Doctor Scott Johnson

 

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Scott Johnson Scott is a community ecologist working on insect–plant interactions, particularly on pest species.

He gained his PhD from the University of York in the UK in 2002 and held a number of positions in the UK, including at the University of Reading and the Scottish Crop Research Institute (now The James Hutton Institute), before moving to Australia in 2011 to take up the position of Senior Lecturer.

His research group aims to identify novel approaches for managing pest species and preserving ecosystem services, based on a better understanding of how organisms within ecosystems interact.

This includes exploiting chemical signals used by insects to locate resources, enhancing biological control by increasing searching efficiency of the herbivores' natural enemies and using plant-microbes to help plants resist herbivore attack.

Their principal work is on root-feeding and sap-sucking (e.g. aphid) herbivores, but within a community level context.

A major theme of the research involves understanding how atmospheric and climate change affects insect herbivores, especially in terms of ecosystem resilience, resistance breakdown in crops and disruption of behavioural interactions (e.g. predator-prey interactions, insect mutualisms).

In addition to his research, Scott is Unit Coordinator for Invertebrate Biology, the largest teaching unit administered through HIE.

Rhino Beetle Larvae
Our research is interested in root-feeding herbivores such as these Scarab Beetle larvae, and specifically how they interact with plants and influence defense responses under a range of environmental conditions.

Projects/Grants

Get Tough, Get Toxic Or Get A Bodyguard
Co-researchers: Dr Ben Moore
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council
Period: 2014-2017

Drought, deluge and diversity decline - How do root herbivores affect grassland resilience to predicted changes in rainfall patterns?
Co-researchers: A/Prof Sally Power
Partner/Funding Body: Hermon Slade Foundation
Period: 2013-2016

Grazing in the dark - how will climate change affect root-feeder impacts on aboveground insects?
Co-researchers: Assoc Prof Markus Riegler
Partner/Funding Body: University of Western Sydney
Period: 2012-2013

Genetic basis of physical resistance traits in plants and their effects on pests and pathogens
Co-Researchers: J. Graham
Partner/Funding Body: Technology Strategy Board
Period: 2010-2014

Do mycorrhizal fungi facilitate root defence signalling in belowground predator-prey interactions?
Partner/Funding Body: Natural Environment Research Council; CASE award with Royal Holloway College, University of London
Period: 2010-2014

Aboveground-belowground interactions in a changing climate
Partner/Funding Body: Natural Environment Research Council; CASE award with Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Period: 2010-2014

Adult Vine WeevilCharacterising vine weevil aggregation pheromone
Partner/Funding Body: Horticultural Research Company and Genecom
Period: 2011-2012

Effects of elevated CO2 on breakdown of plant defences
Partner/Funding Body: Natural Environment Research Council; CASE award with Cardiff University
Period: 2010-2014

Modelling host-prey interactions in crop systems (EPSRC)
Partner/Funding Body: Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council; CASE award with the University of Dundee
Period: 2007-2012

Lab Members

Postdoctoral Researcher

Current PhD students

  • Adam Frew – Principal Supervisor with Dr Jeff Powell. Impacts of rhizospheric conditions on root-feeding chafers with particular emphasis on sugarcane grubs (Sugar Research Australia)
  • Sarah Facey – Principal Supervisor with Prof. David Ellsworth and Dr Jo Staley (CEH, UK). Assessing the effects of climate change on invertebrate interactions and community structure.
  • Kirk Barnett – Co-supervisor with A/Prof Sally Power. Plant-mediated effects of drought on scarab beetle populations and its consequences for plant community composition.
  • James Ryalls – Principal supervisor with Dr Ben Moore and A/Prof Markus Riegler. How climate change mediates belowground effects on aphids in lucerne
  • Andrew Gherlenda – Co-supervisor with A/Prof Markus Riegler, Dr Ben Moore and Dr Tony Haigh. CO2, and temperature mediated effects on insect herbivory, parasitoid regulation and alterations in short term nutrient cycling through frass dynamics of eucalypts.
  • Aidan Hall – Co-supervisor with A/Prof. Markus Riegler and Prof. James Cook. Factors regulating population dynamics of eucalypt psyllids in Australia

Current postgraduate and visiting lab members

  • Jenni Kremer (Honours/Masters) – Principal Supervisor with Prof. James Cook and Dr Sabine Nooten. Bodyguards and Assassins: How will ant-aphid mutualism be impacted by elevated CO2?
  • David Fidler – Principal Supervisor at UWS. Cardiff University (UK) student on Professional Training Year. Atmospheric change alters invertebrate community composition and stratification in a grassy Eucalypt woodland.

Past Researchers and PhD Students

  • Dr Ruth Wade – PhD 2015. The effect of simulated precipitation change on multi-trophic interactions in a cereal crop.
  • Dr James Hourston – PhD 2015. Do mycorrhizal fungi facilitate root defence signalling in belowground predator-prey interactions?
  • Dr Carolyn Mitchell (Postdoctoral Research Assistant). Soft fruit entomology research projects funded by HDC and TSB.
  • Dr William Hentley (PhD, 2014). The impact of global change on multi-trophic interactions.
  • Dr Scott McKenzie (PhD, 2014). An aboveground-¬belowground herbivore interaction in a woody perennial crop and its response to elevated atmospheric CO2
  • Dr Lindsay McMenemy (PhD, 2011). Raspberry viruses manipulate plant-aphid interactions.
  • Dr Katy Clark (PhD, 2010). Linking aboveground and belowground insect herbivore interactions: a case study with the vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)

Publications

Books

Johnson SN, Murray PJ, (2008) 'Root feeders - an ecosystem perspective', CABI, Wallingford, UK

Johnson, S.N., Hiltpold, I. & Turlings, T.C.J. eds (2013) Behaviour and Physiology of Root Herbivores. Academic Press, London, UK.

Scott Johnsons Book Covers

Book Chapters

Johnson SN, Hiltpold I, Turlings TCJ, (2013) 'Advances in Insect Physiology' in Behaviour and Physiology of Root Herbivores, Preface, (ed. by Johnson SN, Hiltpold I, Turlings TCJ), vol.45, pp IX-X, Elsevier Academic Press Inc, San Diego, CA

Johnson SN, Bezemer TM, Jones TH, (2008) 'Linking aboveground and belowground herbivor, in Root Feeders - an ecosystem perspective' (ed. by S.N.Johnson & P.J. Murray), pp. 153-170. CABI, Wallingford, UK

Mankin RW, Johnson SN, Grinev DV, Gregory PJ (2008) 'New experimental techniques for studying root herbivory', in Root Feeders - an ecosystem perspective (ed. by S.N. Johnson & P.J. Murray), pp. 20-32. CABI, Wallingford, UK

Staley JT, Johnson SN, (2008) 'Climate change impacts on root herbivores', in Root Feeders - an ecosystem perspective (ed. by S.N. Johnson & P.J. Murray), pp. 192-213. CABI, Wallingford, UK

Hartley SE, Bass KA, Johnson SN, (2007) 'Going with the flow: plant vascular systems mediate indirect interactions between plants, insect herbivores and hemi-parasitic plants', in Ecological communities: plant mediation in indirect interactions (ed. by T. Oghushi, T.P. Craig & P.W. Price). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K

Refereed Papers

Frew A, Barnett K, Riegler M, Nielsen UN, Johnson SN, (2016) 'Belowground ecology of scarabs feeding on grass roots: current knowledge and future directions for management in Australasia', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.7, p 321

Gherlenda AN, Crous KY, Moore BD, Haigh AM, Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2016) 'Precipitation, not CO2 enrichment, drives insect herbivore frass deposition and subsequent nutrient dynamics in a mature Eucalyptus woodland', Plant and Soil, vol.399, no.s 1-2, pp 29-39

Gherlenda AN, Haigh AM, Moore BD, Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2016) 'Climate change, nutrition and immunity: Effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on the immune function of an insect herbivore', Journal of Insect Physiology, vol.85, pp 57-64

Hall AA, Morrow JL, Fromont C, Steinbauer MJ, Taylor GS, Johnson SN, Cook JM, Riegler M, (2016) 'Codivergence of the primary bacterial endosymbiont of psyllids versus host switches and replacement of their secondary bacterial endosymbionts', Environmental Microbiology, vol.18, no.8, pp 2591-2603

Hentley WT, Vanbergen AJ, Beckerman AP, Brien MN, Hails RS, Jones TH, Johnson SN, (2016) 'Antagonistic interactions between an invasive alien and a native coccinellid species may promote coexistence', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol.85, no.4, pp 1087-1097

Johnson SN, Erb M, Hartley SE, (2016) 'Roots under attack: contrasting plant responses to below- and aboveground insect herbivory', New Phytologist, vol.210, no.2, pp 413-418

Johnson SN, Gherlenda AN, Frew A, Ryalls JMW, (2016) 'The importance of testing multiple environmental factors in legume–insect research: Replication, reviewers, and rebuttal', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.7, Article no.489

Johnson SN, Lopaticki G, Barnett K, Facey SL, Powell JR, Hartley SE, (2016) 'An insect ecosystem engineer alleviates drought stress in plants without increasing plant susceptibility to an above-ground herbivore', Functional Ecology, vol.30, no.6, pp 894-902

Karley AJ, Mitchell C, Brookes C, McNicol J, O'Neill T, Roberts H, Graham J, Johnson SN, (2016) 'Exploiting physical defence traits for crop protection: leaf trichomes of Rubus idaeus have deterrent effects on spider mites but not aphids', Annals of Applied Biology, vol.168, no.2, pp 159-172

McKenzie SW, Johnson SN, Jones TH, Ostle NJ, Hails RS, Vanbergen AJ, (2016) 'Root herbivores drive changes to plant primary chemistry, but root loss is mitigated under elevated atmospheric CO2', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.7, Article no.837

Ryalls JMW, Moore BD, Riegler M, Johnson SN, (2016) 'Above-belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.7, Article no.345

Aslam TJ, Benton TG, Nielsen UN, Johnson SN, (2015) 'Impacts of eucalypt plantation management on soil faunal communities and nutrient bioavailability: trading function for dependence?', Biology and Fertility of Soils, vol.51, no.5, pp 637-644

Hall AG, Gherlenda AN, Hasegawa S, Johnson SN, Cook JM, Riegler M, (2015) 'Anatomy of an outbreak: the biology and population dynamics of a Cardiaspina psyllid species in an endangered woodland ecosystem', Agricultural and Forest Entomology,  vol.17, no.3, pp 292-301

Johnson SN, Rasmann S, (2015) 'Root-feeding insects and their interactions with organisms in the rhizosphere', Annual Review of Entomology, vol.60, pp 517-535

Ryalls JMW, Moore BD, Riegler R, Gherlenda AN, Johnson SN, (2015) 'Amino acid-mediated impacts of elevated carbon dioxide and simulated root herbivory on aphids are neutralized by increased air temperatures' Journal of Experimental Botany, vol.66, no.2, pp 613-623

A'Bear AD, Johnson SN, Jones TH, (2014) 'Putting the 'upstairs-downstairs' into ecosystem service: What can aboveground-belowground ecology tell us?', Biological Control, vol.75, pp 97-107

Facey SL, Ellsworth DS, Staley JT, Wright D, Johnson SN, (2014) 'Upsetting the order: how climate and atmospheric change affects herbivore-enemy interactions', Current Opinion in Insect Science, vol.5, pp 66-74

Gherlenda AN, Haigh AM, Moore BD, Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2014) 'Responses of leaf beetle larvae to elevated [CO2] and temperature depend on Eucalyptus species', Oecologia, vol.177, no.2, pp 607-617

Hentley WT, Hails RS, Johnson SN, Jones TH, Vanbergen AJ, (2014) 'Top-down control by Harmonia axyridis mitigates the impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on a plant-aphid interaction', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.16, no.4, pp 350-358

Hentley WT, Vanbergen AJ, Hails RS, Jones TH, Johnson SN, (2014) 'Elevated Atmospheric CO2 Impairs Aphid Escape Responses to Predators and Conspecific Alarm Signals', Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol.40, no.10, pp 1110-1114

Johnson SN, (2014) 'Editorial overview: Global change biology: Which little things will run the world in the future?' Current Opinion in Insect Science, vol.5, no.1, Pages VI-VII

Johnson SN, Lopaticki G, Hartley SE, (2014) 'Elevated Atmospheric CO2 Triggers Compensatory Feeding by Root Herbivores on a C-3 but Not a C-4 Grass', Plos One, vol.9, no.3, Article no.e90251

Johnson SN, Ryalls JMW, Karley AJ, (2014) 'Global climate change and crop resistance to aphids: contrasting responses of lucerne genotypes to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide', Annals of Applied Biology, vol.165, no.1, pp 62-72

Langford EA, Nielsen UN, Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2014) 'Susceptibility of Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), to entomopathogenic nematodes', Biological Control, vol.69, pp 34-39

Ode PJ, Johnson SN, Moore BD, (2014) 'Atmospheric change and induced plant secondary metabolites — are we reshaping the building blocks of multi-trophic interactions?', Current Opinion in Insect Science, vol.5, pp 57–65

Barnett K, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Living in the Soil Matrix: Abiotic Factors Affecting Root Herbivores', Advances in Insect Physiology, vol.45, pp 1-52

Aslam TJ, Johnson SN, Karley AJ, (2013) 'Plant-mediated effects of drought on aphid population structure and parasitoid attack', Journal of Applied Entomology, vol.137, no.1-2, pp 136-145

Bennett AE, Macrae AM, Moore BD, Caul S, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Early Root Herbivory Impairs Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Colonization and Shifts Defence Allocation in Establishing Plantago lanceolata', PLOS One, vol.8, no.6, Article No.e66053

Frew A, Nielsen UN, Riegler M, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Do eucalypt plantation management practices create understory reservoirs of scarab beetle pests in the soil?', Forest Ecology and Management, vol.306, pp 275-280

Johnson SN, Mitchell C, Mcnicol JW, Thompson J, Karley AJ, (2013) 'Downstairs drivers - root herbivores shape communities of above-ground herbivores and natural enemies via changes in plant nutrients', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol.82, no.5, pp 1021-1030

Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2013) 'Root Damage by Insects Reverses the Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Eucalypt Seedlings', PLOS One, vol.8, no.11, article no.e79479

McKenzie SW, Hentley WT, Hails RS, Jones TH, Vanbergen AJ, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Global climate change and above-belowground insect herbivore interactions', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.4, article no.412

McKenzie SW, Vanbergen AJ, Hails RS, Jones TH, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Reciprocal feeding facilitation between above- and below-ground herbivores', Biology Letters, vol.9, no.5, Article number 20130341

Ryalls JMW, Riegler M, Moore BD, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Biology and trophic interactions of lucerne aphids', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.15, no.4, pp 335-350

Ryalls JM, Riegler M, Moore BD, Lopaticki G, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Effects of elevated temperature and CO2 on aboveground-belowground systems: a case study with plants, their mutualistic bacteria and root / shoot herbivores', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.4, p 445

Clark KE, Hartley SE, Brennan RM, Jennings SN, McMenemy LS, McNicol JW, Mitchell C, Johnson SN, (2012) 'Effects of cultivar and egg density on a colonizing vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) population and its impacts on red raspberry growth and yield', Crop Protection, vol.32, pp 76-82

Clark KE, Hartley SE, Brennan RM, MacKenzie K, Johnson SN, (2012) 'Investigating preference-performance relationships in aboveground-belowground life cycles: a laboratory and field study with the vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)', Bulletin of Entomological Research, vol.102, no.1, pp 63-70

Clark KE, Hartley SE, Brennan RM, Mackenzie K, Johnson SN, (2012) 'Oviposition and feeding behaviour by the vine weevil Otiorhynchus sulcatus on red raspberry: Effects of cultivars and plant nutritional status', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.14, no.2, pp 157-163

Huang JH, Liu MQ, Chen FJ, Griffiths BS, Chen XY, Johnson SN, Hu F, (2012) 'Crop resistance traits modify the effects of an aboveground herbivore, brown planthopper, on soil microbial biomass and nematode community via changes to plant performance', Soil Biology & Biochemistry, vol.49, pp 157-166

Johnson SN, Clark KE, Hartley SE, Jones TH, McKenzie SW, Koricheva J, (2012) 'Aboveground-belowground herbivore interactions: a meta-analysis', Ecology, vol.93, no.10, pp 2208-2215

Johnson SN, Nielsen UN, (2012) 'Foraging in the Dark - Chemically Mediated Host Plant Location by Belowground Insect Herbivores', Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol.38, no.6, pp 604-614

Johnson SN, Young MW, Karley AJ, (2012) 'Protected raspberry production alters aphid-plant interactions but not aphid population size', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.14, no.2, pp 217-224

McMenemy LS, Hartley SE, MacFarlane SA, Karley AJ, Shepherd T, Johnson SN, (2012) 'Raspberry viruses manipulate the behaviour of their insect vectors', Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, vol.144, no.1, pp 56-68

Clark KE, Hartley SE, Brennan RM, MacKenzie K, Johnson SN, (2011) 'Oviposition and feeding behaviour by the vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) on red raspberry (Rubus idaeus): effects of cultivars and plant nutritional status', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, (accepted)

Johnson SN, Barton AT, Clark KE, Gregory PJ, McMenemy LS, Hancock RD, (2011) 'Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide impairs the performance of root-feeding vine weevils by modifying root growth and secondary metabolites', Global Change Biology, vol.17, no.2, pp 688-695

Johnson SN, Staley JT, McLeod FAL, Hartley SE, (2011) 'Plant-mediated effects of soil invertebrates and summer drought on above-ground multi-trophic interactions', Journal of Ecology, vol.99, no.1, pp 57-65

Clark KE, Hartley SE, Johnson SN, (2011) 'Does mother know best? Parent-offspring conflict in aboveground-belowground herbivore lifecycles', Ecological Entomology, vol.36, no.2, pp 117-124

Coyle DR, Clark KE, Raffa KF, Johnson SN, (2011) 'Prior host feeding experience influences ovipositional but not feeding preference in a polyphagous insect herbivore', Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, vol.138, no.2, pp 137-145

Martin P, Johnson SN, (2011) 'Evidence that elevated CO2 reduces resistance to the European large raspberry aphid in some raspberry cultivars', Journal of Applied Entomology, vol.135, no.3, pp 237-240

Mitchell C, Brennan RM, Cross JV, Johnson SN, (2011) 'Arthropod pests of currant and gooseberry crops in the U.K.: their biology, management and future prospects', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.13, no.3, pp 221-237

Newton AC, Johnson SN, Gregory PJ, (2011) - Implications of climate change for diseases, crop yields and food security', Euphytica, vol.179, no.1, pp 3-18

Johnson SN, McNicol JW, (2010) 'Elevated CO2 and aboveground-belowground herbivory by the clover root weevil', Oecologia, vol.162, no.1, pp 209-216

Mitchell C, Johnson SN, Gordon SC, Birch ANE, Hubbard SF, (2010) 'Combining plant resistance and a natural enemy to control Amphorophora idaei', Biocontrol, vol.55, no.3, pp 321-327

Johnson SN, Petitjean S, Clark KE, Mitchell C, (2010) 'Protected raspberry production accelerates onset of oviposition by vine weevils (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.12, no.3, pp 277-283

Johnson SN, Hallett PD, Gillespie TL, Halpin C, (2010) 'Belowground herbivory and root toughness: a potential model system using lignin-modified tobacco', Physiological Entomology, vol.35, no.2, pp 186-191

Johnson SN, Gregory PJ, McNicol JW, Oodally Y, Zhang X, Murray PJ, (2010) 'Effects of soil conditions and drought on egg hatching and larval survival of the clover root weevil (Sitona lepidus)', Applied Soil Ecology, vol.44, no.1, pp 75-79

Murray PJ, Gregory PJ, Granger S, Headon DM, Johnson SN, (2010) 'Dispersal of soil-dwelling clover root weevil (Sitona lepidus Gyllenhal; Coleoptera: Curculionidae) larvae in mixed plant communities', Applied Soil Ecology, vol.46, no.3, pp 422-425

Johnson SN, Hawes C, Karley AJ, (2009) 'Reappraising the role of plant nutrients as mediators of interactions between root- and foliar-feeding insects', Functional Ecology, vol.23, no.4, pp 699-706

McMenemy LS, Mitchell C, Johnson SN, (2009) 'Biology of the European large raspberry aphid (Amphorophora idaei): its role in virus transmission and resistance breakdown in red raspberry', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.11, no.1, pp 61-71

Gregory PJ, Johnson SN, Newton AC, Ingram JSI, (2009) 'Integrating pests and pathogens into the climate change/food security debate', Journal of Experimental Botany, vol.60, no.10, pp 2827-2838

Johnson SN, Anderson A, Dawson G, Griffiths DW, (2008) 'Varietal susceptibility of potatoes to wireworm herbivory', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.10, no.2, pp 167-174

Johnson SN, Crawford JW, Gregory PJ, Grinev DV, Mankin RW, Masters GJ, Murray PJ, Wall DH, Zhang XX, (2007) 'Non-invasive techniques for investigating and modelling root-feeding insects in managed and natural systems', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.9, no.1, pp 39-46

Johnson SN, Zhang X, Crawford JW, Gregory PJ Young IM, (2007) 'Egg hatching and survival time of soil-dwelling insect larvae: a partial differential equation model and experimental validation', Ecological Modelling, vol.202, nos.3-4, pp 493-502

Zhang X, Johnson SN, Crawford JW, Gregory PJ, Young IM, (2007) 'A general random walk model for the leptokurtic distribution of organism movement: theory and application', Ecological Modelling, vol.200, nos.1-2, pp 79-88

Johnson SN, Zhang XX, Crawford JW, Gregory PJ, Hix NJ, Jarvis SJ, Murray PJ, Young IM, (2006) 'Effects of CO2 on the searching behaviour of the root-feeding clover weevil', Bulletin of Entomological Research, vol.96, no.4, pp 361-366

Zhang X, Johnson SN, Gregory PJ, Crawford JW, Young IM, Murray PJ, Jarvis SC, (2006) 'Modelling the movement and survival of the root-feeding clover weevil, Sitona lepidus, in the root-zone of white clover', Ecological Modelling, vol.190, nos.1-2, pp 133-146

Johnson SN, Birch ANE, Gregory PJ, Murray PJ, (2006) 'The 'mother knows best' principle: should soil insects be included in the preference-performance debate?', Ecological Entomology, vol.31, no.4, pp 395-401

Johnson SN, Gregory PJ, (2006) 'Chemically-mediated host-plant location and selection by root-feeding insects', Physiological Entomology, vol.31, no.1, pp 1-13

White Clover (Trifolium repens)Johnson SN, Gregory PJ, Greenham JR, Zhang X, Murray PJ, (2005) 'Attractive properties of an isoflavonoid found in white clover root nodules on the clover root weevil', Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol.31, no.9, pp 2223-2229

Johnson SN, Read DB, Gregory PJ, (2004) 'Tracking larval insect movement within soil using high resolution X-ray microtomography', Ecological Entomology, vol.29, no.1, pp 117-122

Johnson SN, Gregory PJ, Murray PJ, Zhang X, Young IM, (2004) 'Host plant recognition by the root-feeding clover weevil, Sitona lepidus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)', Bulletin of Entomological Research, vol.94, no.5, pp 433-439

Johnson SN, Elston DA, Hartley SE, (2003) 'Influence of heterogeneity in host plant quality for a birch aphid', Ecological Entomology, vol.28, no.5, pp 533-541

Johnson SN, Douglas AE, Woodward S, Hartley SE, (2003) 'Microbial impacts on plant-herbivore interactions: the indirect effects of a birch pathogen on a birch aphid', Oecologia, vol.134, no.3, pp 381-387

Johnson SN, Mayhew PJ, Douglas AE, Hartley SE, (2002) 'Insects as leaf engineers - can leaf-miners alter leaf structure for birch aphids?', Functional Ecology, vol.16, no.5, pp 575-584

Blackwell A, Johnson SN, (2000) 'Electrophysiological investigation of larval water and potential oviposition chemo-attractants for Anopheles gambiae s.s.', Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, vol.94, pp 389-398

Awards/Recognition

  • Vice President of the Royal Entomological Society (2010-2011)
  • Honorary Lecturer at the University of Dundee
  • Fellow (FRES) and Trustee of the Royal Entomological Society
  • Associate Editor, Ecological Entomology
  • President of the European Congresses of Entomology (2010-2014)
  • Deputy Chair of British Ecological Society Meetings (2004-2009)
  • Stapledon Research Fellow (2007)
  • Awarded the Anne Keymer Prize by the British Ecological Society (2001)

Research Opportunities

Aphids On Stem
Aphids cluster on a stem. Our research includes investigating insects such as aphids and how they respond under conditions such as elevated CO2.

"Little things that run the world" is how the biologist E.O. Wilson described invertebrates.

There is a great deal of truth in this, with invertebrates playing major roles in the functioning and processes of most terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Besides humankind, invertebrates shape the world around us perhaps more than any other group and their response to global climate change is therefore pivotal in future global challenges, including food security, conservation, biodiversity and human health.

We welcome enquiries from undergraduate and postgraduate students about research opportunities in our areas of research.

These range from short-medium term research placements, Honours / Masters projects to PhD scholarships.

Funding opportunities arise throughout the year, so please make contact in good time to maximise your chances of success.

Example projects include:


Why it sucks being an aphid in a high CO2 world?

While sap-sucking aphids are identified as potential beneficiaries of increased atmospheric greenhouse gases such as CO2, much depends on their interactions with other players such as natural enemies and mutualistic partners (e.g. ants).

The limited evidence available suggests when these players are thrown in the mix, the situation becomes much worse for aphids.

We'll aim to incorporate this trophic realism into such research and gain insights into how these interactions shift in the future.

Suggested reading:


Putting the 'upstairs-downstairs' into ecosystem responses to global climate change?

Traditionally studied separately, it's now recognised that above- and belowground systems are linked via plant-mediated mechanisms.

The effects of global climate change on, say, a root herbivore would therefore have cascading effects on aboveground herbivores and their natural enemies.

Using state-of-the art facilities, this research will identify key drivers and ecosystem engineers in future climates.

Suggested reading:


The real Hunger Games – how ladybird and parasitic wasps regulate lucerne aphid populations

Around 30 years ago, Australia's lucerne industry suffered massive losses with the arrival of three exotic aphid pests. 

Resistant cultivars and natural enemies have helped control aphids since, but breakdowns in cultivar resistance are increasingly common. 

Understanding how natural enemies regulate aphid populations is therefore of pivotal importance.

Suggested reading:

Above And Below Ground Interactions