Publications and Bio


  • Ph.D. 1986 Northern Arizona University
    Major: Zoology-Ecology; Advisor – Russell P. Balda
  • M.S. 1979 University of Missouri-Columbia
    Major: Wildlife Ecology; Advisor – William H. Elder
  • B.S. 1975 University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    Major: Wildlife Biology

Positions Held:

University of Illinois: Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick Professor in Sustainability – 2020 to 2022 (Emeritus as of 7/22)

University of Illinois: Professor and Head,  Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences – 2009 to 2020

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute: Research Associate – 2010 to present.

Center for Tropical Research, University of California at Los Angeles : Senior Research Fellow – 2005 to present.

University of Illinois: Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and Department of Animal Biology –  2006 -2009.

University of Illinois: Director, Program Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology – 2002 to 2009.

University of Illinois: Associate Professor, Department Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (75% appointment) and Department of Animal Biology (25% appointment) – 2002 to 2006.

Illinois Natural History Survey: Professional Scientist – 1999 to 2002.

Illinois Natural History Survey: Associate Director, Center for Wildlife Ecology – 1998 to 2002.

Illinois Natural History Survey: Associate Professional Scientist – 1995 to 1999.

Illinois Natural History Survey: Assistant Professional Scientist – 1991 to 1995.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Postdoctoral Research Associate – 1990 to 1991.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute: Statistical Consultant and Analyst for Panama Oil Spill Project and Tropical Paleoecology Project- 1989 to 1992.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute: Postdoctoral Fellow – 1989 to1990.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute: Visiting Scientist / Postdoctoral Fellow – 1986 to 1988.

Selected Publications:

Pollock, H.S., J.D. Toms, C.E. Tarwater, T.J. Benson, J.R. Karr & J.D. Brawn. 2022. Long-term monitoring reveals widespread and severe declines of understory birds in a protected Neotropical forest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tobias, J.A. et. al. (115 authors). 2022.  AVONET: morphological, ecological and geographical data for all birds.  Ecology Letters 25:581-597.

Boyle, W.A., E.H. Shogren,& J.D. Brawn.  2020.  Hygric niches for tropical endotherms.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 35: 938-952.

Pollock, H.S., T.M. Jones, C.E. Tarwater, E.T. Nishikawa, & J.D. Brawn. 2020. Rapid colonization and turnover of birds in a tropical forest treefall gap. Journal of Field Ornithology 91: 107-117.

Jones, T.M., L. Merrill, S.E. Zachar, J.D Brawn, & M.P. Ward. 2019. Haemosporidian parasite infections in the Dickcissel (Spiza Americana): prevalence and costs.   Journal of Parasitology 105:232-236.

Brawn, J.D. 2017. Implications of agricultural development for tropical biodiversity. Tropical Conservation Science 10:1-4.

Brawn, J.D., T.J. Benson, M. Stager, N.D. Sly, & C.E. Tarwater.  2016.  Impacts of changing rainfall regime on the demography of tropical birds.  Nature Climate Change 7:133-137.  

Jones, T.M., M.P. Ward, T.J. Benson and J.D. Brawn. 2016. Variation in nestling body condition and wing development predict cause-specific mortality in fledgling Dickcissels. Journal of Avian Biology 48:439-447.

Stager, M., H. Pollock, P. Benham, N. Sly, J.D. Brawn, & Z. Cheviron. 2016. Disentangling environmental drivers of metabolic flexibility in birds: the importance of temperature extremes versus temperature variability. Ecography 39:787-795.

Andrews, J.E., J.D. Brawn, & M.P. Ward. 2015. When to use social cues: conspecific attraction at newly created grasslands. Condor 117:297-305.

Krebs, B.L., T.K. Anderson, T.L. Goldberg, G.L. Hamer, U.D. Kitron, C.M. Newman,  M.O. Ruiz, E.D. Walker & J.D. Brawn. 2014.  Host social behavior decreases exposure to vector-borne disease: a field experiment in a “hotspot” of West Nile virus transmission. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 281

Pollock, H.S., Z.A Cheviron, T.J. Agin & J.D. Brawn.  2014.  Microclimate associations of insectivorous birds in the neotropical forest understory in central Panama.  Biological Conservation 188:116-125.

Ricklefs, R.E. & J. J. Brawn. 2013.  Nest attentiveness in several Neotropical suboscine passerine birds with long incubation periods.  Journal of Ornithology 154:145-154. 

Tarwater, C.E., R.E. Ricklefs, J.D. Maddox & J.D. Brawn.  2011.  Pre-reproductive survival in a tropical bird and its implications for avian life histories. Ecology 92:1271-1281.

Styrsky, J.N. and J.D. Brawn.  2011.  Annual fecundity of a neotropical species during years of high and low rainfall.  Condor  113:194-199.

Brawn, J.D., G. Angehr, N. Davros, C.E. Tarwater, W.D. Robinson, & J.N. Styrsky.  2011.  Sources of variation in the nesting success of understory tropical birds.  Journal of Avian Biology 41:61-68.

Tarwater, C. E., and J.D. Brawn.  2010.  Family living in a neotropical bird: variation in timing of dispersal and higher survival for delayed dispersers. Animal Behaviour 80:535-542.

McCusker, C.E., M.P. Ward & J.D. Brawn.  2010.  Seasonal responses of avian communities to invasive bush honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)  Biological Invasions 12:2459-2470.

Hau, M., R.E. Ricklefs, M. Wikelski, K.A. Lee, & J.D. Brawn.  2010.  Corticosterone, testosterone, and life-history strategies of birds.  Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 277:3 203-3212.   

Tarwater, C.E. and J.D. Brawn.  2010.  The post-feldging period in a tropical bird: patterns of parental care and survival.  Journal of Avian Biology 41:479-487.

Amore, G., L. Bertolotti, G.L. Hamer, U.D. Kitron, E.D. Walker, M.O. Ruiz, J.D. Brawn, & T.L. Goldberg. 2010.  Multi-year evolutionary dynamics of West Nile virus in suburban Chicago, USA, 2005–2007.  Philosophical Transactions Royal Society Series B  27 365:1871-1878.

Loss, S.R., M.O. Ruiz, & J.D. Brawn.  2009.  Relationships between avian diversity, neighborhood age, income, and environmental characteristics of an urban landscape.  Biological Conservation 142:2576-2585.

Tarwater, C.E. & J. D. Brawn.  2008.  Patterns of brood division and an absence of behavioral plasticity in a neotropical passerine. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62:1441-1452.

Brawn, J.D.  2006.  Effects of restoring oak savannas on bird communities and populations.  Conservation Biology 20:460-469.

Styrsky, J.N., Brawn J.D. & S. K. Robinson.  2005.  Juvenile mortality increases with clutch size  in a neotropical bird.  Ecology 86:3238-3244.

Van Bael, S, J.D. Brawn, & S.K. Robinson.  2003.  Birds defend trees from herbivores in a Neotropical forest canopy.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 100:8304-8307.

Williams, B.L. J.D. Brawn, & K.N. Paige.  2003.  Landscape scale genetic effects of habitat fragmentation on a high gene flow species: Speyeria idalia (Nymphalidae).  Molecular Ecology 12:11-20.

Brawn, J.D., S.K. Robinson, & F.R. Thompson, III. 2001. The role of disturbance in the ecology and conservation of birds. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 32:251-276.

Westemeier, R.L., J.D. Brawn, et al. (seven additional authors). 1998. Tracking the long-term decline and recovery of an isolated population. Science 282:1695-1698.