Maddie Brown


I am an Ecological Anthropologist whose work focuses on social relationships and natural resource management. My research combines ethnographic fieldwork with quantitative spatial and network analysis to examine human-environment interactions.

I am a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Florida in the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning. At UF I am working with Tim Murtha on research focused on cultural resource conservation planning and distribution. I completed my PhD in Ecological Anthropology at Stanford University. My PhD mentors include: Doug Bird, Bill Durham, Rebecca Bird, and Lisa Curran.


Networks, Cooperation, and Resource Access in SW China

Social relationships are critical for understanding self-organized natural resource management systems. People rarely act in isolation, and instead take their socioecological contexts into account when making decisions. This on-going study investigates how resource-related cooperation influences resource access and social dynamics among Yi wild mushroom harvesters in Yunnan Province, China.

The Science and Culture of Landscape Conservation

The Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) play an important role in planning for large landscape natural and cultural resource conservation in response to climate change. As a LCC Fellow, I conducted an ethnographic study of the AppLCC. Part of the results were compiled in this dashboard.

The Spatial and Conceptual Topography of Cultural Resources

With Tim Murtha, our research team is mapping the distribution of cultural resources in the US National Capital Region.

Yi Ethnomycology Audio Archive

In collaboration with local participants from Chuxiong Prefecture, we created a digital archive of Yi ethnomycological knowledge. This digital archive includes photos and audio recordings of Yi language species names. Check it out here.

Cash crops and NTFPs

With colleagues at The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), we are investigating the impact of cash crop adoption on non-timber forest product use and livelihood strategies.

Participatory Mushroom Management

Wild mushroom harvesters in Yunnan use a variety of techniques to enhance mushroom production and reduce insect predation. Together with local harvesters and colleagues at ICRAF, we conducted a participatory research experiment investigating how shiro-level management techniques influence matsutake production and quality. Results were presented at the Mountain Futures Conference in Kunming, Yunnan, China, as well as at the Mid-Atlantic States Mycology Conference in State College, Pennsylvania, USA. Check out our recent publication here.