominin evolution, and highlight the possibility of chimeric ancestral hominin forms.  Other research addresses topics such as the origins of terrestriality, identification of new species, and primate biogeography.

Cercopithecus lomamiensis, discovered in 2012    Cercopithecus lomamiensis, discovered in 2012



2018 - Chaney ME, Piontkivska H, & Tosi AJ
Retained duplications and deletions of CYP2C genes among catarrhine primates. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. (reviewed, minor                  revisions).

2018 - Ruiz CA, Chaney ME, & Tosi AJ.

Medical-grade buccal swabs versus drugstore cotton swabs: no difference in DNA yield. MethodsX. (in press).


2018 - Janiak MC, Chaney ME, & Tosi AJ.

Evolution of acidic mammalian chitinase genes (CHIA) is related to body mass and insectivory in primates. Molecular Biology and Evolution. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msx312. (in press).


2017 - Tosi AJ & Hirai H.

X chromosome introgression and recombination in the cephus group of Cercopithecus monkeys.  Cytogenetic and Genome Research. 153:29-35.  doi: 10.1159/000480656


2017 - Evans BJ, Tosi AJ, Zeng K, Dushoff J, Corvelo A, & Melnick DJ.

Speciation over the edge: gene flow among non-human primate species across a formidable biogeographic barrier. Royal Society Open Science. 4:170351. doi: 10.1098/rsos.170351


2017 - Tosi AJ.

Phylogenetic tests of a Cercopithecus monkey hybrid reveal X-chromosomal polyphyly of C. cephus and emerging patterns in the cephus species group radiation. African Zoology. 52:177-181. doi: 10.1080/15627020.2017.1369363


2016 - Tosi AJ & Detwiler KM.

The efficacy of sex chromosomal markers in studies of Cercopithecus hybridization: discovery of a captive hybrid and applications in wild populations. Zoo Biology. 35:61-64. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21259

2015 - Liedigk R, Kolleck J, Böker KO, Meijaard E, Md-Zain BM, Abdul-Latiff MAB, Ampeng A, Lakim M, Abdul-Patah P, Tosi AJ, Brameier M, Zinner D, & Roos C. 
Mitogenomic phylogeny of the common long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis fascicularis).  BMC Genomics.  16:222.  doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1437-0.

2012 - Hart JA, Detwiler KM, Gilbert CC, Burrell AS, Fuller JL, Emetshu M, Hart TB, Vosper A, Sargis EJ, & Tosi AJ
Lesula: A new species of Cercopithecus monkey endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo and implications for conservation of Congo’s Central Basin.  PLoS ONE.  7(9): e44271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044271.

2009 - Burrel 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(2):340-348.

2009 - Kamilar JM, Martin SK, & Tosi AJ
Combining biogeographic and phylogenetic data to examine primate speciation: an example using cercopithecin monkeys.  Biotropica.  41(4):514-519.

2008 - Tosi AJ
Forest monkeys and Pleistocene refugia: a phylogeographic window onto the disjunct distribution of the Chlorocebus lhoesti species group.  Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.  154(2):408-418.

2008 - Ting N, Tosi AJ, Li Y, Zhang YP, & Disotell TR
Phylogenetic incongruence between nuclear and mitochondrial markers in the Asian colobines and the evolution of the langurs and leaf monkeys.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  46(2):466-474.

2007 - Tosi AJ & Coke CS
Comparative phylogenetics offer new insights into the biogeographic history of Macaca fascicularis and the origin of the Mauritian macaques.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  42(2):498-504. 

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.

2006 - Tosi AJ, Detwiler KM, & Clifford SL
X-chromosomal synapomorphies provide a non-invasive test for introgression among Cercopithecus monkeys.  Conservation Genetics.  7:803-805.

2005 - Tosi AJ, Detwiler KM, & Disotell TR
X-chromosomal window onto the evolutionary history of the guenons (Primates: Cercopithecini).  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  36(1):58-66.

2005 - Tosi AJ, Detwiler KM, & Disotell TR
Y-chromosomal markers suitable for non-invasive studies of guenon hybridization.  International Journal of Primatology.  26(3):683-694.

2004 - Tosi AJ, Melnick DJ, & Disotell TR
Sex chromosome phylogenetics indicate a single transition to terrestriality in the guenons (tribe Cercopithecini).  Journal of Human Evolution.  46(2):223-237.

2003 - Tosi AJ, Morales JC, & Melnick DJ
 Paternal, maternal, and biparental molecular markers provide unique windows onto the evolutionary history of macaque monkeys.  Evolution.  57(6):1419-1435.

2003 - Tosi AJ, Disotell TR, Morales JC, & Melnick DJ
 Cercopithecine Y-chromosome data provide a test of competing morphological evolutionary hypotheses.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  27(3):510-521.

2002 - Tosi AJ, Buzzard PJ, Morales JC, & Melnick DJ
Y-chromosomal window onto the history of terrestrial adaptation in the Cercopithecini.  In “The Guenons: Diversity and Adaptation in African Monkeys”.  Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers.  Pp. 15-26.

2002 - Tosi AJ, Buzzard PJ, Morales JC, & Melnick DJ
Y-chromosome data and tribal affiliations of Allenopithecus and Miopithecus.  International Journal of Primatology.  23:1287-1299.

2002 - Tosi AJ, Morales JC, & Melnick DJ
Y-chromosome and mitochondrial markers in Macaca fascicularis indicate introgression with Indochinese M. mulatta, and a biogeographic barrier in the Isthmus of Kra.  International Journal of Primatology.  23:161-178.

2000 - Tosi AJ, Morales JC, & Melnick DJ
Comparison of Y-chromosome and mtDNA phylogenies leads to unique inferences of macaque evolutionary history.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  17(2):133-144. 



2007 - Disotell TR & Tosi AJ
The monkey’s perspective.  Genome Biology.  8(9):226.1-226.4.

2007 - Tosi AJ
Primate Distribution Patterns:  Analyses of Fossils, Molecules, Behavioral Ecology, and Paleoenvironment.  Journal of Mammalian    Evolution. 14(3):213-216.

2006 - Tosi AJ
Systematic Review of Japanese Macaques, Macaca fuscata (Gray, 1870).  International Journal of Primatology.  27(3):903-905.