Faculty Picture

Shawn P. Brown, PhD

Assistant Professor

335 Life Sciences
Office Hours
By Appointment

About Dr. Brown

Dr. Brown's research focuses on cross-domain microbial ecology with specific attention paid to the mechanisms of community assembly. Cross-domain microbial ecology included the integration of all microbes (fungal, bacterial, archaeal, algal, and other microorganisms) into ecological studies. Microbes are incredibly important drivers of ecosystem processes and play very influential roles in driving macro-ecological patterns and interactions. Dr. Brown's research combines traditional ecological measures with Next-Generation sequencing (NGS) to elucidate host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions.

Research Interests

  • Microbial Community Assembly
  • Optimization of NGS library generation and sequence analysis
  • Alpine and Nival Microbiology
  • Plant-Endophyte interactions


B.S Biology – University of Oregon; PhD Biology – Kansas State University; Postdoc – University of Illinois; Postdoc – Oregon State University

Recent Publications

  • Veach, A.M., Stegen, J., Brown, S.P., Dodds, W.K., and A. Jumpponen (2016) Spatial and successional dynamics of microbial biofilm communities in a grassland stream ecosystem. Molecular Ecology 25: 4674-4688.
  • Brown, S.P., Ungerer, M.C. and A. Jumpponen. (2016) A community of clones: snow algae are diverse communities of spatially structured clones. International Journal of Plant Sciences 177: 432-439.
  • Brown, S.P., A. Ferrer, J. Dalling, and K.D. Heath. (2016) Don't put all your eggs in one basket: a cost-effective and powerful method to optimize primer choice for rRNA environmental community analyses using the Fluidigm Access Array. Molecular Ecology Resources 16: 946-956.
  • Brown, S.P. and A. Jumpponen. (2015) Phylogenetic diversity analyses reveal disparity between fungal and bacterial communities during microbial primary succession. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 89: 52-60.
  • Brown, S.P., Olson, B.J.S.C., and A. Jumpponen (2015) Fungi and algae co-occur in snow: an issue of shared habitat of algal facilitation of heterotrophs? Alpine, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 47: 729-749.
  • Oliver, A.K., Brown, S.P., Callaham Jr., M.A., and A. Jumpponen (2015) Polymerase matters: non-proofreading enzymes inflate richness estimates by up to 15%. Fungal Ecology 15: 86-89.
  • Brown, S.P., Veach, A.M., Rigdon-Huss, A.R., Grond, K., Lickteig, S.K., Lothamer, K., Oliver, A.K., and A. Jumpponen (2015) Scraping the bottom of the barrel: are rare high-throughput sequences artifacts? Fungal Ecology 13: 221-225.
  • Brown, S. P. and A. Jumpponen (2014) Contrasting primary successional trajectories of fungi and bacteria in retreating glacier soils. Molecular Ecology 23: 481-497.
  • Brown, S. P., Callaham Jr, M.A., Oliver, A.K. and A. Jumpponen (2013) Deep Ion Torrent sequencing identifies soil fungal community shifts after frequent prescribed fires in a southeastern US forest ecosystem. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 86(3): 557-566
  • Jumpponen, A., Brown, S.P., Trappe, J.M., Cázares, E., and R. Strömmer (2012) Twenty years of research on fungal-plant interactions on Lyman Glacier forefront – lessons learned and questions yet unanswered. Fungal Ecology 5(4): 430-442.