When I was younger I was constantly asking questions about the natural world and that never really stopped! I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford and stayed to pursue a PhD here. As a biologist, I am fascinated by the trillions of bacteria that inhabit our bodies and in particular the ways in which they may interact with our brain to influence behaviour. This new field, called the ‘microbiome-gut-brain axis’, is an exciting frontier in neuroscience and my current research investigates whether gut bacteria may be linked to our personality and social behaviour. My work spans the disciplines of microbiology, genetics, neuroscience, animal behaviour and evolutionary biology.
I am a keen advocate of science communication and promoting the public understanding of the life sciences. I often engage with the media to disseminate my research findings internationally. This includes live TV filming (Sky and CTV News), feature piece filming (ITV News) and radio interviews (e.g. BBC Radio 4 Inside Science and BBC World Service). I also enjoy speaking at live events and directly interacting with the public. As well as my Facebook Live with Oxford Sparks, I was invited by Guerilla Science to talk about my research at the Secret Garden Party 2017 music festival. I have also worked on science documentaries for the BBC (including ‘The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed’) and National Geographic.
Facebook Live with Oxford Sparks: https://www.oxfordsparks.ox.ac.uk/content/facebook-live-katerina-johnson
Live Sky News TV interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsXx8F4CMoc
BBC Radio 4 Inside Science interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08p5lc2