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Joanne Yew

Associate Researcher, PBRC

Contact Info
(808) 956-5870 (ph)
(808) 956-6984 (fax)
1993 East West Rd. #116
Honolulu, HI 96822


University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI; Ph.D. (Neuroscience)

Reed College, Portland, OR; B.A. (Biology)

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

The overall aim my research is to understand the evolution of pheromones (chemical communication cues). We use the vinegar fly Drosophila as a model system because of its spectacular biodiversity, quantifiable behaviors, and availability of genetic tools. In addition, we apply and develop mass spectrometry-based tools to characterize lipid pheromones. Our major interests are as follow:

  • Biodiversity of pheromones: characterizing the chemical diversity, function, and biochemical production of lipid pheromones amongst Drosophila species, including native Hawaiian Drosophila
  • Neural basis of pheromone detection: elucidation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying pheromone detection and behavior
  • Methods for lipid pheromone analysis: development of improved mass spectrometry-based methods for lipid structural characterization and detection of pheromones from intact insects

We welcome collaborations with researchers interested in mass spectrometry instrumentation, organic synthesis, chemical ecology of other organisms, and ecology and evolution.

Department and Laboratory Webpages

Selected Publications

NCBI Bibliography

Full Publication List

Niehoff AC, Kettling H, Pirkl A, Chiang YN, Dreisewerd K, Yew JY. 2014. Analysis of Drosophila lipids by MALDI-MS imaging. Anal Chem 86(22): 11086-11092.

Araujo DP, Tuan MJM, Yew JY*, Meier R*. 2014. Analysing small insect glands with UV-LDI MS: high-resolution spatial analysis reveals the chemical composition and use of the osmeterium secretion in Themira superba (Sepsidae: Diptera). J Evol Biol. 27(8): 1744-1750.

Chin JSR, Ellis SR, Pham HT, Blanksby SJ, Mori K, Koh QL, Etges WJ, Yew JY. 2014. Sex-specific triacylglycerides are widely conserved in Drosophila and mediate mating behavior. eLife 3: e01751.

Ng SH, Shankar S, Shikichi Y, Akasaka K, Mori K, and Yew JY. 2014. Pheromone evolution and sexual behavior in Drosophila are shaped by male sensory exploitation of other males. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 111(8): 3056-3061.

Gendron C, Kuo TH, Harvanek ZM, Chung BY, Yew JY, Dierick HA, and Pletcher SD. 2013. Drosophila lifespan and physiology are modulated by sexual perception and reward. Science. 343(6170): 544-548.

Weng R, Chin J, Yew JY, Bushati N, and Cohen SM. 2013 mir-124 controls male reproductive success in Drosophila. eLife 2: e00640.

Shikichi Y, Akasaka K, Tamogami S, Shankar S, Yew JY, and Mori K. 2012. Pheromone synthesis. Part 250: determination of the stereostructure of CH503, a sex pheromone of male Drosophila melanogaster, as (3R,11Z,19Z)-3-acetoxy-11,19-octacosadien-1-ol by synthesis and chromatographic analysis of its eight isomers. Tetrahedron 68(19): 3750 – 3760.

Kuo TH, Fedina TY, Hansen I, Dreisewerd K, Dierick HA, Yew JY, and Pletcher SD. 2012.  Insulin signaling mediates sexual attractiveness in Drosophila. PLoS Genetics 8(4): e1002684.

Kuo TH, Yew JY, Fedina TY, Dreisewerd D, Dierick HA, Pletcher SD. 2012. Aging modulates cuticular hydrocarbons and sexual attractiveness in Drosophila. J Exp Biol. 215: 814 – 821.

Yew JY, Soltwisch J, Pirkl A, Dreisewerd K. 2011. Direct laser desorption ionization of endogenous and exogenous compounds from insect cuticles: practical and methodological aspects. J Amer Soc Mass Spec. 22: 1273 – 1284.

de la Paz Fernández M, Chan YB, Yew JY, Billeter JC, Dreisewerd K, Levine J, Kravitz EA. 2010. Pheromonal and Behavioral Cues Trigger Male-to-Female Aggression in Drosophila. PLoS Biology. 8(11): e1000541.

Yew JY, Dreisewerd K, H, Luftmann H, Müthing J, Pohlentz G, Kravitz EA. 2009. A new male sex-pheromone and novel cuticular cues for chemical communication in Drosophila. Curr Biol. 19 (15): 1245 – 1254.

Yew JY, Cody RB, Kravitz EA.  2008. Cuticular hydrocarbon analysis of an awake behaving fly using Direct Analysis in Real Time time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105 (20): 7135-7140.

Additional Information

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