About Us


Leah  Johnson

Leah Johnson

Leah Johnson
Assistant Professor


Office: SCA 303
Phone: 813/974-4576
Fax: 813-974-3263
Email: lrjohnson@usf.edu
Email (alt): lrjohnson0@gmail.com



Ph.D., Physics/Applied Mathematics and Statistics, U.C. Santa Cruz, 2006.

M.S., Physics, U.C. Santa Cruz, 2003.

B.S., Physics, College of William and Mary, 2001.


I am a quantitative biologist working at the intersection of biology, mathematics, and statistics. At a broad level, my research focuses on understanding how differences between individuals in a population result from external heterogeneity and stochasticity, and how this variability influences population level patterns. I address these questions primarily in the context of infectious disease epidemiology, as well as in behavioral and population ecology. My approach is to use theoretical models to understand how systems behave generally, while simultaneously seeking to confront and validate models with data and make predictions. Thus, a significant portion of my research focuses on methods for statistical -- particularly Bayesian -- inference and validation for mechanistic mathematical models of biological systems. More specifically, my research questions fall into three complementary areas:

  • The ecology of infectious diseases
  • The evolution of individual behaviors or life history strategies and the implication of individual traits on population dynamics and persistence
  • Inference methods (primarily Bayesian) for mechanistic models of biological systems

Specialty Area

Statistical and mathematical biology, ecology and epidemiology.