Evolution at Brown
Darwin’s thinking about evolution was connected to ecology, behavior, inheritance (genetics), morphology, paleontology, and physiology. Many Brown faculty conduct research and teach in these areas.
Dozens of faculty and their students work on various aspects of evolutionary biology. Brown also has a strong group of faculty who focus on global change and other environmental and medical issues touched on in The Beak of the Finch. Use the links below to learn about these faculty and to find out how Brown undergraduates work with faculty on their research projects.
To broaden your search for faculty research at Brown, browse Banner’s course listings, or visit our Research at Brown web page, which has a database of research and researchers at Brown. Search by keywords related to topics you find interesting in The Beak of the Finch.
Albert E. Lownes Collection of the History of Science (John Hay Library)
Brown alumnus Albert E. Lownes (Class of 1920) compiled one of the three most important private collections of books on science in America. Bequeathed to Brown at his death, the Lownes Collection ranks as one of the most significant single collections ever received by the Brown University Library. Natural history is its greatest strength, although it embraces significant works in all scientific fields. Lownes defined “significant” as meaning "books that have changed the world or man's way of seeing it. Significance also meant books that I found interesting." The collection contains over three-quarters of those texts recognized by scholars as the "great books" of science published since the middle of the 15th century.
Hermon Carey Bumpus (1862-1943) was a professor of comparative anatomy at Brown and later Director of the American Museum of Natural History and President of Tufts College. While in high school, Bumpus developed an interest in horticulture adding to his already flourishing hobbies of hunting birds and collecting insects and snakes. In high school he began to think of going to college to become a naturalist, but his principal, considering his educational achievement up to that time, recommended that he work in a grocery store. The principal’s daughter, however, took an interest in Hermon and tutored him in languages, so that he was able to enter Brown in 1879.
From Brown Medicine Magazine:
Spring 2009 issue includes articles by Brown faculty and staff:
- A Shropshire Lad, by Sarah Baldwin-Beneich '87
- Wedges and Impacts: Darwin's Enduring Legacy, by Jessica H. Whiteside, Ph.D.
- Darwin's Place in History of Human Experimental Psychology and Modern Neuropharmacology, by Peter J. Snyder, Ph.D.
- This is Getting Old: Why are We Still Aging?, by Marc Tatar, Ph.D.
- God's Plan, by Kenneth R. Miller, Ph.D.
- His Own Words, The last lines of On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, by Charles Darwin