J. Chadwick (Chad) Johnson

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Associate Professor of Behavioral Ecology, Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences

Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences
Arizona State University, West campus
4701 W. Thunderbird Rd
Glendale, AZ 85306-2352
Email: jchadwick@asu.edu
Web: https://sites.google.com/a/asu.edu/chad-research/


J. Chadwick (Chad) Johnson is an assistant professor in the New College Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Dr. Johnson joined the ASU faculty in 2006 after serving as a lecturer in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of California-Davis in 2005. He received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kentucky in 2003 and attended the University of Toronto as a National Science Foundation (NSF) International Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (2003-05). He earned his M.S. in biology at Illinois State University in 1998 and his B.A. in biopsychology from Earlham College (Richmond, Ind.) in 1990.

Dr. Johnson's teaching experience prior to his arrival at ASU's West campus includes being an instructor of behavioral ecology at the University of Toronto (2004-05) and lecturer at UC-Davis (2003, 2005).

Dr. Johnson's scholarly interests include studying animal behavior at the levels of mechanisms, individuals, populations and communities, and he is particularly interested in the way in which behavioral expression - e.g., aggression level - is correlated across distinct behavioral-ecological contexts (e.g., foraging and anti-predator contexts). To this end, Dr. Johnson tracks animals through their life cycles, studying behavior in conjunction with ecological variations found in nature.

In conjunction with the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research Project, his most recent research focuses on the study of behavior and population ecology/genetics of desert-versus-urban populations of black widow spiders native to Arizona, as well as African widow species found in urban habitats of the southeastern United States and southern California. It is Dr. Johnson's hope that by concentrating on the dynamic interaction between the behavior, ecology and population genetics of these urban infestations, the ineffectual application of pesticides can be curtailed. His research has appeared in such publications as Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology,and Ethology.


behavioral ecology; behavioral expression across distinct behavioral-ecological contexts; communities; individuals; populations; animal behavior; ecological behavior; population biology; species adaptation; terrestrial ecology; urban ecology


PhD, Biology, University of Kentucky, 2003

MS, Biology, Illinois State University, 1998

BA, Biopsychology, Earlham College, 1990

Journal Articles


Halpin, R. N. and J. C. Johnson. 2014. A continuum of behavioral plasticity in urban and desert black widows. Ethology: International Journal of Behavioral Biology 120(2014):1-11. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12297. (link)

Johnson, J. C., L. S. Miles, P. Trubl and A. Hagenmaier. 2014. Maternal effects on egg investment and offspring performance in black widow spiders. Animal Behaviour 91:67-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.02.031. (link)


Dimitrova, R., N. Lurponglukana, H. J. Fernando, G. C. Runger, P. G. Hyde, B. C. Hedquist, J. R. Anderson, W. Bannister and J. C. Johnson. 2012. Relationship between particulate matter and childhood asthma – basis of a future warning system for central Phoenix. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12(5):2479-2490. (link)

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Book Chapters


Sih, A., P. W. Bell and J. C. Johnson. 2010. Behavioral syndromes. Pp. 516-530 In: Westneat, D. F. and C. W. Fox eds., Evolutionary Behavioral Ecology. Oxford University Press.



Johnson, J. C., D. Stevens, A. Vannan, K. Bratsch and J. Lam. 2015. Do black widows like it hot? Urban spider behavior at urban heat island temperatures. Poster presented at the Seventeenth Annual CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 16 January 2015, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link)


Stevens II, D. R., R. Halpin and J. C. Johnson. 2014. Relative behavioral plasticity in an invasive, urban-exploiting gecko. Poster presented at the 16th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientists Meeting, January 17, 2014, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link)


Gburek, T. M., J. Jewell and J. C. Johnson. 2013. Ecology and color morphology of urban black widow populations. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link)

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