Matthew Brown directs the collections, laboratories, libraries, and archives in vertebrate paleontology and zoology at the Jackson School Museum of Earth History. This position manages the museum functions of the collections in support of the research of 47 UT faculty, students, and research associates. The collections and archives have more than 100 external research visitors per year, and over 2000 active requests for specimen loans or archive searches.

Brown joined the team as Laboratory Manager in early 2009, and began by building state of the art fossil preparation and histology facilities centered around research and teaching. He designed an innovative course in paleontology laboratory methods that integrates museum theory, conservation philosophy, emerging technologies, and hands-on training to standardize methodological instruction. In January of 2014, Brown took on the role of supervising all of the VPL labs and collections. Each spring, he teaches GEO 388P, Paleontological Laboratory Techniques.

Areas of Expertise

Brown's primary research goal is to develop a more thorough understanding of how past and future treatments affect specimens as sources of data, and the impact these treatments have on the science of paleontology. This approach examines how historic and current practices in the field, laboratory, and collections interplay, and how the scientific community interprets these results in the literature. He also studies how such events foster an evolution of best practices, policy, and law, and he advocates for fossils on public lands. Brown is an active member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, and is the founder and Past-President of the Association for Materials and Methods in Paleontology.


Member, Archives Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (2015 - Present)

Member, Sessional Committee on Federal Collections, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (2014 - Present)

Past-president, Board of Directors, Association for Materials and Methods in Paleontology (2014 - Present)

Liaison to Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, SPNHC Council, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (2013 - Present)

Chair, Annual Meeting Committee, Association for Materials and Methods in Paleontology (2008 - Present)

Member, Preparators Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (2007 - Present)

Graduate Students

Laura Brenskelle (Committee Member)
My research interests are broadly centered on the field of biodiversity informatics. I am interested in the use of technology to expand natural history collection practices and to improve scientific infrastructure and data management. My M.S. thesis focused on the socio-technological system of databases in natural history collections, and the implications these systems have on data shared by these institutions.


YearSemesterCourse
2015Spring GEO 388P Paleontological Lab Techniques
2014Fall GEO 388P Paleontological Lab Techniques
2014Spring GEO 388P Paleontological Lab Techniques