Due to inclement weather, the Zoo is CLOSED TODAY, August 4.

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Megan Brown, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
B.S., Delaware Valley University; M.S., Ph.D., University of Maryland

Megan Brown is a postdoctoral fellow with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Species Survival. Brown’s research is supported by the Morris Animal Foundation’s Postdoctoral Training Fellowship. Her current work focuses on understanding reproductive biology of the crane species within the zoo collection in order to improve reproduction and welfare of these species. This includes characterizing the entire hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in laying and non-laying cranes to better understand reproductive failure and educate mediating strategies; developing new genetic and hormonal tools to understand pair bond formation and success; and continuing to adapt protocols for semen cryopreservation and fertility function across crane species.

Brown's projects include:

  • Investigating captive management effects on avian reproduction with an emphasis on captive cranes
  • Hormone monitoring in regard to reproduction and stress in captive and wild avians
  • Investigating the function and survival of avian sperm in regard to artificial insemination and cryopreservation techniques
Brown began her tenure at SCBI as an intern in the Gamete Research Lab under the supervision of Nucharin Songsasen. She has since gone on to complete her master's (2013) and Ph.D. (2017) in programs at the University of Maryland, through a joint partnership between SCBI and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Her research sought to understand the basic reproduction of whooping cranes, as well as to improve management strategies and increase reproduction for the benefit of the reintroduction program.
Brown is a member of the American Association of Zoos and Aquaria, a member of the International Society of Wildlife Endocrinologists and a member of the Board of Directors for the North American Crane Working Group.
Recent Publications: 

Brown ME, Converse SJ, Chandler JN, Crosier AL, Lynch W, Wildt DE, Keefer CL, Songsasen N. Time within Reproductive Season, but not Inbreeding or Age, Influences Seminal and Sperm Quality in the Whooping Crane (Grus americana). Reproduction, Fertility, and Development, (Available Online).

Brown ME, Converse SJ, Chandler JN, Shafer C, Keefer CL, Songsasen N. 2016. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 230, 158-165.

Panyaboriban S, Pukazhenthi B, Brown ME, Crowe C, Lynch W, Singh RP, Techakumphu M, Songsasen N. 2016. Influence of cooling and thawing conditions and cryoprotectant concentration on frozen-thawed survival of white-naped crane (Antigone vipio) spermatozoa. Cryobiology, 73(2):209-215.