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Louise Johnson

Portrait of Louise Johnson


Areas of interest

  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Intragenomic conflict
  • Genomics
  • Levels of selection
  • Genetic systems
  • Cancer evolution


  • Part 1: Pathology: Introduction to Human Disease, Exploiters and Exploited
  • Part 2: Evolutionary Biology, Animal, Plant and Microbial Development
  • Part 3: Evolutionary Genetics and Phylogeny, Seminars in Biology , Mechanisms for Microbial Function, Research Project Supervision

Research centres and groups

International Collaborators

  • Prof. Paul Rainey FRSNZ, New Zealand Institute of Advanced Study and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, New Zealand
  • Prof. James Cook, University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Dr Tek Tay, CSIRO, Australia

National Collaborators

  • Prof. Michael Brockhurst, University of York
  • Prof. Richard Nichols, Queen Mary University, London
  • Dr. James Cotton, Sanger Centre, Cambridge
  • Dr. Steve Le Comber, Queen Mary University, London

Research projects

  • Experimental evolution of the genetic code
  • Multilevel selection in cancer and intragenomic conflicts
  • Evolution of genetic systems, particularly breeding systems
  • Funding from NERC and the Leverhulme Trust


Member of:

  • School Athena SWAN Committee
  • University-wide committee to promote undergraduate research  

Esteem Factors 

  • Member of Steering Committee of NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Evolutionary Biology and Mobile Genetic Elements 
  • Plenary Speaker, "Genomic Consequences of Unconventional Sex", University of Cape Town

Selected publications

Pre 2006

L.J. Johnson, J. Antonovics and M. E. Hood. The evolution of intratetrad mating rates. Evolution 59: 2525-2532 (2005).

L. J. Johnson, V. Koufopanou, M. R. Goddard, R. Hetherington, S Schaeffer and A. Burt. Population genetics of the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. Genetics 166: 43-52 (2004).

L. J. Johnson and J. F. Y. Brookfield. Evolution of spatial expression pattern. Evolution and Development 5: 593-599 (2003).

L. J. Johnson and J. F. Y. Brookfield. Evolutionary dynamics of a selfishly spreading gene that stimulates sexual reproduction in a partially sexual population. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 15: 42-48 (2002).

Impact, Enterprise and Outreach

  • Involved in outreach events to schools and the public including the Wellcome-funded "I'm a Scientist" and L'Oreal / ZSL "Soap Box Science"
  • Contributor to "The Open Laboratory" popular science anthology


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