Become a part of the Johnson Laboratory!

The Johnson Laboratory at the University of Colorado is in search of exceptional graduate students! 

Work in our group generally splits into two major dimensions. One of the major goals of the lab is to use aquatic parasites as a model system for exploring larger questions in the area of disease ecology (role of parasites in food webs, biodiversity and the dilution effect, coinfection dynamics, predator-parasite interactions, etc.). Second, we are interested global change and aquatic systems, including topics such as how biological invasions affect ecosystem processes and the influence of climate shifts on alpine lake communities (some of which is through a collaboration with the Niwot Ridge LTER program). Right now we are looking for a student to be involved in either of the following projects:

  1. Global change and aquatic ecosystems: In collaboration with the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, this project is focused on lakes and reservoirs amongst the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Broadly, we are working to understand the short and long-term effects of climate change, nitrogen deposition and invasive species on biological interactions within these systems. The selected student would be expected to develop an MA or PhD-level project to aid in advancing the project’s overall goals. 
  2. Understanding community ecology of disease: This project aims to understand how interactions among species within an aquatic community collectively influence pathogen transmission and disease risk. This can include interactions among hosts (dilution effect), among parasites (coinfection), and between non-hosts and parasites (predation). The selected student would have broad, intellectual freedom to develop projects within this system but would be expected to conduct fieldwork in California (during summers). 
  3. How threatened species respond to drought, invasive species, and disease: Using a compilation of data from California collected over nearly a decade, we are using multiple modeling approaches to better understand how to manage threatened species in the face of changing aquatic ecosystems. This newly funded work will combine large-scale analyses with collection of new empirical data, while also setting the stage for applied manipulations to promote conservation.

To learn more about current and past research projects in the Johnson lab, check out the Research page.

Please see the Prospective Students page for more information on how to apply!