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Dr Mireille Johnson


I completed my undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry, and geology at USTM, Franceville, Gabon, and a MSc in Botany at the Université Caddi Ayad, Marrakech, Morocco. I then worked for eight years as a laboratory technician in Gabon, before starting a PhD in conservation genetics at Cardiff School of Biosciences and the Centre International de Recherche Médicale de Franceville (CIRMF) in Gabon. My dissertation research focused on the genetic population structure, dispersal and phylogeography of the central African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) to clarify its taxonomic status and evolutionary history, and support management actions. I was then appointed a Marie Curie Fellow on the European Union GYROSCOPE project, where I investigated the effect of host density on parasite transmission and long-term parasite sustainability using the guppy-Gyrodactylus turnbulli host-parasite system.


Position: Research Fellow


Telephone: +241 06344364

Location: Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, B.P. 48 Gamba, Gabon

Current Research

I am currently a research fellow with Smithsonian Institute working with the Gabon Biodiversity Program, where I an conducting a long-term study of forest elephants in the coastal rainforest of south western Gabon. In the future, I plan to initiate a consultative management committee, to develop methods to mitigate human-elephant conflict.


Schelkle B., Faria P., Johnson M.B., van Oosterhout C., Cable J. (2012). Mixed infections and hybridisation in monogenean parasites. PLoS One 7: e39506.

Anthony N.M., Mickala P., Abernethy K.A., Atteke C., Bissiengou P., Bruford M.W., Dallmeier F.…. Johnson M.B. et al. (2011). Biodiversity and conservation genetics research in Central Africa: new approaches and avenues for international collaboration. Conservation Genetic Resources

Johnson M.B., Lafferty K.D., van Oosterhout C., Cable J. (2011). Parasite transmission in social interacting hosts: monogenean epidemics in guppies. PLoS One 6(8): e22634.

Schelkle B., Paladini G., Shinn A.P., King S., Johnson M.B., van Oosterhout C., Mohammed R.S., Cable J. (2011). Ieredactylus rivuli n. gen. et sp. (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae) from Rivulus hartii (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) in Trinidad. Acta Parasitologica 56: 360-370

Johnson M.B., Clifford S.L., Goossens B., Nyakaana S., Curran B., Lee J.T., White E., Wickings J., Bruford M.W. (2007). Complex phylogeographic history of central African forest elephants and its implications for taxonomy. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7:244.

Anthony N.M., Johnson M.B., Jeffery K., Clifford S.L., Abernethy K.A., Tutin C.E., Lahm S.A., White L.T.J., Utley J., Wickings E.J., Bruford M.W. (2007). The role of Pleistocene refugia and rivers in shaping gorilla genetic diversity in central Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 20432-20436.

Anthony N.M., Clifford S.L., Johnson M.B., Abernethy K.A., Bruford M.W., Wickings E.J. (2007). Distinguishing mitochondrial sequences from nuclear integrations and PCR recombinants: guidelines for their diagnosis in complex sequence databases. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43: 553-566.