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Adam Oliver Brown PhD - Associate

Adam Oliver Brown PhD - Associate
Contact Information

Biology Department / Département de biologie
University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa
30 Marie Curie, P.O. Box 450, Station A
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5 Canada

613-562-5800 x6308
Email address: 
abrown [at]

Dr. Adam Oliver Brown is an award-winning science educator with an expertise in the ecology of plant-pollinator interactions and a background in the arts.  He is a professor of science education and science communication in the Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa.  He has recently been awarded the distinction of becoming uOttawa’s first ever cross-appointed professor from Science to the Faculty of Education.  His passion for science and nature has led to innovative curriculum and pedagogy to improve upon the teaching and learning of science at the undergraduate level, and his research has led to high-impact publications in science education journals.  Dr. Brown has also infused his teaching with skill development in science communication and in 2013 was the creator of Canada’s first undergraduate science course devoted exclusively to The Public Communication of Science in both English and French at the University of Ottawa (SCI3101/SCI3501).

Having grown up in a house full of performing and visual artists, Adam is the white sheep in his family of black sheep and yet proudly shows his shades of grey. It may come as no surprise then that he loves to engage public audiences in a thrilling ride of science and nature through his various media activities on kids science TV shows, prime-time nature documentaries or by chatting with reporters on radio or TV.  In 2016, clips from Adam’s TEDx talk were featured prominently on a Netflix documentary Chelsea Does and was seen by millions of people around the world.

Adam Oliver Brown is also an accomplished visual and performing artist.  He has performed in clubs, theatres and festivals around the world to thousands of audience members.  You may peruse some of his artistic activities here. 

Some Recent Science Education and Science Communication to the Public

2017: Brown, A.O. Alternative Medicine and Science vs. Pseudoscience.  Pierre-Savard Catholic High School, Ottawa, Ontario through the Experts Virtuels program.  Talk given in French.

2017: Brown, A.O. The Art of Science and the Science of Art. Last Lecture conference, Science Student’s Association, University of Ottawa.

2017: Brown, A.O. Using scaffolds to inspire a meaningful learning of science.  Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa.

2016: Brown, A.O. The principles and practices of communicating science to the public.  Online webinar for Evidence for Democracy.

2016: Brown, A.O. Skill development in the public communication of science for undergraduates. Connecting Young Minds undergraduate conference.  University of Ottawa.

2015:  Brown, A.O. Ayahuasca – psychedelic brain chemistry.  Invited speaker in the ‘Chemistry and the Public’ session of the annual meeting for the Canadian Society of Chemistry, Ottawa, Ont.

2015: Brown, A.O. Communication: the indispensable link between scientists and society.  Last Lecture conference, Science Student’s Association, University of Ottawa.

2014: Brown, A.O. Sex and the Human Animal.  Science, Technology and Society speakers series, Science Student’s Association, University of Ottawa.

2013: Brown, A.O. Ayahuasca: Visions of Jungle Medicine. TEDx Ottawa. 

TV and Other Media

2015: Producer and host of educational video on the timescale of evolution of biodiversity on earth.  You may view the video ‘Tracking Life’ here. This video has been hosted on the website of Richard Dawkins Foundation’s Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science.

2015: Producer/director for a series of video blogs on the sustainability initiatives at the University of Ottawa.  You may view the episodes on our Green Scene Youtube channel.

2015: Guest expert on Love Nature Channel series on Animal Behaviour called Attack and Defend.  The first scene on the Red-Eyed Tree Frog can be viewed here.

2015: Guest expert on Love Nature Channel series on Animal Behaviour called Mysteries of Evolution.  The first scene on helping behaviour in bees can be viewed here.

2013: Guest panelist on TVO talk show The Agenda with Steve Paikin on the topic of “Silencing Science in Canada”. 

2013: Guest expert on the TV series The Prime Radicals a science program for children for TVOkids.

2012: Scientific advisor and guest-host for for the TV series Finding Stuff Out (season 2), a science program for children on TVOkids. Click here to view my scenes from this episode on plants.

2011: Scientific advisor and guest-host for Finding Stuff Out for TVOkids. You may watch my episode on ‘Oceans’ on the TVOkids website or preview my segment.

2010: Scientific advisor and host (cut) for the “Jungle Prescription” episode of The Nature of Things on Ayahuasca for CBC television. Click here to watch the episode.

For Dr. Brown's full CV: 

For more information on Dr. Brown and his research, please visit his website.

Adam's favourite 3 articles
1. The Spice of Life

2. You’re sweet, honey, but I’ve got others on my mind

3. To Know or Not to Know: That is the NFL's Question

You can see all of the articles by Adam here!



Courses currently taught at the University of Ottawa

BIO1300 The Human Animal
BIO2135/2535 Animal Form and Function (in both English and French)
BIO3176 Animal Behaviour
BIO4101/4501 Pesticides and the Environment (in both English and French)

Other courses recently taught

BIO1530 Organismal Biology (in French)
BIO3517 Ecosystem Ecology (in French)
BIO4111 Plant-Animal Interactions (created by Dr. Brown in 2009)

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

2012: Nominated for a Capital Educators’ Award, Ottawa.
2004: “Star Teacher” award from the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Laval University.

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