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Ecosystems Research

John Johnston

John M. Johnston, Ph. D., has worked with the EPA's Office of Research and Development since 1996, collaborating across disciplines including ecology, biology, geographic information systems, engineering, chemistry, and computer science. He has worked with a tribe facing contamination from mercury pollution, and his team was awarded the Agency’s Silver Medal for Superior Service for contaminated site assessment in a New England community. Dr. Johnston is Supervisory Ecologist and Chief of the Regulatory Support Branch with ORD’s National Exposure Research Laboratory’s Ecosystem Research Division in Athens, GA. His areas of interest include systems dynamics, ecosystem services and climate change adaptation, macroecology, exposure modeling of fate, transport and food web bioaccumulation, integration of geographic information systems and simulation models for multi-scale impact assessment, and model parameter estimation and uncertainty analysis.

Dr. Johnston also serves as a task lead for EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program where he promotes the use of Integrated Environmental Modeling and Decision Analysis by regional, state and community decision makers to protect human and ecosystem health. He is also a project lead with the Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Program efforts to design more flexible and reusable science solutions to address water quality impairments and local economies. Recently he was an Embassy Science Fellow with the Department of State, on detail to the Mekong River Commission Secretariat in Vientiane, Laos, working with the Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative to forecast ecosystem and biodiversity impacts, understand resilience and promote sustainable development.

Biographical Information

Name: John Johnston
Title: Supervisory Ecologist

Contact Info:

Ecosystems Research Division
National Exposure Research Laboratory
Office of Research and Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
960 College Station Road
Athens, Georgia 30605-2700

Phone: 706-355-8300
Email: johnston.johnm@epa.gov


Ph.D. Ecology, University of Georgia, 1996
B.S. Chemistry, Xavier University, 1990

Professional Experience

Branch Chief, Regulatory Support Branch, USEPA, ORD, NERL-ERD, Athens, GA  2005–Present
Ecologist, USEPA, ORD, NERL-ERD, Athens, GA  1997-2005
ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow, USEPA, ORD, NERL-ERD, Athens, GA 1996–1997
Guest Lecturer, School of Ecology, University of Georgia  1993–1996
Graduate Research Assistant, University of Georgia, 1991-1996
GC/MS Chemist, International Technologies, Cincinnati, OH 1989–1991
Organic Extraction Chemist, Pearson Environmental, Inc., Cincinnati, OH 1988–1989

Professional Affiliations

American Association for the Advancement of Science
Sigma Xi
Reviewer: Environmental Science and Technology, Ecological Modelling, Agriculture, Ecosystems and the Environment, Environmental Modelling and Software, Science of the Total Environment

Selected Awards and Honors

Embassy Science Fellow, 2013
ORD Diversity Award for Supervisor/Manager, 2011
Exceptional/Outstanding ORD Technical Assistance to the Regions or Program Offices, 2011
NERL Teamwork Award, 2011
EPA Silver Medal for Superior Service, 2010
EPA STAA Level II Award, 2010
Exceptional/Outstanding ORD Technical Assistance to the Regions or Program Offices, 2009
ORD Science Communications Award, 2009
ORD Honor Award, Bronze Medal, 2007
EPA STAA Honorable Mention 2007, 2003
ORD Honor Award, Bronze Medal, 2005
Sigma Xi Outstanding Research Paper, 2004

Publications and Presentations

Daniel McGarvey, J.M. Johnston. 2011. A Simple Method to Predict Regional Fish Abundance: An Example in the McKenzie River Basin, Oregon, Fisheries, 36:11, 534-546. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03632415.2011.626659

Johnston, J.M., McGarvey, D.J., Barber, M.C., Laniak, G., Babendreier, J., Parmar, R., Wolfe, K., Kraemer, S.R., Cyterski, M., Knightes, C., Rashleigh, B., Suarez, L., and Ambrose, R. 2011. An integrated modeling framework for performing environmental assessments: Application to ecosystem services in the Albemarle-Pamlico basins (NC and VA, USA). Ecological Modeling, 222: 2471-2484 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380011001736

Johnston, J.M., M. Lowry, S. Beaulieu, and E. Bowles. 2010. State-of-the-Science Report on Predictive Models and Modeling Approaches for Characterizing and Evaluating Exposure to Nanomaterials. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, GA. Publication No. EPA/600/R-10/129. http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?dirEntryId=230425&fed_org_id=770&SIType=PR&TIMSType=&showCriteria=0&address=nerl/pubs.html&view=citation&personID=18512&role=Author&sortBy=pubDateYear&count=100&dateBeginPublishedPresented=

McGarvey, D.J., Johnston, J.M., and M.C. Barber. 2010. Predicting fish densities in lotic systems: a simple modeling approach. 2010. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29(4):1212-1227. http://www.jnabs.org/doi/abs/10.1899/09-094.1

Knightes, C.D., Sunderland, E. Barber, MC., Johnston, J.M. and R.B. Ambrose. 2009. Application of Ecosystem-Scale Fate and Bioaccumulation Models to Predict Fish Mercury Response Times to Changes in Atmospheric Deposition. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28(4):881-893. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1897/08-242R.1/full

Johnston, J.M. 2007. Diversity Surfaces and Species Wavefronts:  Adding the Dimension of Time. Pedobiologia 50(6):527-533 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031405606000904

Johnston, J.M. et al. 2006.  Watershed Health Assessment Tools Investigating Fisheries WHAT IF version 2.0: A Manager’s Guide to New Features EPA/600/R-06/109.

Ambrose, R.B., J.M. Johnston, C.D. Knightes and E. Sunderland. 2005. Ecosystem Scale Modeling for Mercury Benefits Analysis.  In: Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Clean Air Mercury Rule Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. EPA-452/R-05-003 http://www.epa.gov/ttnecas1/regdata/RIAs/mercury_ria_final.pdf

Rashleigh, B., R. Parmar, J. M. Johnston and M.C. Barber. 2005.  Predictive habitat models for the occurrence of stream fishes in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands.  North American Journal of Fisheries Management 25:1353-1366

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