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Art inspired by biology, created by a biologist



Daniel DeWitt Brown, Ph.D.Daniel DeWitt Brown, Ph.D.

You can contact me at Daniel [dot] Brown [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Original drawings and paintings are available at the Laughing Mantis Studio Etsy store.

Prints of some of my recent works are available in the Laughing Mantis Studio Zazzle store. If you see something here that you want a print of, I can easily make it available.

About Me

Most of my childhood and teenage years were spent thinking I would someday be an artist of some sort. Then I had two amazing teachers in biology who set me squarely on the path to becoming a scientist. After many many years of studying and training, I finally ended up with a PhD studying the genetics of heart development. I have since studied various biological systems at several different institutions.


Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work with pan pastels and pastel pencils. I have also been doing graphite pencil drawings, primarily commissioned pet portraits (I AM available for commission). They are mostly available on Etsy.

Most of my current 3D digital work revolves around using the free and opensource Blender 3D modeling and animation software and GIMP, which is similar to photoshop.

I am currently working on my Ocean Invasion series, and I have a large number of works in the series sketched out. I imagine it will take me quite some time to finish them all, as all of my art is done in my free time.

My most recent works are available as prints in my Zazzle and RedBubble shops. If you see something else on this site that you’d like printed and it’s not in the shop, I would be happy to arrange it.


Daniel DeWitt Brown, Ph.D.

I am currently a research scientist at Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation where I study DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), a non-invasive form of breast cancer that is thought to be a precursor to metastatic breast cancer. Until early 2012 I was a research scientist for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to that I finished a post-doctoral position at Carnegie Mellon University in the lab of Dr. Veronica Hinman, where I studied the evolution of gene regulatory networks in organismal development (using sea stars and urchins as a model).  I was also formerly a post-doc at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, working in the lab of Dr. Perry Blackshear where I studied the biology and genetics of brain development and function. I earned a BA in biology from Hendrix College and a PhD in the Program in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the lab of Dr. Frank Conlon.

I also love talking, thinking, and writing about evolution. In this capacity, I created the Carnival of Evolution, a blog carnival devoted to the science of evolution. I have since passed the organization of the Carnival into much better hands: Björn Östman of Pleiotropy.


I recently became engaged to an absolutely amazing woman, Tamaryn Kelley. She’s a mental health counselor.


On a whim she decided to become a painter one random day. Last week she decided to try drawing. To the right is a sketch from her second day of learning to draw. She’s freakishly talented at everything she tries.


It’s my eye

I have one awesome cat (Dizzy). Interesting side note: AFTER I named Dizzy, he became epileptic with full Gran Mal seizures. He is particularly prone to seizing if he is spun and made dizzy – as I discovered the hard way. He’s been on phenobarbitol twice a day every day for over 10 years. Also, his two siblings at the animal shelter had polydactyly (6 toes).

We have a pup named Bandit. Here is a portrait I drew of him:




The opinions and statements expressed on this blog are mine alone. They do not reflect the positions of any institution or organization with which I am affiliated. I reserve the right to delete any comment or ban any commenter for any reason whatsoever. Please direct any questions or comments directly to Daniel [dot] Brown [at] yahoo [dot] com.


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6 Responses to About



  2. ok, i love your site, but i totally cracked up about the “personal” paragraph about the cats. some weird genetic stuff goin’ on there, eh?

    miss you guys! i’m seeing a long weekend trip to PA early next year…..

  3. Dear Daniel,
    My name is Sabrina and I am creating a reading program which my sister is illustrating for me. When we started we didn’t realize that we need to have permission to draw pictures based on other people’s photographs. She drew a picture that was based off of a photo of a White-tailed Deer. The photo was posted to your old website in March of 2009. I was wondering if we could have your permission to use the photo as the basis for a drawing which will be used for commercial purposes as part of a reading/phonics program I am creating to sell on a website called TeachersPayTeachers. If not, I will ask her to start over with a photo that we own. I just want to make sure everything we do is legitimate. Thank you! P.S. If it is not your photo, would you please help me find out whose it is. I really appreciate any help you can give me!
    Sabrina Tsuyuki