Laura N. L. Johnson CV


Saint Mary’s University                                                                      Halifax, NS, CANADA
M.Sc. Applied Biology                                                                                        May 2014                                                                                                                                  
Thesis title: “Subtle population structuring found within northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis) inhabiting mainland Atlantic Canada.”                            
Advisors: Drs. Hugh Broders and Timothy Frasier

University of Guelph                                                                          Guelph, ON, CANADA
B.Sc. honors Zoology                                                                                         May 2011                                                                                                                              
Thesis title: “Spatial variability in plant predation determines the strength of stochastic community assembly.”  
Advisor: Dr. Andrew MacDougall

Research Experience

I. Wyoming Game and Fish                                    Wildlife Forensic and Fish Health Lab
Senior Laboratory Scientist: Forensic Analyst                                  10/2021 – Current

Assists with cases by processing samples through the chain of custody, conducting DNA extraction, species identification, microsatellite genotyping and sequencing on a variety of samples, including hair, antler, blood and tissue.

II. University of Wyoming                                      Dr. Holly Ernest, Dept. Veterinary Science
Laboratory Manager: Associate Research Scientist                              06/2020 – 10/2021
Laboratory Manager: Assistant Research Scientist                               11/2018 – 06/2020

Responsible for maintaining laboratory equipment and inventory in the lab space. Assists with research by conducting DNA extraction, microsatellite genotyping and protein sequencing on a variety of samples, including hair, feces, blood and tissue, to obtain molecular profiles. Analyzes molecular data and assists with developing reports for various projects including those collaborated with state, federal and non-government agencies Promotes lab safety, updating lab SDS sheets, creating SOPs and supervises and trains undergraduate students, graduate students, technicians and visiting researchers in molecular techniques and data maintenance.

III. Texas A&M University                                            Dr. Edward Vargo, Dept. Entomology
Laboratory Manager: Research Associate                                               05/2018 – 10/2018
Laboratory Manager: Research Assistant                                                01/2016 – 05/2018

Monitored laboratory equipment and optimized molecular techniques. Conducted DNA extractions, mitochondrial sequencing and microsatellite genotyping of urban pest invertebrates. Interpreted SNP data using bioinformatics to conduct. Assisted graduate students with understanding and conducting molecular techniques and trained, supervised and scheduled several undergraduate students working within our lab.

IV. University of Wyoming                                         Wyoming Natural Diversity Database Field Technician                                                                                      06/2015 – 09/2015

Conducted population, habitat and acoustic surveys of bats across remote regions in the state of Wyoming. Determined species, sex and health status of individuals. Deployed Song Meter 2+ equipment and identified canopy cover, ground cover and tree species within designated transects.

V. University of Guelph                                              Canadian Center for DNA Barcoding
Molecular Laboratory Technician                                                           05/2014 – 04/2015

Was part of a large team focusing on obtaining molecular barcodes of thousands of invertebrate and vertebrate species. Responsible for preparing specimens for DNA extraction, lysing cells, extracting DNA, editing and aligning sequences. Assisted one of the companies lead researchers in negative hit-picking and archiving DNA samples.

VI. McGill University                                         Dr. Colin Chapman, Dept. of Anthropology
Laboratory Technician                                                                           09/2011 – 04/2018

Assisted in the primatology lab by organizing data collected across decades and converted hand written data into digital versions. Diagnosed gastrointestinal parasites by examining fecal smears of Ugandan primates.

VII. University of Guelph                                                     Canadian Pollination Initiative
Laboratory and Field Technician                                                           05/2011 – 08/2011

Supported insect pollinator surveys across southern Ontario and northern Manitoba. Collected specimens using malaise, pit fall and pan traps in addition to sweep netting. Identified specimens collected to family level and furthering identification to genus level when possible.

VIII. University of Guelph                    Dr. Stephen Marshall, Dept. Environmental Science
Laboratory Technician                                                                           09/2010 – 08/2011

Assisted with the curation and organization of invertebrate specimens for the University of Guelph’s entomological collection. Mounted, labelled and classified specimens to the family level. Operated micro-optics system to develop high quality images of insect morphological traits to be used in publications or within undergraduate lectures. Tested unpublished dichotomous keys developed by graduate students.


LaCava, M.E.F., Edwards, W.H., Johnson, L.N.L., Malmberg, J.L., Allen, S., Ernest, H.B. (In Review). Spatiotemporal analyses reveal infectious disease-driven selection in a free-ranging ungulate. Royal Society Open Science.

Eyer, PA., Blumenfeld, A.J., Johnson, L.N.L., Perdereau, E., Shults, P., Wang, S., Dedeine, F., Dupont, S., Bagnères, AG., Vargo, E.L. (In Review). Extensive human-mediated jump dispersal within and across the native and introduced ranges of the invasive termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Molecular Ecology.

Blumenfeld, A.J., Eyer, P., Husseneder, C., Mo, J., Johnson, L.N.L., Wang, S., Wang, C., Grace, J.K., Chouvenc, T., Scheffran, R.H., and Vargo, E.L., (2021) Bridgehead effect and multiple introductions shape the global invasion history of Coptotermes formosanus. Communications Biology, 4:196.

Thorne, B.L., Vargo, E.L., Adams, E.S., and Johnson, L.N.L. (2019) Genetic analysis of invasive conehead termites, Nasutitermes corniger (Blattodea: Termitidae), reveals a single origin for two populations in Florida. Journal of Economic Entomology, 112:6.

Eyer, P-A., McDowell, B., Johnson, L.N.L., Calcaterra, L.A., Fernandez, M.B., Shoemaker, D., Puckett, R.T. and Vargo E.L. (2018) Supercolonial structure of invasive populations of the tawny crazy ant Nylandaria fulva in the US. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 18:209.

Johnson L.N.L., McLeod B.A., Burns, L.E., Arseneault K, Frasier, T.R., Broders, H.G. (2015) Population genetic structure within and among seasonal site types in the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the Northern long- eared bat (M.septentrionalis). Plos One.

Segers, J.L., Irwin, A.E., Farrow, L.J., Johnson, L.N.L. and Broders, H.G. (2013) First records of Lasiurus cinereus and L. borealis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Northeastern Naturalist Notes, 20: 14-15.

Germain, R., Johnson, L., Schneider, S., Cottenie, K., Gillis, L. and MacDougall, A.S. (2013) Spatial variability in plant predation determines the strength of stochastic community assembly. American Naturalist 182: 169-179.


* Presenting Author 

Johnson, L.N.L.*, Ernest, H.E. June 2019
From individual to species: Case studies from the wildlife genomics and disease ecology lab at University of Wyoming (Poster). Society for Wildlife Forensics, Denver, CO  

Johnson, L.N.L.*, Vargo, E.L., Perdereau, E., Dedeine, F., Bagnères, A. November 2017
Delineating the global invasion history of Reticulitermes flavipes using single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Entomological Society of America, Denver, CO  

Johnson, L.N.L.*, Frasier, T., Burns, L., and Broders, H.G. August 2013. Connectivity and population structuring of Myotis septentrionalis within mainland Atlantic Canada. International Bat Conference/ North American Society of Bat Research, San Jose, CR 

Johnson, L.N.L.*, Broders, H.G., Burns, L., and Frasier, T. October 2012. Population genetic structure of Myotis septentrionalis on island and mainland areas of Atlantic Canada: A proposal (Poster). North American Society of Bat Research, San Juan, PR 

Johnson, L.N.L.*, and R. Germain*. April 2011. Little mouse on the prairie: small mammal impacts on native plant diversity (General public talk). RARE Charitable Research Reserve, Blair, ON 

Johnson, L.N.L.*, and R. Germain, A. S. MacDougall, K. Cottenie, and E. Gillis. March 2011. Spatial variability for granivory determines the strength of stochasticity during community assembly (Poster). Ontario Biology Day, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, ON 

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