Philip Johns

Science (Life Sciences)

Senior Lecturer


View Curriculum Vitae

Dr Philip Johns earned his BA from Carleton College and his MSc and PhD from the University of Chicago. Before coming to Yale-NUS College, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Maryland, and he taught in various capacities at Villanova University, Swarthmore College, Bard College, and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Dr Johns’ research interests revolve around the evolution and genetics of social behaviours in insects and other animals. He studies the behaviour, evolution, genetics and genomics of a group of Southeast Asian insects, stalk-eyed flies (Diopsidae), in both the field and laboratory. He has also studied the evolution of cooperation and eusociality in termites. Along the way he has studied everything from courtship and mating behaviour of mantises, to aggression and territoriality in spiders, to courtship in scorpions, to the songs of some very noisy crickets. He and his students study the social behaviours of an urban carnivore in Singapore, smooth-coated otters. He is especially interested in employing community science to conduct animal behaviour studies.

Tan MK, Yong CYH*, Ingrisch S, Wahab RHA, Johns PM. 2018. Inferring species boundaries using acoustic and morphological data in the ground cricket genus Gymnogryllus (Orthoptera: Grylloidea: Gryllinae). Systematics and Biodiversity.

Baker RH, Narechania A, DeSalle R, Johns PM, Reinhardt JA, Wilkinson GS. 2016. Spermatogenesis drives rapid gene creation and masculinization of the X chromosome in stalk-eyed flies (Diopsidae). Genome Biology and Evolution. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evw043.

Reinhardt JA, Brand CL, Paczolt KA, Johns PM, Baker RH, Wilkinson GS. 2014. Meiotic drive impacts expression and evolution of X-linked genes in stalk-eyed flies. PLoS Genetics 10(5): e1004362. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004362.

Howard KJ, Johns PM, Breisch NL, Thorne BL. 2013. Frequent colony fusions provide opportunities for helpers to become reproductives in the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67:1575-1585.

Wilkinson GS, Johns PM, Metheney JD, Baker RH. 2013. Sex-biased gene expression and development of sexually dimorphic heads in stalk-eyed flies. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59826.

Baker RH, Narechania A, Johns PM, Wilkinson GS. 2012. Gene duplication, tissue-specific gene expression and sexual conflict in stalk-eyed flies (Diopsidae). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B, 367: 2357-2375.

Keesing, F, Oberoi P*, Vaicekonyte R, Gowen K*, Henry L, Mount S, Johns P, R Ostfeld. 2011. Effects of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) on entomopathogenic fungi. Ecoscience 18: 164-168.

Maxwell MR, Barry KL, Johns PM. 2010. Examinations of female pheromone use in two praying mantids, Stagmomantis limbata and Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Mantodea: Mantidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 103: 103: 120-127.

Johns PM, Howard KJ, Breisch NL, Rivera A*, Thorne BL. 2009. Nonrelatives inherit colony resources in a primitive termite. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 17452-7456.

Johns PM and Wilkinson GS. 2007. X chromosome influences sperm length in the stalk-eyed fly Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni. Heredity 99:56-61.

Wilkinson GS, Johns PM, Kelleher ES, and Muscedere ML. 2006. Fitness effects of X chromosome drive in the stalk-eyed fly, Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, currently published online.

Johns PM, Wolfenbarger LM, Wilkinson GS. 2005. Genetic linkage between a sexually selected trait and X chromosome meiotic drive. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 272: 2097-2103.

Nobile CJM* and Johns PM. 2005. Prelude to a kiss: mate discrimination in the striped bark scorpion, Centruroides vittatus. Journal of Insect Behavior, 18: 405-413.

Wilkinson GS and Johns PM. 2005. Sexual selection and the evolution of fly mating systems. In: The Biology of the Diptera. (D.K. Yeates and B.M. Weigmann, eds.) pp. 312-339. Columbia University Press, New York.

Wilkinson GS, Amitin EG, and Johns PM. 2005. Sex-linked correlated responses in female reproductive traits to selection on male eye span in stalk-eyed flies. Integrative and Comparative Biology 45: 500-510 .

Swallow JG, Wallace LE, Christianson SJ, Johns PM, and Wilkinson GS. 2005. Genetic divergence does not predict change in ornament expression among populations of stalk-eyed flies. MolecularEcology 14: 3787-3800.

Wright TF, Johns PM, Walters JR, Lerner AP, Swallow JG, and Wilkinson GS. 2004. Microsatellite variation among divergent populations of stalk-eyed flies, genus Cyrtodiopsis. Genetical Research 84: 27-40.

Riechert SE and Johns PM. 2003. Do female spiders select heavier males for the “good genes” they possess? Evolution 57: 1367-1373.
Johns PM and Maxwell MR. 1997. Sexual cannibalism: who benefits? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 12: 127-128.

Johns PM. 1997. Mate choice, mating success, and fecundity in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid, Tenodera aridifolia: Implications for sexual selection. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Chicago.

Scientific Inquiry
Evolutionary Biology
Animal Behaviour
Model Organisms
Biology Research Seminar
Genomics in the Jungle: Week 7 Learning Across Boundaries
Drones, Bio-drones, and Information: Week 7 Learning Across Boundaries
Urban Wildlife in Singapore: Week 7 Learning Across Boundaries
Jungle Sounds and Ecology: Summer Learning Across Boundaries