Jill Arin Johnston

 Department of Plant Biology
University of Minnesota

1445 Gortner Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

Email: john6388@umn.edu


2003 - present - Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 

2002 - 2003  - University Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2002 - Ph. D., Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Dissertation title: “Evolutionary and Ecological Consequences of Interspecific Hybridization in two Louisiana Irises, I. brevicaulis and I. fulva” 

Advisors:  Lisa A. Donovan and Michael L. Arnold
Committee Members:  Shu-Mei S. Chang, Jim L. Hamrick, Chris J. Peterson, and Rebecca R. Sharitz (Department of Botany)

2000 - National Academy of Sciences Science Policy Internship, Washington, D.C.

1996 - Bachelor of Science with High Honors in Plant Biology, University of California,    Davis, CA

Research Interests

Plant evolutionary ecology, interspecific hybridization, gene flow and the movement of adaptive genetic variation between species.

Research Experience

Crop-weed gene flow in Sorghum

2002 - 2003, Postdoctoral Fellow, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Louisiana wetlands

1997 - 2002, Doctoral Student, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

California coastal scrub

1996 - 1997, Research Technician, UC Bodega Marine Lab, Bodega Bay, CA

Sierra Nevada foothills

 1996 - 1997, Undergraduate Honors Thesis, University of California, Davis, CA

California vernal pools

 1996, Undergraduate Research Intern, University of California, Davis, CA

Great Lakes dunes

 1995, REU Fellow, University of Michigan Biological Station, Pellston, MI

Competitive Fellowships and Grants

Dissertation Completion Assistantship – UGA Graduate School  $15,000 (2001-2002)

Doctoral Research Assistantship (Competitive) - UGA Graduate School $14,500/year (1997-1999)

University of Georgia Botany Department small grant $1,000 (2000) $500 (2001)

UGA graduate school travel award $650 (2001)

Sigma Xi grant-in-aid-of-research $800 (2000)

American Iris Society Scholarship $2,000 (1999)

National Council of State Garden Clubs Scholarship $3,500 (1999)

Society for Louisiana Irises small grant $2,000 (1999)

UGA Graduate School Enhancement Award $2,000 (1997)

UC Davis President's Undergraduate Research Fellowship grant $1200 (1996)

NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship $2500 (1995)

Academic Honors

Wilber Duncan Award for the outstanding graduate student in Botany at UGA (2002)

Member of Sigma Xi scientific honor society (2001)

Botany Department Outstanding TA award (2000)

Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Fellowship (1997,1998)

Botanical Society of America Young Botanist Award (1996)

UC Davis Plant Biology Departmental Citation for Excellence (1996)


Johnston, J. A., R. A. Wesselingh, A. C. Bouck, L. A. Donovan, and M. L. Arnold, 2001. Intimately linked or hardly speaking? The relationship between genotype and environmental gradients in a Louisiana Iris hybrid population. Molecular Ecology 10:673-681.

Johnston, J. A., D. J. Grise, L. A. Donovan, and M. L. Arnold, 2001. Variation in environment influences relative fitness of Iris brevicaulis, I. fulva (Iridaceae) and hybrids. American Journal of Botany 88:933-938.

Arnold, M. L., E. K. Kentner, J. A. Johnston, R. S. Cornman, and A. C. Bouck, 2001.  Natural hybridisation and fitness.  Taxon 50:1-12.

Publications in review

Lance, J.B., J.A. Johnston, M.L. Arnold, and L.A. Donovan.  Different strategies of shade and salt stress tolerance in two Louisiana Iris species.  (submitted to Wetlands)

Johnston, J.A., M.L. Arnold, J.B. West, and L.A. Donovan.  Fitness and physiological performance in response to shade and drought in two Louisiana Iris species and back-cross hybrids. (submitted to International Journal of Plant Sciences)

Johnston, J.A., Arnold, M.L., and L.A. Donovan.  High hybrid fitness at seed and seedling life history stages in Louisiana irises.  (submitted to Journal of Ecology)

Presentations at Professional Meetings

Johnston, J.A., R.A. Wesselingh, J.T. Vogel, L.A. Donovan, and M.L. Arnold, 2002.  Extraordinarily high fitness among early generation Louisiana Iris hybrids in a reciprocal transplant experiment.  Ecological Society of America meeting.

Johnston, J. A., M. L. Arnold, C. S. Patterson, L. A. Donovan, 2001.  Subtlety will get you everywhere:  differential response of Louisiana Iris hybrids to flooding, shade and drought.  Ecological Society of America meeting.

Johnston, J. A., L. A. Donovan, M. L. Arnold, 2001.  Novel phenotypic responses to flooding in hybrid genotypes of two Louisiana Iris species.  Society for the Study of Evolution meeting

Franks, S. J., F. A. Jones, J. A. Johnston, A. C. Bouck, L. S. Comita, D. Hardesty, C. M. Richards, D. M. Rosenthal, J. B. West, 2001. What is Molecular Ecology? Society for the Study of Evolution meeting.

Johnston, J.A., L. A. Donovan, and M. L. Arnold, 2000. Differential impact of shade and drought on two species of Louisiana Iris and their hybrids.  Southeastern Population Ecology & Genetics meeting.

J. A. Johnston, R. A. Wesselingh, A.C. Bouck, L. A. Donovan, and M. L. Arnold, 2000. Intimate links between environmental gradients and distribution of genotypes in a Louisiana Iris hybrid system.  Ecological Society of America meeting, Snowbird, UT.

Teaching and Mentoring Experience

Graduate teaching and lab assistant, University of Georgia, 1997-1999

undergraduate introductory Botany (majors and non-majors).

Undergraduate research mentor, University of Georgia

Mr. Charles Patterson, 1999 – Flood and shade effects on germination of two Louisiana Iris species and hybrids

Ms. Jennifer Lance, 2001– Shade and salt response in two Louisiana Iris species 

Facilitator, Center for Undergraduate Teaching Opportunities, UGA, 1999.  

Led seminars to train graduate mentors of undergraduate research.

Teaching Internship, University of Georgia, Spring and Fall, 2001

Prepared and delivered lectures to introductory Botany classes


Member of steering committee for the International Organization for Biological Control’s initiative for Development of International Scientific Biosafety Testing Guidelines for Transgenic Plants, 2002-present

Manuscript reviewer for American Journal of Botany, 2002-present

Member of committee to revise undergraduate curriculum, UGA Botany, 2000-2002

Coordinator of the Molecular Ecology journal club, UGA Botany Dept., 2000-2001

Vice President, UGA Botany Graduate Student Association, 1998-1999

Coordinator of the Plant Ecology Group journal club, UGA Botany Dept., 1998-1999

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Biological Sciences 

Botanical Society of America 

Ecological Society of America 

Society for the Study of Evolution

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Last Updated:  December 09, 2003