Richard Brown was born in Victoria BC, Canada and graduated from the University of Victoria with a first class honours degree in Psychology in 1970. He completed his MSc in animal behaviour at Dalhousie University in 1972 and his PhD in comparative and physiological psychology at Dalhousie University in 1975. He spent the next two years as a post-doctoral fellow in the Animal Behaviour Research Group in the Zoology department at the University of Oxford in England.
He returned to Dalhousie to begin teaching in 1978. He has taught courses on Hormones and Behaviour, Drugs and Behaviour, Olfaction and Behaviour, Measuring Behaviour and on the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. He is a member of the Dalhousie University Neuroscience Institute and was the Director of this institute from 1996-99. He has served twice as the Chairman of the Psychology department, from1989-96 and 2002-2008. From 2008-2009 he was the Senior Visiting Research Professor at St. John’s College, Oxford.
Currently, Professor Brown maintains a research program on the genetics and behaviour of inbred and mutant mice. He enjoys a wide variety of collaborative work locally and internationally. In his work with Alzheimer’s Disease model mice he collaborates with Dr. Sultan Darvesh and with the Treventis Company. With Zoltan Molnar and others at Oxford University, he is involved in the History of Neuroscience Project. He also teaches in the IBRO Neuroscience Schools in Kenya and Nigeria.
He has edited the 2-volume book Social Odours in Mammals (Oxford University Press, 1985) with David MacDonald and written the textbook: An Introduction to neuroendocrinology (Cambridge University Press, 1994). He and Peter Milner were instrumental in having Donald O. Hebb's book The Organization of Behaviour reprinted by Erlbaum in 2002.