Jackie (Jonathan M.) Brown
Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
Grinnell, IA 50112-0806
Email: brownj(at)grinnell.edu (type @ for "(at)")
30 November 2010
Made with Mozilla Seamonkey
Author: Jackie Brown
JB inspecting a Haleakala silversword for herbivorous flies.
I'm a member of the faculty
College in the Department
Biology, where I teach courses in
ecology and evolutionary biology.
My research centers on the ecological
context of speciation in insects, using ecological, behavioral
and molecular systematic approaches. Some of my publications can be easily
downloaded, or consult my complete c.v (pdf).
I am formerly the director of the
Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), Grinnell's biological
station, and a founding member of Grinnell College's Center for Prairie Studies.
There are links at the bottom of the page
relating to my professional and personal interests.
Evolution is perhaps both the most influential and the most
controversial development in science in the last 200 years. The
ideas Charles Darwin laid out in his landmark work, On the
Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, have
had a tumultuous history because they appear to confront
beliefs about the nature of humanity, as well as our relationship
to other organisms. In this tutorial, we will consider what Darwin
actually wrote about evolution and humanity, and compare that
to how his ideas have been used, criticized, and adapted by others
over the past 140 years. In particular, we will critically examine
the influence of evolutionary ideas on four issues of enduring
social importance: religious belief, race, gender and ethics. Next offered: Unknown
As a way to explore how biologists ask questions and develop
answers to them, this class will focus on the biology of the prairie,
considering both its history in North America and contemporary
studies of prairie restoration. It will be taught in "workshop"
format at Grinnell College's Conard Environmental Research Area
(CERA), where we will use the prairie and savanna restorations
there as our laboratory. You will be required to formulate research
questions based on your reading of the literature, design experimental
or observational studies to test your hypotheses, and report on
their findings in written and oral forms. Students in
this course contribute to the web journal Tillers, which contains
articles describing their investigations. Next offered Fall 2012.
Investigations of the evolutionary causes and ecological consequences
of organismal structure and function, including studies of why
organisms acquire and expend energy, acquire and transport materials,
regulate internal conditions, transmit information, reproduce, develop,
grow, and move. Three lectures and one scheduled lab each week.
Prerequisites: Biology 251, Mathematics 124 or 131. Offered every Spring (but not this year by
Investigations of the causes, functions, and origins of animal
behavior. We will use an evolutionary perspective to understand and
integrate common behavioraladaptations, e.g., obtaining food, avoiding
predators, living in groups, communicating, mating, and caring for
offspring. Laboratory projects emphasize design, analysis, and
communication of quantitative tests of hypotheses carried out in the
lab and field. Three lectures and one scheduled
lab per week. Prerequisites: Bio 150. Next
BIO 301: History
of Biological Thought
This seminar course will consider the history of ideas in the
biological sciences. By examining primary and secondary texts,
we'll address the hypothesis that biological theories emerge and
change in a complex environment of empirical knowledge ("facts")
and social/political conditions. The course will begin with a
broad overview of the discipline by considering the growth of
three fields: evolutionary biology, genetics and development.
We will then examine developments of particular fields
by reading a contemporary history of that field alongside excerpts
from important primary texts. Possible topics include histories of
biomedicine, race, ecology, and genetics. Next
offered: Spring 2012.
This course examines the mechanisms of evolutionary change
at both the micro- and macro-evolutionary scales. Topics include
the maintenance of genetic variation, population structure and
speciation, molecular evolution, systematic methods, biogeography,
and macroevolution. 3 lecture/discussion and 1 lab meeting per
week. Prerequisites: BIO 236 or permission of the instructor. Next offered: Spring 2011
The study of biodiversity has historically been conducted within
two disciplines, with community ecologists addressing the mechanisms
that maintain diversity and evolutionary biologists addressing
speciation and adaptation. The goal of my research has been to
explore the intersection of these ecological and evolutionary
frameworks. I express this goal in two fundamental questions:
- How have ecological interactions influenced
rates of diversification?
- How have historical patterns of
current species interactions?
A better understanding of diversity thus requires the application
of both evolutionary and ecological methods. My research has focused
on host- or habitat-association as a central factor in mediating
the interaction between ecological and evolutionary processes
in natural communities of arthropods, including North American
moths, flies, and damselflies and endemic Hawaiian flies.
M.Bush, S.P. Harrison, A. Hurlbert, N. Knowlton, H. A. Lessios, C.M.
McCain, A.R. McCune, L.A. McDade, M.A. McPeek, T.J. Near, T.D. Price,
R.E. Ricklefs, K. Roy, D.F. Sax, D. Schluter, J.M. Sobel, M.
Evolution and the latitudinal diversity gradient: Speciation,
extinction, and biogeography. Ecology
research students) -- Please contact me if you don't have
access to these journals
McPeek, M.A. and J.M. Brown. 2007. Clade age and not
diversification rate explains species
richness among animal taxa. American
S.B, J.O. Stireman, J.D. Nason, G.H. Cox, C. Kolacz, and J.M.
Brown. 2006. On the elusiveness of enemy-free space:
Spatial, temporal, and host-plant-related variation in parasitoid
attack rates on three gallmakers of goldenrods. Oecologia 150:421-434.
Brown, J.M., M. Todd-Thompson*, A. McCord*, A. O’Brien*, and B.
O’Fallon* 2006. Phylogeny, host association, and wing pattern
variation in the endemic Hawaiian tephritids (Tephritidae:
Tephritini). Instrumenta Biodiversitatis VII:1-16.
Brown, J.M., and I. Cooper*. 2006. Evolution of wing pigmentation
patterns in a tephritid gallmaker: divergence and hybridization.
Pp. 253-261 in Galling Arthropods and Their Associates – Ecology and
Evolution, K. Ozaki, J. Yukawa, T. Ohgushi, and P.W. Price, eds.
Simultaneous quaternary radiations of three damselfly clades across the
Holarctic. American Naturalist. 165:E78-107.
patterns in use of an Iowa woodlot during the autumn bird
migration. American Midland Naturalist 153:61-70.
Cooper*, I., E.
Roeder*, and J.M. Brown. 2003. Arthropod response to
burning and mowing in a reconstructed prairie. Ecological
Brown, J.M, M.A. McPeek, and M. May. 2000. A phylogenetic
perspective on habitat shifts and diversity in the North American
Enallagma damselflies. Systematic Biology 49:697-712.
Diversification of the Enallagma damselflies in eastern North American
waters. Ecology 81: 904–920.
Drown*, D.M., and J.M. Brown. 1998. Molecular
phylogeny of North American oak-galling Cynipini (Hymenoptera:
Cynipidae) supports need for generic revision. Pp. 241-246. The
Biology of Gall-Inducing Arthropods (Csoka, G., W.J. Mattson, G.N.
Stone and P.W. Price eds.). Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-199. St. Paul, MN: U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research
Faust*, L., and J.M. Brown. 1998. Sexual selection via
female choice in the gall-making fly Eurosta solidaginis Fitch
(Diptera: Tephritidae). The Biology of Gall-Inducing Arthropods (Csoka,
G., W.J. Mattson, G.N. Stone and P.W. Price eds.). Gen. Tech. Rep.
NC-199. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
North Central Research Station.
Brown, J.M., J. Leebens-Mack, O. Pellmyr, J.N. Thompson, and R.G.
Harrison. 1997. Phylogeography and host association in a pollinating
seed parasite, Greya politella (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae).
Molecular Ecology 6:215-224.
Evolution of pollination and mutualism in the yucca moth lineage.
American Naturalist 148:827-847.
in the herbivorous ball-gallmaker, Eurosta solidaginis
(Diptera: Tephritidae). American Midland Naturalist 136:121-133.
predators in a new community: swimming performance and predator
avoidance in damselflies. Ecology 77:617-629.
host races of the goldenrod ball gallmaker (Diptera: Tephritidae:
Eurosta solidaginis). Evolution 50:777-786.
Brown, J.M., W.G. Abrahamson, R. Packer*, and P.A. Way*. 1995.
The role of enemy escape in a gallmaker host-plant shift.
Brown, J.M., O. Pellmyr, J.N. Thompson, and R.G. Harrison. 1994. mtDNA
phylogeny of the Prodoxidae (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea) indicates a
rapid ecological diversification of the yucca moths. Annals of
the Entomological Society of America 87:795-802.
Brown, J.M., O. Pellmyr, J.N. Thompson, and R.G. Harrison. 1994.
Phylogeny of Greya (Lepidoptera:Prodoxidae) based on nucleotide
sequence variation in cytochrome oxidase I and II: congruence with
morphological data. Molecular Biology and Evolution 11:128-141.
Abrahamson, W.G. J.M. Brown, S.K. Roth, D.V. Sumerford, J.D. Horner,
M.D. Hess, S.T. How, T.P. Craig, R.A. Packer*, and J.K. Itami.
1994. Gallmaker speciation: an assessment of the roles of
host-plant characters and phenology, gallmaker competition, and natural
enemies. In P. Price, W. Mattson, and Y. Baranchikov, eds.
Gall-forming Insects. USDA Forest Service, North Central
Experiment Station. General Technical Report. pp. 208-222.
Brown, J.M. and D.S. Wilson. 1994. Poecilochirus carabi:
Behavioral and life-history adaptations to different hosts and the
consequences of geographical shifts in host communities. pp. 1-22
in M. Houck, ed., Mites -- Ecological and Evolutionary Analyses of Life
History Patterns. Chapman and Hall, New York.
phoretic mites on carrion beetles. Ecology 73:463-478.
The best way to learn about ecology is to TAKE A FIELD COURSE!
- The Organization of
Biological Field Stations has a list of field courses organized by
- Grinnell students can study field biology on three programs
approved for off-campus study, the Organization for Tropical Studies
programs in Costa Rica or S. Africa, School for Field Studies
(everywhere except Costa Rica), and the Coe College (formerly ACM)
Wilderness Field Station.
Sources of grants for research:
Thinking of going to graduate
school? Here is some
Professional societies I
Society for the
Study of Evolution
Society for Conservation Biology
Society for Ecological Restoration
National Center for Science Education
Some other organizations I support:
The Nature Conservancy
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
1000 Friends of Iowa
Current or past collaborators:
David Sloan Wilson
Former research students (send me your
Aksel Casson -
University of Washington (Archaeology)
William Eichman -- ??
Josh Rehmann -- ??
Shira Peltan -- Northwestern Univ. (Microbiology)
Zoe McKiness -- Harvard then USDA (Microbiology)
Faust -- Lincoln Park Zoo (Conservation Genetics)
Brendan O'Fallon -- University of Utah (Mathematical Biology)
Tor Janson -- Kansas State University (Landscape Architecture)
Devin Drown -- Washington
State University (Ecology/Evolutionary Biology)
Cooper -- Indiana University -- Bloomington (Ecology/Evolutionary
Elizabeth Roeder Magden -- University of Colorado (Vet School)
Abby Laatsch -- Marine Biological Lab
Megan Todd-Thompson -- U. Tennessee -- Knoxville
McGranahan -- Iowa State University
Anna Larimer -- Indiana University -- Bloomington (Ecology/Evolutionary
Chris Mitros -- University of Iowa (Medical School)
Hanghang Wang -- Dartmouth College (Medical School)
Jonathan Homans - somewhere in Alaska
Mitchell -- ??
Emma Meade -- Grinnell College
following dojos at
Aikido, University of
Iowa Aikikai, Aikido
of Hilo -- each
these has links to info about this art
Brown's Plan (for Grinnellplans users)
Anti-Golf Movement -- read it and weep
Show -- the most I've laughed since Monty Python
Pubcrawler -- think
Global, drink local
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