Dr William Brown

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

As a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Killam Scholar, I completed my PhD at Dalhousie University in Canada.

In 2003 I received a NSERC postdoctoral fellowship to study genomic imprinting in the USA. In 2006 I founded the Centre for Culture and Evolutionary Psychology at Brunel University teaching evolutionary biology and research methods.

In 2009 I moved to Queen Mary University of London and University of East London to teach research methods and behavioural biology.

I have been at the University of Bedfordshire since 2011 and was appointed Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology in 2015.

Other References


  • PhD Psychology (2003) – Dalhousie University
  • MSc Psychology (1998) – Dalhousie University

Teaching Expertise

  • Foundations to Psychology
  • Research Methods and Statistics

Research Interests

  • 3D scanning morphology
  • Exercise-associated DNA methylation change
  • Epigenetic adaptive responses to antagonistic pleiotropy as humans age
  • Fluctuating asymmetry, health and human performance
  • Genomic imprinting and evolution
  • Cooperation and conflict
  • Culture


  • Co-investigator “The effects of breaking up prolonged periods of sitting on glucose control, gut hormones, feelings of hunger and epigenetic regulation” (University of Bedfordshire Research Investment Programme Awarded 2013; Value = 20,000)
  • Principal investigator “The Health Epigenetics Ageing and Learning (HEAL) research programme” (University of Bedfordshire Rising Stars Grant Awarded 2012; Value = £9,900)
  • Co-investigator “The experimental study of cultural transmission” funded by the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (Awarded 2010; EOARD reference FA8655-10-1-3037; Value = $53,840 to University of St Andrews; £6,800 to University of Bedfordshire in 2012)

External Roles

  • External Examiner of Tenured Faculty Promotion, Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago (2018)
  • External Examiner for BSc and MSc Psychology Courses, NC Italian University London on
    behalf of Open University (2018-)
  • External Examiner for MSc Psychology Course Approval Event, NC Italian University London on
    behalf of Open University (2017)
  • External Grant Reviewer, University of Alabama Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (2015)
  • Founding Member / By-Laws Committee, Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution (2015)
  • External Examiner for PhD thesis entitled “The Role of Reputations in the Evolution of Human Cooperation” at University of Newcastle (2010)


See ORCID ID orcid.org/0000-0001-6875-4296 for full publication list.

  • Brown, W.M. (in press). Genomic imprinting is critical for understanding the development and adaptive design of psychological mechanisms in humans and other animals. Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour.
  • Brown, W. M. & Usacka, A. (2019). The face of early cognitive decline? Shape and asymmetry predict choice reaction time independent of age, diet or exercise. Symmetry, 11(11), 1364. doi: 10.3390/sym11111364
  • Brown, W.M., Hazarty, S. & Palasinski, M. (2019). Examining the dark tetrad and its links to cyberbullying. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22 (8) Epub Ahead of Print doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2019.0172
  • Brown, W.M. & Foxley-Webb, E. (2019). Novel epigenetic, quantitative and qualitative insights on the socialness of autism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
  • Palasinski, M., Brown, W.M., Shortland, N., Riggs, D., Chen, M., & Bowman-Grieve, L. (2019). Masculinity, injury and death – implications for anti-knife-carrying messages. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
  • Brown, W. M. & Olding, R. J. (2017). Epigenetic-based hormesis and age-dependent altruism: Additions to the behavioural constellation of deprivation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40. doi:10.1017/s0140525x17001194
  • Brown, W.M. (2016). Social evolution: Fostering diversity in the cultural evolution
    society. Social Evolution Forum
  • Brown, W.M. (2015). Exercise-associated DNA methylation change in skeletal muscle and the importance of imprinted genes: A bioinformatics meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094073
  • Chalk, T.E.W. & Brown, W.M. (2014). Exercise epigenetics and the fetal origins of disease. Epigenomics, 6(5),469-472.
  • Brown, W.M. (2012). Symmetry and evolution: A genomic antagonism approach. In Filomena de Sousa and Gonzalo Munévar (Editors) Sex, Reproduction and Darwinism. Pickering & Chatto Publishers: London.
  • Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., Horton, D., & Brown, W. M. (2012). The affective paradox: An emotion regulatory account of ethnic differences in self-reported anger. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43(5) 723-741.
  • Brown, W. M. (2011). The parental antagonism theory of language evolution: Preliminary evidence for the proposal. Human Biology, 83 (2), 213-245.
  • Gaines, S. O., Jr., & Brown, W. M. (2009). Reciprocity, norm of. In H. T. Reis & S. K. Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of human relationships (Vol. 3, pp. 1331-1333). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Brown, W. M., Price, M. E., Kang, J., Pound, N., Zhao, Y., & Yu, H. (2008). Fluctuating asymmetry and preferences for sex-typical bodily characteristics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(35), 12938-12943.
  • Brown, W. M. (2008). Sociogenomics for the cognitive adaptationist. In C. Crawford & D. Krebs (Eds.), Foundations of evolutionary psychology (pp. 171-182). Psychology Press/Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Pound, N., Penton-Voak, I.S., & Brown, W.M. (2007). Facial symmetry is positively associated with self-reported extraversion. Personality and Individual Differences, 43 (6), 1572-1582.
  • Brown, W.M. & Price, M.E. (2007). Evolutionary psychology Sensu lato : A review of The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology edited by Robin Dunbar and Louise Barrett. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 5(1):235-240. doi: 10.1556/JEP.2007.1013
  • Price, ME. , Brown, WM.  & Curry, OS.  (2007). The integrative framework for the behavioural sciences has already been discovered, and it is the adaptationist approach, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30 (1): 39-40. doi:10.1017/S0140525X07000817
  • Brown, W. M., Consedine, N. S., & Magai, C. (2006). Time spent in the United States and breast cancer screening behaviors among ethnically diverse immigrant women: Evidence for acculturation? Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 8, 347-358.
  • Brown, W. M., Consedine, N. S., & Magai, C. (2005). Altruism relates to health in an ethnically diverse sample of older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 60B, 143-152.
  • Brown, W. M., & Consedine, N. S. (2004). Just how happy is the happy puppet? An emotion signaling and kinship theory perspective on the behavioral phenotype of children with Angelman syndrome. Medical Hypotheses, 63, 377-385.
  • Brown, W.M. (2004). Evolved Cognitive Architecture Mediating Fear: A Genomic Conflict Approach. In P.L. Gower (Ed.) The Psychology of Fear. New York: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 171-182.
  • Brown, W. M., & Moore, C. (2003). Fluctuating asymmetry and romantic jealousy. Evolution and Human Behavior, 24, 113-117.
  • Brown, W. M., Palameta, B., & Moore, C. (2003). Are there nonverbal cues to commitment? An exploratory study using the zero-acquaintance video presentation paradigm. Evolutionary Psychology: An International Journal of Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and Behavior, 1, 42-69.
  • Brown, W.M. (2002). Development: The missing link between exaptationist and adaptationist accounts of organismal design. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25, 509-510 doi:10.1017/S0140525X02260094
  • Brown, W.M., & Moore, C. (2002). Smile asymmetries and reputation as reliable indicator of likelihood to cooperate: An evolutionary analysis. In S.P. Shohov (Ed.) Advances in Psychology Research, 11, 59-78. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Brown, W.M. (2001). Genomic imprinting and culture in mammals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 328-329 doi:10.1017/S0140525X01273968
  • Brown, W. M. (2001). Genomic imprinting and the cognitive architecture mediating human culture. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 1, 251-258.
  • Brown, W. M. (2001). Natural selection of mammalian brain components. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 16, 471-473.
  • Brown, W. M., & Moore, C. (2000). Is prospective altruist-detection an evolved solution to the adaptive problem of subtle cheating in cooperative ventures? Supportive evidence using the Wason selection task. Evolution and Human Behavior, 21, 25-37.
  • Adamo, S.A., Brown, W.M., King, A.J., Mather, D.L., Mather, J.A., Shoemaker, K.L. & Wood, J.B., (2000). Agonistic and reproductive behaviours of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis in a semi-natural Journal of Molluscan Studies, 66, 417-418.
  • Palameta, B., & Brown, W.M. (1999). Human cooperation is more than by-product mutualism Animal Behaviour, 57 (2), F1-F3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.1998.0987

Contact Details

T: +44 (0)1582 743470
E: william.brown@beds.ac.uk
Office location: A209
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