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Warren E. Johnson

Conservation Geneticist
B.A., Oberlin College; M.S., Utah State University; Ph.D., Iowa State
Warren Johnson is a conservation geneticist at the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute's (SCBI) Center for Species Survival and at the Smithsonian Institute for Biodiversity Genomics. Johnson focuses on using genomic approaches in innovative ways to increase our understanding of the evolutionary history of species, to develop strategies that promote the active management of wildlife populations, and to help train and empower the next-generation user. Johnson often addresses evolutionary questions in model organisms or natural populations with research that has a strong biomedical/veterinary component.
Johnson’s work, in collaboration with colleagues around the world, has been instrumental to our understanding of the evolutionary foundations of diverse groups, including felids and primates, and of endangered species and populations, such as the Florida panther, Andean mountain cat, tiger, cheetah, Darwin’s fox, and the guanaco. His work is international in scope and frequently encompasses fieldwork of species in their natural habitats. Johnson has been a member of the IUCN felid and canid specialist groups and has served on the editorial Board of Journal of Heredity since 2007 and plays an integral role in the G10K project assisting international genomic initiatives.
Johnson received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Oberlin College, his Master of Science at Utah State University studying coyote social behavior, and his doctorate in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University. During his doctoral field research he was administrator of the Iowa State University Patagonia Wildlife Research Center in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. There, he led studies on the predator/prey community, including the Patagonia puma, foxes, small cats, guanacos and numerous bird and rodent species. Before joining the Smithsonian, Johnson spent 20 years at the National Cancer Institute of NIH in the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity.
Recent Papers: 
Kitchener, A. C., Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Eizirik, E., Gentry, A., Werdelin, Lars, Wilting, A., Yamaguchi, N. and Johnson, Warren E. 2017. A revised taxonomy of the Felidae : The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group. Cat News.
Lee, Mu-Yeong, Kwon, In-Ki, Lee, Kisup, Choi, Sung Kyoung, Jeon, Hey Sook, Lee, Ji-Yeon, Eo, Kyung-yeon, Kim, Hwa-Jung, Kim, Jin-Han, Johnson, Warren E., Yoo, Jeong-Chil and An, Junghwa. 2017. Genetic diversity and population structure of the Black-faced Spoonbill (Platalea minor) among its breeding sites in South Korea: Implication for conservation. Biochemical systematics and ecology, 106-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2017.01.014
OBrien, Stephen J., Johnson, Warren E., Driscoll, Carlos A., Dobrynin, Pavel and Marker, Laurie. 2017. Conservation Genetics of the cheetah-Lessons Learned and New Opportunities. Journal of Heredity, 671-677. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esx047