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Johanna Varner, PhD, received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master's degree in biological engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She then changed gears to study ecology and evolutionary biology at University of Utah for her doctoral degree.

At CMU, she teaches mammalogy, animal behavior, general human biology, ecology and evolution, diversity of organisms and senior thesis. Her research interests include responses of alpine mammals to climate change and disturbance, with a focus on pikas — small mammals related to rabbits. Because of their sensitivity to heat stress and limited dispersal abilities, pikas may be excellent indicators of alpine ecosystem health in response to climate change.

View Varner's research and more at