Richard Brown

Associate Professor

Dr. Richard Brown
(707) 826-3320
Wildlife Game Pens Office

Ecological maintenance of pathogens that infect wildlife, transmission ecology, ecological relevance of pathogen strain variation, tick-borne disease ecology, diseases of wild carnivores, and other topics related to wildlife diseases.


UC Davis 1996 International Medicine / Wildlife Health DVM 1996
UC Berkeley 1993 Disease Ecology / Parasitology PhD 1993
CU Boulder 1986 Population Ecology / Biology MA 1986
UC Davis 1983 Zoology BS 1983

Courses Taught

WLDF 210 - Introduction to Wildlife Conservation & Administration
WLDF 244 - Wildlife Policy & Animal Welfare
WLDF 302 - Environmental Ethics
WLDF 421 - Wildlife Management (Upland Game)
WLDF 426 - Field Trip
WLDF 450 Principles of Wildlife Diseases
WLDF 480 - Selected Topics in Wildlife Management
WLDF 485 - Senior Seminar in Wildlife Management
WLDF 495 Senior Project
WLDF 550L Advanced Topics in Wildlife Diseases Lab


I am generally interested in wildlife disease ecology and maintenance ecology of zoonotic pathogens. Current projects involve studies of the prevalence and distribution of pathogens associated with mid-size carnivores, patterns of abundance and distribution of ticks and other ectoparasites from mid-size carnivores, prevalence and distribution of different strains of the agent that causes Lyme disease, distribution of the agent that causes salmon poisoning disease in fish collected Lassen National Forest. I have conducted most of my recent field studies in the areas surrounding Hoopa, north-coastal areas of Humboldt County, and Lassen National Forest. I remain active in research, in part, to help tribal, state and federal agencies with problems related to disease ecology and wildlife management and to train students interested in wildlife disease ecology.

Prospective Graduate Students

Prospective students should have a deep desire to study the ecology of wildlife diseases. I often receive inquiries from students asking whether I’ll be considering new students for admission during the upcoming year. For the most part, that answer will be “yes.” Prior to contacting me, please review my web site and read several of my more recent publications. You should carefully consider how your own interests in wildlife ecology might parallel my interests. I plan to focus my upcoming research on the ecology of vector-borne diseases and the ecology of pathogen maintenance in carnivore communities. However, I will also consider other topics related to wildlife disease ecology.

When you contact me, please send a resume and a sample of your writing. I tend to make decisions about graduate applicants based on prior field (or other research) experience, a demonstrated passion for wildlife diseases, recommendations from other scientists who know you well or have worked directly with you, and our communications prior to my seeing the application. Of course, your GRE scores and GPA will also be carefully evaluated and higher scores are obviously more competitive. Applicants should carefully consider their own commitment to graduate school and graduate research. Graduate school is not a cake walk, and I will only consider applicants who can demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for wildlife diseases -- and who plan to work once accepted. I work closely with each of my students through all phases of their training (including proposal development, grant writing, sample collection, analysis of data, and thesis review), and I prefer to work with students who are highly motivated and enthusiastic about their work. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions about my program, projects, or your potential involvement.


  • 2009. Henn, J. B.M. W. Gabriel, R. W. Kasten, N. Brown, J. E. Koehler, K. A. MacDonald, M. D. Kittleson, W. P. Thomas, and B. B. Chomel. Infective endocarditis in a dog and the phylogenetic relationship of the associated "Bartonella rochalimae" strain with isolates from dogs, gray foxes, and a human. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 47:787-790.
  • 2009. Gabriel, M. W.N. Brown, J. E. Foley, J. M. Higley, and R. G. Botzler. Ecology of Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) in northwestern California. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 45:344-354.
  • 2009. Foley, J. E., N. C. Nieto, R. Massung, A. Barbet, J. Madigan, and N. Brown. Distinct ecologically relevant strains of Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Emerging Infectious Diseases 15:842-843.
  • 2008. Foley, J. E., S. B. Clueit, and N. Brown. Differential exposure to Anaplasma phagocytophilum in rodent species in northern California. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 8:49-55.
  • 2008. Foley, J. E., N. C. NietoJ. Adjemian, H. Dabritz, and N. BrownAnaplasma phagocytophilum infection in small mammal hosts of Ixodes ticks, western United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases 14:1147-1150.
  • 2007. Foley, J. E., R. N. BrownM. W. GabrielHenn, N. Drazenovich, R. Kasten, S. L. Green, and B. B. Chomel. Spatial analysis of the exposure of dogs in rural north-coastal California to vector-borne pathogens. Veterinary Record 161:653-657.
  • 2007. Foley, J. E., N. C. NietoS. B. Clueit, P. Foley, W. N. Nicholson, and N. Brown. Survey for zoonotic rickettsial pathogens in northern flying squirrels, Glaucomys sabrinus, in California. Journal Wildlife Diseases 43:684-689.
  • 2007. Brown, R. N., M. W. GabrielM. Wengert, S. Matthews, J. M. Higley, and J. E. Foley. Pathogens associated with fishers Pages 3-47 in Pathogens associated with fishers (Martes pennanti) and sympatric mesocarnivores in California - Final draft report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for grant # 813335G021. US Fish and Wildlife Service,Yreka, California.
  • 2007. Gabriel, M. W.G. M. Wengert, J. E. Foley, J. M. Higley, S. Matthews, and N. Brown. Pathogens associated with mesocarnivores sympatric with fishers. Pages 48-72 inPathogens associated with fishers (Martes pennanti) and sympatric mesocarnivores in California - Final draft report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for grant # 813335G021. US Fish and Wildlife Service,Yreka, California.
  • 2007. Henn, J. B.M. W. Gabriel, R. W. Kasten, N. Brown, J. H. Theis, J. E. Foley, and B. B. Chomel. Gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) as a potential reservoir of a Bartonella clarridgeiae-like bacterium and domestic dogs as sentinels for zoonotic arthropod-borne pathogens in northern California. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 45:2411-2418.
  • 2006. Baer, C. K., D. S. Miller, N. Brown, and M. L. Drew (editors). Guidelines on euthanasia of non-domestic animals: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. 111 pp.
  • 2006. Barbet, A. F., A. M. Lundgren, R. Alleman, S. Stuen, A. Bjöersdorff, N. Brown, N. L. Drazenovich, and J. E. Foley. Structure of the expression site reveals extensive global diversity in MSP2/P44 variants of Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Infection and Immunity 74: 6429-6437.
  • 2006. Brown, R. N. Summary of methods for the euthanasia of wild and exotic vertebrates in Guidelines on euthanasia of non-domestic animals. C. K. Baer, D. S. Miller, M. L. Drew, and N. Brown (editors), American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, pp. 95-107.
  • 2006. Brown, R. N.M. W. GabrielWengert, S. Matthews, J. M. Higley, and J. E. Foley. Fecally transmitted pathogens associated with Pacific fishers (Martes pennanti) in northwestern California. Transactions of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society 42: 40-46.
  • 2006. Brown, R. N.A. Peot, and R. S. Lane. Sylvatic maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi(Spirochaetales) in northern California: untangling the web of transmission. Journal of Medical Entomology 43: 743-751.
  • 2006. Drazenovich, N., J. Foley, and N. Brown. Use of real-time quantitative PCR targeting the msp2 protein gene to identify cryptic Anaplasma phagocytophilum infections in wildlife and domestic animals. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Diseases 6: 83-90.
  • Brown, R. N., R. S. Lane, and D. T. Dennis. Geographic distributions of tick-borne diseases and their vectors, in Tick-borne diseases of humans. J. Goodman, D. T. Dennis, and D. Sonenshine (editors), ASM Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 363-391.
  • 2005. Steele, C. M.N. Brown, and R. G. Botzler. Prevalences of zoonotic bacteria among seabirds in rehabilitation centers along the Pacific Coast of California and Washington, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 41: 735-744.
  • 2004. Foley, J. E., P. Foley, N. Brown, R. S. Lane, J. S. Dumler, and J. E. Madigan. Ecology of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in the western United States. Journal of Vector Ecology 29: 41-50.
  • Brown, R. N., and E. C. Burgess. Lyme borreliosis, in Infectious Diseases of Wild Mammals, 3rd edition. E. T. Thorne, E. S. Williams, and I. K. Barker (editors), Iowa State Press, Ames, pp. 435-454.
  • Brown, R. N., and R. S. Lane. Reservoir competence of four chaparral-dwelling rodents for Borrelia burgdorferi in California. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 54: 84-91.
  • 1996. Keirans, J. E., N. Brown, and R. S. Lane. Ixodes (Ixodes) jellisoni and I. (I.) neotomae(Acari: Ixodidae): descriptions of the immature stages from California. Journal of Medical Entomology 33: 319-327.
  • Brown, R. N. Conspecificity of two American vectors of the agent of Lyme disease. Parasitology Today 10: 334-335.
  • Brown, R. N., and R. S. Lane. Natural and experimental Borrelia burgdorferi infections in woodrats and deer mice from California. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 30: 389-398.
  • 1994. Lane, R. S., N. Brown, J. Piesman, and C. A. Peavey. Vector competence of Ixodes pacificus and Dermacentor occidentalis (Acari: Ixodidae) for various isolates of Lyme disease spirochetes. Journal of Medical Entomology 31: 417-424.
  • Brown, R. N. Reservoirs and the enzootic maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi in California: involvement of dusky-footed woodrats and their associated ticks. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
  • 1993. Zingg, B. C.N. Brown, R. S. Lane, and R. B. Lefebvre. Genetic diversity among Borrelia burgdorferi isolates from wood rats and kangaroo rats in California. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 31: 3109-3114.
  • 1992. Boyce, W. M., N. Brown, B. C. Zingg, R. B. Lefebvre, and R. S. Lane. First isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi in southern California. Journal of Medical Entomology 29: 496-500.
  • Brown, R. N., and R. S. Lane. Lyme disease in California: a novel enzootic transmission cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi. Science 256: 1439-1442.
  • 1991. Boyce, W. M., and R. N. Brown. Antigenic characterization of Psoroptes(Acari: Psoroptidae) mites from different hosts. Journal of Parasitology 77: 675-679.
  • 1991. Lane, R. S., and N. Brown. Wood rats and kangaroo rats: potential reservoirs of the Lyme disease spirochete in California. Journal of Medical Entomology 28: 299-302.
  • Brown, R. N., C. H. Southwick, and S. C. Golian. Male-female spacing, territorial replacement, and the mating system of pikas (Ochotona princeps). Journal of Mammalogy 70: 622-627.
  • Brown, R. N. Recruitment, survivorship, and the spacing system of pikas (Ochotona princeps). M.A. thesis, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • 1986. Southwick, C. H., S. C. Golian, M. R. Whitworth, J. C. Halfpenny, and Brown. Population density and fluctuations of pikas (Ochotona princeps). Journal of Mammalogy 67: 149-153.