Amy Johnson is a Smithsonian-Mason Research Fellow studying the impacts of grassland management on breeding and over-wintering bird communities in Virginia. With more than 90% of the region’s grasslands currently on private lands, the success of her work depends heavily on the participation of willing, conservation-minded landowners and a devoted cohort of citizen scientists. Through a Smithsonian-led program called Virginia Working Landscapes, Amy has assisted in cultivating a network of dedicated conservationists to help unravel the intricate habitat characteristics that drive bird abundance and diversity. Her research is raising awareness on the importance of bobwhite quail conservation initiatives for other birds and is also providing insight into the benefits of native warm-season grasses for over-wintering species.
Prior to being awarded the Smithsonian-Mason Fellowship in Conservation Science, Amy received her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada and a Master’s degree from George Mason University, focusing her research on developing assisted reproductive techniques in wolves.
Amy currently resides on a farm in Virginia with her husband Eric, immersed in grassland bird habitat.