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Research Scientists

Photos of DLC scientist Marina Blanco conducting research in Madagascar

Marina B. Blanco, Ph.D.

Marina is currently a research scientist at the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) with more than 15 years of experience conducting research in Madagascar. Marina originally studied biological anthropology at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, where she conducted research on prehistoric human populations. Ready for change, she obtained a M.A. degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA under the mentorship of Dr. Laurie R. Godfrey, who inadvertently instilled in her a lifelong passion for lemurs and Madagascar.

During her Ph.D., Marina studied the reproductive biology of eastern mouse lemurs and, while searching for these tiny nocturnal creatures in the rainforests, she became curious about their hibernating cousins, the dwarf lemurs. Marina has been working at the DLC since 2012, and has been affiliated with Anne Yoder’s lab in Duke University’s Biology Department since 2019. Her current research is focused on the ecology of hibernation in dwarf lemurs in Madagascar, and the physiology of hibernation of dwarf lemurs at the DLC, though her interest in mouse lemurs remains unwavering. Contact: marina.blanco@duke.edu.


Collage of images of DLC staff scientist Lydia Greene in Madagascar

Lydia K. Greene, Ph.D.

Lydia Greene is fascinated by the diversity of lemurs in Madagascar, and especially by the proliferation of leaf-eaters. Lydia’s scientific work is broadly centered on the microbial, molecular, and morphological adaptations that enable folivory as a feeding strategy, with the gut microbiome being her primary research focus.

Lydia has been part of the DLC family since 2007, when she first began working as an educational docent, animal technician, and student researcher. In 2011, she graduated summa cum laude from Duke University with a B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology after writing her senior thesis on olfactory signaling in DLC sifakas. In 2019, Lydia earned her Ph.D. from Duke University’s Program in Ecology under the mentorship of Christine M. Drea. Her dissertation research was on the gut microbiome of Madagascar’s folivores. Lydia joined the DLC as a staff scientist in 2019 and is currently sponsored by the National Science Foundation via a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology. She is also affiliated with Anne Yoder’s lab in Duke University’s Biology Department.

Lydia enjoys working via transdisciplinary and international collaborations, mentoring American and Malagasy students, and engaging with the general public through science-based communication and storytelling. To follow along with her research and travels, check out Lydia’s professional Instagram account @lemurscientist.