Lauren E. Brown '61 (Awarded posthumously)
2021 Recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement
Known as a leading expert in the field of zoology, Dr. Lauren Brown was often sought by national conservationists, committees, and news outlets interested in his expertise.
This past year, Dr. Brown was recognized by the Marquis Who’s Who Publication Board as a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging his career longevity and unwavering excellence in his field.
Dr. Brown started his training in the field working as a laboratory assistant at Carroll under the instruction of beloved Carroll biology professors, Drs. Roy Christoph and Ted Michaud. He graduated in 1961 with his Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in chemistry. He continued his studies to earn a master’s in zoology from Southern Illinois University in 1963 and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas-Austin in 1967.
As a former professor emeritus of vertebrate zoology and curator of amphibians and reptiles at Illinois State University (ISU) in Normal, Ill., Dr. Brown began his professional career at ISU as an assistant professor of Vertebrate Zoology in 1967. His primary teaching assignments included General Zoology 194, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 295, Field Biology 308, Biology of the Lower Vertebrates 395 and Evolution 470. He was accomplished at laboratory breeding and rearing of frogs and toads and was adept at the identification of North American species—and many foreign—by their mating calls.
His relationship with the campus remained strong for more than 52 years, serving as not only professor emeritus, Emeriti Hall of Fame member, but also remaining in the classroom as an adjunct professor.
Dr. Brown recently held concurrent appointments as an Associate of Zoology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Ill. and Research Affiliate at the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Brown achieved many notable accomplishments. He was the recipient of 54 research grants and contracts. Research included matters such as the assessment of the health status of Cricket Frogs (Acris crepitans) and environmental quality in areas of abundant and reduced populations; habitat evaluation for the Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata); and YY-male Tilapia production in conjunction with U.S. Department of Commerce.
His knowledge in the field was sought by the Federal Endangered Species Conservation Committees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as state departments of conservation throughout the Midwest, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It was his knowledge specifically in herpetology – the study of amphibians and reptiles – that has captured the attention of organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Council of Illinois, Sierra Club, Chicago Zoo, and others, who sought his consultation.
He served as managing editor of Herpetologica and was corresponding editor of ALYTES, two leading scholarly scientific journals in the field. He was a member of 51 graduate student thesis and dissertation committees, author of 188 research publications and led 45 poster session presentations internationally, nationally and locally. He was also a contributor on endangered species and environmental issues to news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Sun Times and Fortune Magazine.
Dr. Brown has provided extensive service in the field serving in many capacities including former member of the board of trustees of the Herpetologists League, conservation committee for the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Chair of the Library Committee of the American Rabbits Breeders Association and Board of Counselors of the International Society for the Study and Conservation of Amphibians.
Dr. Brown’s mother, Julianne E. (Klatt) Brown '33 is a Carroll alumna, as well as his uncle, Wesley W. Klatt '28. His siblings, Barbara (Brown) Finlayson '65 and Winston P. Brown '68, and his sister-in-law, Carol L. (Johnson) Brown '71 are also alumni. He lived in rural Hudson, Ill. with his wife, Jill until his passing on March 10, 2021. Dr. Brown will be long remembered by his wife of 53 years, three adult children, four grandchildren, one great granddaughter, and the many former students and community organizations who he has greatly impacted with his teachings, research and extensive knowledge.