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Philip Brownell, PhD

Vice Chair, Basic Medical Sciences
Professor of Physiology

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific - Northwest

E-Mail: pbrownell@westernu.edu

Phone: (541) 259-0228

Join year: 2011


Postdoctoral Fellow,Neurobiology, University of California, San Francisco, 1976-1979.
Ph.D., Biology, University of California, Riverside,1976.
BA, Zoology, University of California, Berkeley,1970.

Education Experience

  • Academic Exchange Scholarship (Germany-DAAD); 
  • Visiting Professorship (NRCD, France, 2001) 
  • Fulbright Foundation Senior Scholarship (Germany, 2006)
  • Natural History Documentary Films and Publications: National Geographic (Granada Productions-2001); "Sensitive Scorpion" (BBC, 2004); "Life in the Undergrowth" (BBC, 2005 "Wonders of Life" BC-2012' Currently "Wild West" BBC production for release in Summer, 2016). "In the company of cannibals" Smithsonian Magazine, 2000)


Teaching Experience

Professor of Physiology, Vice-Chair of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences., 2011-present
Emeritis Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University, 2010-present
Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University, 1996-2010 
Associate Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University, 1985-95
Assistant Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University, 1979-85 


  • Neuroscience Systems (Course Director, 2012-present)
  • Musculoskeletal Systems (2011-present)
  • Respiratory Physiology (2012-present)

Research Grant

  • Domestic Support: American Heart Association; Oregon Heart Association; National Institutes of Health; National Science Foundation.
  • International Support: German Academic Exchange Service. National Research Center Grant (France) Fulbright Foundation Senior Exchange Scholarship (Germany, 2006).


  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • International Society for Neuroethology
  • Union of Concerned Scientists


  • Brownell, P.H. and R.D. Farley. 1974. The organization of the malleolar sensory system in the solpugid, Chanbria, sp. Tissue and Cell, 6:471-485.
  • Brownell, P.H. 1977. Compressional and surface waves in sand: Used by desert scorpions to locate prey. Science, 197:479-482.
  • Branton, W.D., E. Mayeri, P. Brownell, S. Simon. 1978. Evidence for local hormonal communication between neurons in Aplysia. Nature, 274:70-72.
  • Brownell, P.H. and R.D. Farley. 1979. Orientation to vibrations in sand by the nocturnal scorpion Paruroctonus mesaensis: Mechanism of target localization. J. Comp. Physiol., 131:31-38.
  • Brownell, P.H. and E. Mayeri. 1979. Prolonged inhibition of bursting pacemaker neurons by neuroendocrine cells in Aplysia. Science, 204:417-420.
  • Brownell, P.H. 1984. Prey detection by the sand scorpion. Scientific American, 251:86-97.
  • Mayeri, E. Rothman, B.S., Brownell, P.H., Branton, W.D., and L. Padgett. 1985. Nonsynaptic characteristics of neurotransmission mediated by Egg-Laying Hormone in the abdominal ganglion of Aplysia. J. Neuroscience, 5:2060-2077.
  • Furgal, S.M. and P.H. Brownell. 1987. Ganglionic circulation and its effects of neurons controlling cardiovascular functions in Aplysia. J. Exp. Zool., 244:347-364.
  • Wiens, B.L. and P.H. Brownell. 1990. Characterization of cardiac innervation in the nudibranch, Archidoris montereyensis. J. Comp. Physiol., 167:51-60.
  • Brownell, P. and S.H. Ligman. 1992. Mechanisms of circulatory homeostasis and response in Aplysia. Experientia 48:818-827.
  • Brownell, P.H., Morgan, J.L.M. and S.H. Ligman. 1992. A survey of peptide actions on motorneurons regulating circulatory and respiratory functions in Aplysia. In: Comparative Physiology, vol. 11, eds. Hill, Kuwasawa, McMahon, Kuramoto., pp. 199-210. Karger, Basel.
  • Gaffin, D. and P. Brownell. 1992. Evidence of chemical signaling in the sand scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis (Scorpionida: Vaejovidae) Ethology, 91:59-69.
  • Gaffin, D., Wennstrom, K., and P. Brownell. 1992. Water detection in the desert sand scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis (Scorpionida: Vaejovidae). J. Comp. Physiol., 170:623-629.
  • Wiens, B.W. and P.H. Brownell. 1994. Neuroendocrine control of egg-laying behavior in the nudibranch, Archidoris montereyensis. J. Comp. Neurol., 344:619-625.
  • Wiens, B.L. and P.H. Brownell. 1995. Neurotransmitter regulation of the heart in the nudibranch, Archidoris montereyensis. J. Neurophysiol., 74:1639-1651.)
  • Gaffin, D. and P.H. Brownell. 1997. Response properties of chemosensory peg sensilla on the pectines of scorpions. J. Comp Physiol. 181:291-300.
  • Gaffin, D. and P.H. Brownell. 1997. Electrophysiological evidence of synaptic interactions within chemosensory sensilla of scorpion pectines. J. Comp Physiol. 181:301-307.
  • Brownell, P.H. 1998. Glomerular cytoarchitectures in chemosensory systems of arachnids. New York Acad. Sci 855:502-507.
  • Brownell, P.H. and G.A Polis. Introduction. In: Scorpion Biology and Research (eds. P. Brownell and G. Polis) Oxford University Press, 2001
  • Lighton, J.R., P. Brownell, B. Joos and R. Turner. (2001) Low metabolic rate in scorpions: implications for population biomass and cannibalism. J. Exp. Biol. 204:607-613.
  • Brownell, P.H. and J.L. van Hemmen (2001) Vibration sensitivity and a computational theory for prey-localizing behavior in sand scorpions. Am. Zool. 41:1229-1240.
  • Brownell, P.H, G.A Polis, eds. Scorpion Biology and Research. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Brownell, PH. (2003). Cytoarchitecture of a topographically organized chemosensory system in the sand scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis. Internat. Congr. Neuroethol., 14:197
  • Brownell, PH and Grothe, B. (2010) Vibration signal processing by tarsal slit sensilla of sand scorpions. Internat. Congr. Neuroethology:17: 706.