Zachary Johnson, Ph.D.

NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
Krone Engineered Biosystems Building, 3103

I completed my Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Emory University in Dr. Larry Young’s laboratory, where I used optogenetic, neuroendocrine, molecular, and genetic techniques to study the neurobiology of social attachment behaviors in prairie voles. I’m currently investigating the genetic and neural basis of social behavior in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes as a postdoc in the Streelman and McGrath labs. I am using single nuclei RNA-sequencing to study the neurogenetic basis of bower construction, a complex social behavior whereby males construct bower structures for courtship and mating but not for raising offspring. Approximately 200 cichlid species exhibit bower construction behavior, and species differences in structure are associated with genetic variation on a region of one chromosome. My goal is to understand how this genetic variation shapes nervous system function and ultimately behavior. In the long run, I hope to build a lab that integrates genomics, endocrinology, and behavioral neuroscience to understand social behavior. I’m currently on the job market seeking a tenure-track faculty position.

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To see a list of my publications, visit my Google Scholar Page