Department of Anthropology

Faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Brown do research on a wide variety of topics and in many locations. Many faculty collaborate with colleagues in other departments and universities and conduct research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. Graduate students in the department are encouraged to do likewise.

Brown-MBL Partnership in Biological and Environmental Sciences

The Brown-MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences offers students the chance to work with scientists at both institutions. Year-round research centers at the Marine Biological Laboratory include the Ecosystems Center, the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Bell Center for Regernerative Technology and Tissue Engineering, and the Program in Sensory Physiology and Behavior.

Center for Environmental Studies

The Center for Environmental Studies has focus areas in land-use history, climate change policy, urban environmental health, environmental literacy, watershed-based planning and policy, water quality issues, and environmental justice, as well a 30-year history of interdisciplinary study and service learning.

Department of Economics

The Department of Economics at Brown is a vibrant and dynamic collection of scholars united by a commitment to path-breaking research and high quality teaching. The Department provides to both undergraduate and graduate students the technical and economic reasoning skills that will ensure long-term success in their chosen professions and a lifelong passion for thinking systematically about the world around them.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University shares a common interest in how organisms work and interact, and how these mechanisms and interactions evolved. EEB faculty and students  work to understand biological systems at the individual, population, and community levels of organization. Major conceptual areas pursued by the department include functional morphology, foraging ecology, the adaptive significance of animal behavior, sexual selection, insect mating behavior, population genetics, phylogenetics, marine community ecology, theoretical population and community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. 

Department of Geological Sciences

Research in Brown University’s Department of Geological Sciences advances fundamental knowledge in the earth and planetary sciences and addresses these broad and general problems through our five major thematic areas: 

  • Dynamics of the solid Earth
  • Earth system history
  • The planetary perspective
  • Properties and processes of geological materials
  • Environmental sciences

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

The Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World is dedicated to the academic study and public promotion of the archaeology and art of the ancient Mediterranean, Egypt, and Western Asia (the latter broadly construed as extending from Anatolia and the Levant to the Caucasus, and including the territories of the ancient Near East). The goal of the Institute is to foster an interdisciplinary community of interest in the archaeology of the ancient world, and in the discipline of archaeology more generally. Its mandate is to promote research, fieldwork, teaching, and public outreach, with the Institute’s associated faculty, students, and facilities serving as a hub for this activity.

Department of Physics

The Department of Physics, whose research lies at the foundation of the natural sciences, has strengths in the fields of condensed matter and biological physics that contribute to our understanding of environmental change and has researchers studying the physics of climate change.

Population Studies Training Center

Research at the PSTC is innovative and interdisciplinary, and is characterized by its focus on social issues rather than specific demographic outcomes. Reflecting PSTC's strong connection to three social science departments — Anthropology, Economics and Sociology — as well as the Center's links to public health, political science, education and environmental studies, PSTC researchers focus on providing a better understanding of the social structures and systems underlying population structure and well-being. These foci provide a better context in which to consider and debate major social issues and policy. The nature and depth of these connections at the PSTC is evident in the signature research themes and faculty projects.

School of Public Health

The School of Public Health coordinates and integrates academic, research, and public service programs relevant to population health. Public Health educational programs include undergraduate concentrations in community health and biostatistics; the fully accredited MPH Program; master of science degrees in biostatistics, epidemiology and behavioral and social sciences intervention; and doctoral programs in epidemiology, biostatistics and health services research. 

Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology has strength in the areas of social demography, population and development, comparative international development, and environment and health. Faculty are involved in domestic and international research, with special emphasis on demographic change, and political and economic development.

Superfund Research Program

The Superfund Research Program (SRP) at Brown University, titled REUSE IN RI: A State-Based Approach To Complex Exposures embodies the key elements that guide us — the focus is on MIXED EXPOSURES, taking a state-based approach to environmental health research, technology development, and contaminated land re-use with RHODE ISLAND as our laboratory. Together with team members from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), Brown's Superfund Research Program  works to expand the understanding of the human health consequences and management of contaminated sites in Rhode Island and other post-industrial states.

Watson Institute for International Studies

The Watson Institute is a community of scholars whose work aims to help us understand and address the world's great challenges, such as globalization, economic uncertainty, security threats, environmental degradation, and poverty. Focusing on three main areas – development, security, and governance – the Institute leverages Brown's tradition of true interdisciplinarity to foster innovative, policy-relevant scholarly activities. From Latin America to China, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia, the strongest theoretical models emerge through observations in the field.