Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
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Brief Biography

Julie S. Johnson-Pynn is an associate professor of psychology at The American University in Cairo. Studying comparative psychology in children and non-human primates comprised her early career. Pynn’s admiration of world-renowned chimpanzee researcher, Dr. Jane Goodall, inspired her current involvement as an international researcher and environmental education program consultant for The Jane Goodall’s Institute’s global youth service organization, Roots & Shoots. With 15 years of directing study abroad courses in Italy and East Africa, Pynn is passionate about providing unique pedagogy opportunities for impactful and transformative learning experiences for students.    


  • PhD, 1999, Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • MS, 1995, Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • BA, Double major: Psychology and English- Faulkner & Southern Studies, 1990, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Selected Publications and Research Grants

  • Jovanelly, T.J. & Johnson-Pynn, J. S. (2015). Pioneering water quality data on the Lake Victoria watershed: Impacts to human health. Journal of Water and Health, World Health Organization, 920-930.
  • Johnson-Pynn, J. S. & Johnson, L. R. (2014). Towards Inclusivity, adaptation, and collective action in Ecopsychology: Lessons from East Africa. Invited essay, Ecopsychology, 5(4) 233-236.
  • Johnson-Pynn, J. S., Johnson, L. R., Kityo, R., & Lugumya, D. L. (2014). Students and scientists connect with nature in Uganda, East Africa. International Journal of Research in Science Education (9), 311-327.
  • Johnson, L. R., Johnson-Pynn, J. S., Lugumya, D. L., Kityo, R., & Drescher, C. (2013). Cultivating youth’s capacity to address climate change in Uganda. International Perspectives in Psychology, Vol. 2, No. 1, 29–44.
  • Forest Hydrology and the Promotion of Human Capital in Kampala Area Forest Conservation Initiatives.  National Geographic Society Conservation Trust Grant (2013).
  • Civic Engagement in East African Youth: Developing Leaders in Conservation Education. Africa Regional Research Award. Fulbright Foundation (2007).
  • Kampala Area Forest Conservation Initiatives: Cultivating Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership. National Geographic Conservation Trust Grant (2007).

Research Interests

  • Youth civic engagement
  • Cross-cultural comparisons of emerging adults’ developmental strengths
  • Citizen science as an environmental conservation tool

Courses at AUC                    

  • Lifespan Development
  • Child Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychological Statistics