Dr Kerry Brown


I am an Associate Professor at Kingston University. I received my BSc in Biology from Howard University (Washington, DC). I then went on to complete my MSc in Applied Ecology and PhD in Ecology and Evolution, both in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University (New York). My dissertation research investigated the multi-scale effects of plant invasions in tropical forests in Puerto Rico. From 2004 - 2008, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship (Columbia University Science Fellow) at Columbia University in New York City. I am a plant ecologist and conservation biologist. My research integrates ecological data from small to large spatial scales to assess how global environmental change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function. My research is conducted in tropical (forests of Madagascar and Puerto Rico) and temperate ecosystems (UK and Spanish peatlands). 

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor


  • PhD
  • MSc
  • BSc
  • FHEA

Teaching and learning

My teaching focuses on ecology and conservation. I am also responsible for teaching statistics in the Department, from first-year to MSc.


GG4002 - Introduction to Environmental Science

GG4004 - Research & Fieldwork Methods

GG5180 - Biodiversity Conservation

GG5400 - Design & Management of Projects

GG7050 - Research Methods & Techniques

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


1) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: I investigate the extent to which changes in biodiversity, including changes in plant functional trait composition can significantly alter dynamics of natural ecosystems (e.g., fens, tropical forests), and in turn, whether these ecosystems are able to deliver key ecosystem services (e.g., biodiversity, carbon storage). 

2) Biodiversity: Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence, forest-dwelling communities in tropical developing countries. My research seeks to understand the extent to which global change drivers impact biodiversity. My research leverages ecological understanding of taxonomic diversity and functional components of plant assemblages.

3) Spatial predictive models: I investigate the effects of environmental change on biodiversity--across small and large spatial scales--using species distribution models and various other modelling techniques. My current research in this area focuses on modelling species range shift, with a view to better understanding how climate change and deforestation interact to drive species' distributions.  

Nature-based Solutions (NbS): I investigate barriers to implementing NbS for climate change adaptation and mitigation in urban and peri-urban environments. There are substantial knowledge gaps in our understanding of people's perception of NbS initiatives, leading to discrepancies in behaviours toward climate mitigation and adaptation policy. I work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to understand motors and drivers of NbS implementation.

Selected Funding

Cascading impacts of landscape structure on forest regeneration. PI: Onja Razafindratsima, Co-PIs: Kerry Brown & Steig Johnson. NSF. 2024-2028.

The Abundance Project: enhancing cultural and green inclusion to address racial and ethnic inequalities in mental health. PIs: Maria Chatzichristodoulou & Tushna Vandrevala. Co-Is: Kerry Brown, Meg Jensen, Peter Garside, Kerry Brown, Chris Tang. AHRC. 2024-2027.

Linking plant functional traits with palaeoecological proxies in peatland habitats. Co-Is: Lourdes López-Merino and Antonio Martínez Cortizas. The Royal Society. 2020-2022.

Ecosystem services from High Nature Value farmland (HNVf) in southwestern Europe. Co-PIs, Fabio Carvalho & Peter Hooda. H2020. 2018-2019.

Areas of specialism

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function
  • Tropical plant ecology
  • Climate and Land-use change driven range shift

Scholarly affiliations

  • British Ecological Society (BES)

Research student supervision


Number of items: 31.


Deosaran, Rishi, Carvalho, Fabio, Nunes, Alice, Köbel, Melanie, Serafim, João, Hooda, Peter S., Waller, Martyn, Branquinho, Cristina and Brown, Kerry A. (2024) Response of soil carbon and plant diversity to grazing and precipitation in High Nature Value farmlands. Forest Ecology and Management, 555, p. 121734. ISSN (print) 0378-1127

Collins, Rebecca M., Smith, Dianna, Ogutu, Booker O., Brown, Kerry A., Eigenbrod, Felix and Spake, Rebecca (2023) The relative effects of access to public greenspace and private gardens on mental health. Landscape and Urban Planning, 240, p. 104902. ISSN (print) 0169-2046

Brown, Kerry A., Bunting, M. Jane, Carvalho, Fabio, de Bello, Francesco, Mander, Luke, Marcisz, Katarzyna, Mottl, Ondrej, Reitalu, Triin and Svenning, Jens-Christian (2023) Trait-based approaches as ecological time machines : developing tools for reconstructing long-term variation in ecosystems. Functional Ecology, ISSN (print) 0269-8463 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Borgerson, Cortni, Johnson, Steig E., Hall, Emma, Brown, Kerry A., Narváez-Torres, Pamela R., Rasolofoniaina, Be Jean Rodolph, Razafindrapaoly, Be Noel, Merson, Samuel D., Thompson, Katharine E. T., Holmes, Sheila M., Louis Jr, Edward E. and Golden, Christopher D. (2022) A national-level assessment of lemur hunting pressure in Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology, 43, pp. 92-113. ISSN (print) 0164-0291

Guillemot, Joannès, Martin‐StPaul, Nicolas K., Bulascoschi, Leticia, Poorter, Lourens, Morin, Xavier, Pinho, Bruno X., Maire, Guerric, Bittencourt, Paulo, Oliveira, Rafael S., Bongers, Frans, Brouwer, Rens, Pereira, Luciano, Melo, German Andrés Gonzalez, Boonman, Coline C. F., Brown, Kerry A., Cerabolini, Bruno E.L., Niinemets, Ülo, Onoda, Yusuke, Schneider, Julio V., Sheremetiev, Serge and Brancalion, Pedro H.S. (2022) Small and slow is safe : on the drought tolerance of tropical tree species. Global Change Biology, 28(8), pp. 2622-2638. ISSN (print) 1354-1013

Díaz, Sandra, Kattge, Jens, Cornelissen, Johannes H. C., Wright, Ian J., Lavorel, Sandra, Dray, Stéphane, Reu, Björn, Kleyer, Michael, Wirth, Christian, Prentice, Colin, Garnier, Eric, Bönisch, Gerhard, Westoby, Mark, Poorter, Hendrik, Reich, Peter B., Moles, Angela T., Dickie, John, Zanne, Amy E., Chave, Jérôme, Wright, S. Joseph, Sheremetiev, Serge N., Jactel, Hervé, Baraloto, Christopher, Cerabolini, Bruno E.L., Pierce, Simon, Shipley, Bill, Casanoves, Fernando, Joswig, Julia S., Günther, Angela, Falczuk, Valeria, Rüger, Nadja, Mahecha, Miguel D., Gorné, Lucas D., Amiaud, Bernard, Atkin, Owen, Bahn, Michael, Baldocchi, Dennis, Beckmann, Michael, Blonder, Benjamin, Bond, William, Bond-Lamberty, Ben, Brown, Kerry, Burrascano, Sabina, Byun, Chaeho, Campetella, Giandiego, Cavender-Bares, Jeannine, Chapin III, F. Stuart, Choat, Brendan, Coomes, David Anthony, Cornwell, William K, Craine, Joseph, Craven, Dylan, Dainese, Matteo, Carioca de Araujo, Alessandro, de Vries, Franciska T., Ferreira Domingues, Tomas, Enquist, Brian J., Fagúndez, Jaime, Fang, Jingyun, Fernández-Méndez, Fernando, Fernandez-Piedade, Maria T., Ford, Henry, Forey, Estelle, Freschet, Gregoire T., Gachet, Sophie, Gallagher, Rachael, Green, Walton, Guerin, Greg R., Gutiérrez, Alvaro G., Harrison, Sandy P, Hattingh, Wesley Neil, He, Tianhua, Hickler, Thomas, Higgins, Steven I., Higuchi, Pedro, Ilic, Jugo, Jackson, Robert B., Jalili, Adel, Jansen, Steven, Koike, Fumito, König, Christian, Kraft, Nathan, Kramer, Koen, Kreft, Holger, Kühn, Ingolf, Kurokawa, Hiroko, Lamb, Eric G., Laughlin, Daniel C, Leishman, Michelle, Lewis, Simon, Louault, Frédérique, Malhado, Ana C. M., Manning, Peter, Meir, Patrick, Mencuccini, Maurizio, Messier, Julie, Miller, Regis, Minden, Vanessa, Molofsky, Jane, Montgomery, Rebecca, Montserrat-Martí, Gabriel, Moretti, Marco, Müller, Sandra, Niinemets, Ülo, Ogaya, Romà, Öllerer, Kinga, Onipchenko, Vladimir, Onoda, Yusuke, Ozinga, Wim A., Pausas, Juli G., Peco, Begoña, Penuelas, Josep, Pillar, Valério D., Pladevall, Clara, Römermann, Christine, Sack, Lawren, Salinas, Norma, Sandel, Brody, Sardans, Jordi, Schamp, Brandon, Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael, Schulze, Ernst-Detlef, Schweingruber, Fritz, Shiodera, Satomi, Sosinski, Ênio, Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda, Spasojevic, Marko J., Swaine, Emily, Swenson, Nathan, Tautenhahn, Susanne, Thompson, Ken, Totte, Alexia, Urrutia, Rocío, Valladares, Fernando, van Bodegom, Peter, Vasseur, François, Verheyen, Kris, Vile, Denis, Violle, Cyrille, von Holle, Betsy, Weigelt, Patrick, Weiher, Evan, Wiemann, Michael C., Williams, Mathew, Wright, Justin and Zotz, Gerhard (2022) The global spectrum of plant form and function : enhanced species-level trait dataset. Scientific Data, 9, p. 755. ISSN (online) 2052-4463

Yesuf, Gabriel U., Brown, Kerry A., Walford, Nigel S., Rakotoarisoa, Solofo E. and Rufino, Mariana C. (2021) Predicting range shifts for critically endangered plants : is habitat connectivity irrelevant or necessary? Biological Conservation, 256, p. 109033. ISSN (print) 0006-3207

Collins, Rebecca M., Spake, Rebecca, Brown, Kerry A., Ogutu, Booker O., Smith, Dianna and Eigenbrod, Felix (2020) A systematic map of research exploring the effect of greenspace on mental health. Landscape and Urban Planning, 201, p. 103823. ISSN (print) 0169-2046

Carvalho, Fabio, Brown, Kerry A., Waller, Martyn P., Razafindratsima, Onja H. and Boom, Arnoud (2020) Changes in functional, phylogenetic and taxonomic diversities of lowland fens under different vegetation and disturbance levels. Plant Ecology, 221, pp. 441-457. ISSN (print) 1385-0237

Carvalho, Fabio, Brown, Kerry A, Gordon, Adam D, Yesuf, Gabriel U, Raherilalao, Marie Jeanne, Raselimanana, Achille P, Soarimalala, Voahangy and Goodman, Steven M (2020) Methods for prioritizing protected areas using individual and aggregate rankings. Environmental Conservation, 47(2), pp. 113-122. ISSN (print) 0376-8929

Kattge, Jens, Bonisch, Gerhard, Diaz, Sandra, Lavorel, Sandra, Prentice, Ian C., Leadley, Paul, Tautenhahn, Susanne, Werner, Gijsbert, ..., Brown, Kerry, ..., Waller, Martyn, ... and Wirth, Christian (2020) TRY plant trait database : enhanced coverage and open access. Global Change Biology, 26(1), pp. 119-188. ISSN (print) 1354-1013

Yesuf, Gabriel, Brown, Kerry A. and Walford, Nigel (2019) Assessing regional-scale variability in deforestation and forest degradation rates in a tropical biodiversity hotspot. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 5(4), pp. 346-359. ISSN (online) 2056-3485

Carvalho, Fabio, Brown, Kerry A., Waller, Martyn and Boom, Arnoud (2019) Leaf traits interact with management and water table to modulate ecosystem properties in fen peatlands. Plant and Soil, 441(1-2), pp. 331-347. ISSN (print) 0032-079X

Carvalho, Fabio, Brown, Kerry A., Waller, Martyn P., Bunting, M. Jane, Boom, Arnoud and Leng, Melanie J. (2019) A method for reconstructing temporal changes in vegetation functional trait composition using Holocene pollen assemblages. PLoS ONE, 14(5), e0216698. ISSN (online) 1932-6203

Razafindratsima, Onja H., Brown, Kerry A., Carvalho, Fabio, Johnson, Steig E., Wright, Patricia C. and Dunham, Amy E. (2018) Edge effects on components of diversity and above-ground biomass in a tropical rainforest. Journal Of Applied Ecology, 55(249), pp. 977-985. ISSN (print) 0021-8901

Butler, Ethan E., Datta, Abhirup, Flores-Moreno, Habacuc, Chen, Ming, Wythers, Kirk R., Fazayeli, Farideh, Banerjee, Arindam, Atkin, Owen K., Kattge, Jens, Amiaud, Bernard, Blonder, Benjamin, Boenisch, Gerhard, Bond-Lamberty, Ben, Brown, Kerry A., Byun, Chaeho, Campetella, Giandiego, Cerabolini, Bruno E.L., Cornelissen, Johannes H.C., Craine, Joseph M., Craven, Dylan, de Vries, Franciska T., Diaz, Sandra, Domingues, Tomas, Forey, Estelle, Gonzalez, Andres, Gross, Nicolas, Han, Wenxuan, Hattingh, Wesley N., Hickler, Thomas, Jansen, Steven, Kramer, Koen, Kraft, Nathan J.B., Kurokawa, Hiroko, Laughlin, Daniel C., Meir, Patrick, Minden, Vanessa, Niinemets, Ulo, Onoda, Yusuke, Penuelas, Josep, Read, Quentin, Valladares Ros, Fernando, Sack, Lawren, Schamp, Brandon, Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A., Spasojevic, Marko J., Sosinski, Enio, Thornton, Peter, van Bodegom, Peter M., Williams, Matthew, Wirth, Christian and Reich, Peter B. (2017) Mapping local and global variability in plant trait distributions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(51), E10937-E10946. ISSN (print) 0027-8424

Waller, Martyn, Carvalho Gomes Da Silva, Fabio, Grant, Michael J., Bunting, M. Jane and Brown, Kerry (2017) Disentangling the pollen signal from fen systems : modern and Holocene studies from southern and eastern England. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 238, pp. 15-33. ISSN (print) 0034-6667

Brown, Kerry, Farris, Zach J., Yesuf, Gabriel, Gerber, Brian D., Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa, Karpanty, Sarah, Kelly, Marcella, Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude, Larney, Eileen, Wright, Patricia and Johnson, Steig E. (2016) Modeling co-occurrence between toxic prey and naive predators in an incipient invasion. Biodiversity and Conservation, 25(13), pp. 2723-2741. ISSN (print) 0960-3115

Johnson, Steig E., Delmore, Kira E., Brown, Kerry A., Wyman, Tracy M. and Louis, Edward E. (2016) Niche divergence in a brown lemur (' Eulemur ' spp.) hybrid zone : using ecological niche models to test models of stability. International Journal of Primatology, 37(1), pp. 69-88. ISSN (print) 0164-0291

Brown, Kerry A, Parks, Katherine E, Bethell, Colin, Johnson, Steig E and Mulligan, Mark (2015) Predicting plant diversity patterns in Madagascar : understanding the effects of climate and land cover change in a biodiversity hotspot. PloS one, 10(4), e0122721. ISSN (online) 1932-6203

Brown, Kerry A., Johnson, Steig E., Parks, Katherine E., Holmes, Sheila M., Ivoandry, Tonisoa, Abram, Nicola K., Delmore, Kira E., Ludovic, Reza, Andriamaharoa, Hubert E., Wyman, Tracy M. and Wright, Patricia C. (2013) Use of provisioning ecosystem services drives loss of functional traits across land use intensification gradients in tropical forests in Madagascar. Biological Conservation, 161(May), pp. 118-127. ISSN (print) 0006-3207

Hitt, Steven, Pittman, Simon J. and Brown, Kerry A. (2011) Tracking and mapping sun-synchronous migrations and diel space use patterns of Haemulon sciurus and Lutjanus apodus in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 92(4), pp. 525-538. ISSN (print) 0378-1909

Brown, Kerry A., Flynn, Dan F. B., Abram, Nicola K., Ingram, J. Carter, Johnson, Steig E. and Wright, Patricia (2011) Assessing natural resource use by forest-reliant communities in Madagascar using functional diversity and functional redundancy metrics. PloS one, 6(9), e24107. ISSN (online) 1932-6203

Pittman, Simon J. and Brown, Kerry (2011) Multi-Scale approach for predicting fish species distributions across coral reef seascapes. PLoS Biology, 6(5), e20583. ISSN (print) 1544-9173

Brown, Kerry, Carter Ingram, J., Flynn, Dan F.B., Razafindrazaka, Rova and Jeannoda, Vololoniaina (2009) Protected Area Safeguard Tree and Shrub Communities from Degradation and Invasion: A Case Study in Eastern Madagascar. Environmental Management, 44(1), pp. 136-148. ISSN (print) 0364-152X

Brown, Kerry, Spector, Sacha and Wei, Wu (2008) Multi-scale analysis of species introductions: combining landscape and demographic models to improve management decisions about non-native species. Journal Of Applied Ecology, 45(6), pp. 1639-1648. ISSN (print) 0021-8901

Brown, Kerry, Scatena, F.N. and Gurevitch, Jessica (2006) Effects of an invasive tree on community structure and diversity in a tropical forest in Puerto Rico. Forest Ecology and Management, 226(1-3), pp. 145-152. ISSN (print) 0378-1127

Brown, Kerry and Gurevitch, Jessica (2004) Long-term impacts of logging on forest diversity in Madagascar. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) ISSN 1091-6490, 101(16), pp. 6045-6049. ISSN (online) 1091-6490

Hyatt, Laura, Rosenberg, Michael, Howard, Timothy, Bole, Gregory, Fang, Wei, Anastasia, J.A., Brown, Kerry, Grella, Rebecca, Hinman, Katherine, Kurdziel, J.A. and Gurevitch, Jessica (2003) The distance dependence prediction of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis: a meta-analysis. Oikos, 103(3), pp. 590-602. ISSN (print) 0030-1299

Book Section

Brown, Kerry A., Gordon, Adam, Carvalho, Fabio and Yesuf, Gabriel (2018) Madagascar protected area prioritization : a road map for conservation. In: Goodman, Steven M. , Raherilalao, Marie Jeanne and Wohlhauser, Sebastien, (eds.) The terrestrial protected areas of Madagascar: their history, description, and biota. Antananarivo, Madagascar : Association Vahatra. pp. 1693-1705. ISBN 9782953892390

Johnson, Steig E. and Brown, Kerry A. (2018) The specialist capuchin? Using ecological niche models to compare niche breadth in Mesoamerican primates. In: Kalbitzer, Urs and Jack, Katharine M., (eds.) Primate Life Histories, Sex Roles, and Adaptability : Essays in Honour of Linda M. Fedigan. Cham, Switzerland : Springer. pp. 311-329. (Developments in Primatology : Progress and Prospects) ISSN (print) 1574-3489 ISBN 9783319982854

This list was generated on Mon Apr 15 07:10:44 2024 BST.