Dr. Amy Johnson is a Conservation Biologist and Program Director of Smithsonian's Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL). In this role, Johnson leads a team that cultivates a dynamic network of private landowners, citizen scientists, NGO’s, state agencies and scientists to collectively investigate the impacts of conservation management and land use on biodiversity. VWL research activities occur almost entirely on privately-owned working lands, demonstrating the importance of multi-faceted collaborations for acquiring the knowledge needed to move conservation forward in human-dominated landscapes.

In addition to research, Johnson is committed to developing effective outreach strategies that communicate current research findings to inform best management practices for regional conservation partners and land managers.

Research Interests

Dr. Johnson integrates citizen science to help conduct ecological research on more than 80,000 acre of private lands in Northern Virginia. Her current research focuses on exploring the responses of grassland bird communities to native grassland restoration and regenerative grazing. This includes sampling avian communities to quantify abundance, diversity and reproductive success in relation to grassland management. She and her team are also working with partners to study methods for establishing and managing native grasslands, tracking the migratory connectivity of declining grassland birds, and understanding motivations behind conservation behaviors on private lands.