Ben Johnson, Undergraduate Researcher, Johnson Lab
Research interests: parasite extended-phenotype hypothesis, parasite host-manipulation, vertebrate development, cell-signaling, epigenetic mechanisms, epithelial-mesenchymal feedback loops (EMIs)

I received my bachelors in history, philosophy, and political theory from the University of Maine in 2014. After working for two years in politics and health care government relations, I shifted focus to delivering evidenced-based behavioral health reforms to adolescent-serving treatment facilities. Currently, I am pursuing a second bachelors in evolutionary biology and ecology at CU with a research focus on quantitative evidence for extended phenotypes, biochemistry, and vertebrate development. I joined Johnson Lab as a BSI Research Scholar to uncover the mechanisms behind a striking example of parasite-host body-plan manipulation by the freshwater trematode R. ondatrae. Eventually, I hope to expand my focus towards understanding the mechanisms driving other parasite-host systems.