Stan Braude

Teaching ​Professor in Biology
PhD University of Michigan
Animal Behavior Society Distinguished Teacher 2011
National College Biology Teacher of the Year 2004
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    • Washington University
    • CB 1137
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Stan Braude is a teaching professor in biology who teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Wilderness Medicine, Missouri’s Natural Heritage, the Biology of Dog Breeds, and Woody Plants of Missouri.

    He has worked in East Africa since the 1980s and is the world expert on naked mole-rat ecology, evolution, and behavior.  Aside from naked mole-rats, his research in ecology and evolutionary biology has examined African rhinoceros population genetics, Asian elephant behavior, dog domestication and aggression, as well as social behavior in Argentine tuco-tucos, and Gambian pouched rats.  He has published several new hypotheses in biology including The Immuno-redistribution hypothesis, The Vitamin D feedback hypothesis for persistent irritable bowel disease, The Onco-protective Fever Hypothesis and the Signal detection hypothesis for the evolution of human humor. He is the author of three textbooks and received national teaching awards from both the Animal Behavior Society (2011) and the National Association of Biology Teachers (2004).  Outside of academia he is a licensed EMT and works as a Red Cross trainer.

    recent courses

    First-Year Opportunity: The Biology of Dog Breeds

    This freshman seminar uses the topic of dog behavior and genetics to teach fundamental scientific tools and to engage students in contributing to the building of an online public resource that summarizes the scientific literature on breeds. Our first task is learning to read and dissect primary scientific literature. We parse out the difference between scientific questions, hypotheses, and predictions through a guided case-study exercise. We then apply the experience to outlining primary research articles, identifying the key components of the author's arguments and summarizing the results and implications. The second half of the semester is spent searching the scientific literature, sorting information into the new dog breed resource, and presenting results to peers around the seminar table.

      AMPERSAND: Missouri's Natural Heritage, part 1

      Missouri's Natural Heritage is for freshmen who want to get outdoors and learn about their home for the next four years. The first semester of the sequence will focus on Missouri geology, climate, archaeology, and native megafauna. This will provide a foundation on which to examine the ecology, restoration, and management of our diverse habitats (prairie, forest, glade, and stream) and the biology of our diverse plant and animal wildlife (arthropods, mollusks, fish, salamanders, lizards, birds, and mammals) in the second semester. We will also introduce basic concepts in biodiversity and resource management with case studies from here in Missouri. In addition to weekly lecture and discussion, students in this class will visit sites across the state during a number of Friday afternoon field trips and weekend camping trips. Camping gear, transportation and meals for all field trips are covered by the lab fee.

        Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology I

        This is the first of a two-semester sequence that examines all major organ systems in the human/mammalian body. The lab is an integral part of the course. The emphasis is on understanding normal function and processes at the gross, cellular, and molecular levels as well as some discussion of pathology and disease. The first semester covers basic principles of cellular physiology, histology, digestion, bone, muscle, and nervous systems. Optional weekly discussion and review sections are also offered during which case studies are discussed as a means of applying and reviewing lecture material.

          Advanced General Physiology

          This graduate-level course will examine physiology in a cohesive evolutionary context. For each system we will first review the general anatomy and physiology, turning then to the molecular basis of function and dysfunction. Each class provides an overview of the basic physiology of one of the major organ systems including: neural, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, urogenital and immune, followed by a discussion of recent discoveries presented in primary scientific literature and current reviews.

            Woody Plants of Missouri

            Washington University's Danforth Campus is home to more than 4000 trees and is now a registered arboretum. This urban forest ecosystem has been carefully curated and managed to provide habitat diversity, shade, rainwater mitigation, and aesthetic beauty. In this course you will study the biology of woody plants in the classroom and in our arboretum. Specifically, you will learn woody plant systematics, physiology, and ecology as well as applied, and hands-on, techniques. You will learn to collect forestry data, and to identify trees by leaf, bud, bark, fruit and crown. You will learn to plant, propagate, and care for trees and other woody plants. You will also contribute to the ongoing research in our arboretum and to the education of your peers and campus visitors by adding new trees to the arboretum collection and by monitoring the campus trees as you learn to collect data on growth and phenology. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible to join the Danforth Arboretum "Loraxes" for the remainder of their time at Washington University. Loraxes will be arboretum ambassadors and will be called upon from time to time to lead tours of the arboretum for prospective students, science outreach, or members of the campus community.

              Advanced Wilderness Medicine

              This course, open to both graduate-level and undergraduate students, will cover the physiology underlying wilderness and remote first aid. We will review evidence-based, best practices and then explore the underlying mechanisms and physiology. In addition to learning the theory of emergency medical care, we will gain experience practicing life saving techniques including: CPR, wound cleaning and care, splinting of fractures and dislocations, spinal stabilization, and treatment of heat stroke and hypothermia. A Lab Fee of $90 will cover American Red Cross certification in CPR and Wilderness and Remote First Aid, as well as all materials necessary for hands-on practice and realistic emergency scenarios.

                Human Biology

                How did Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Michael Jackson die? How have David Letterman and Dick Cheney survived? In this course we work towards understanding the biology behind human health, disease, and disaster. We examine cases from the news, literature and history and work like detectives to understand what happened. We also work at distinguishing honest science and medicine from junk science and scams. This course is designed for students who do not plan to major in science. Therefore, no prior science background is expected.

                  Selected Publications


                  Braude, S. and B. Low. 2010. An Introduction to Methods and Models in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

                  Braude, S., A. Miceli, and D. Goran. 2012. Case Studies for Understanding the Human Body, Second Edition.  Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, MA.


                  Braude, S. and J Varghese.  The oncoprotective fever hypothesis:  have asprin and anti-malarials contributed to the rise in worldwide cancer rates?  Medical Hypotheses, in press.

                  Braude, S., Holtze, S., Begall, S., Brenmoehl, J., Burda, H., Dammann, P., del Marmol, D., Gorshkova, E., Henning, Y., Hoeflich, A., Hohn, A., Jung, T., Hamo, D., Sahm, A., Shebzukhov, Y., Sumbera, R., Miwa, S., von Zglinicki, T., Hildebrandt, T. 2021.  Surprisingly long survival of pre-mature conclusions about naked mole-rat biology.  Biological Reviews. 96: 376-393. doi: 10.1111/brv.12660

                  Holtze, S., Gorshkova, E., Braude, S., Cellerino, A., Dammann, P., Hildebrandt, T., Hoeflich, A., Hoffmann, S., Koch, P., Terizibasi Tozzini, E., and Sahm, A.  2021.  Alternative animal models of aging research.  Frontiers in Molecular Bioscience Volume 8.  Doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.660959

                  Braude, S., Hess, J., and Ingram, C.  2020.  Burrow Invasion and Possible Kidnapping in Naked Mole-rats.  Journal of Zoology.

                  Braude, S. and S. Tong. 2020.  Kulkarni’s Barr Body Test for Criminality is Neither Accurate Nor Selective.  Journal of Forensic Sciences, 65 (3): 1025.

                  Braude, S., Holtze, S., Hildebrandt, T., and Koch, R.  2020.  Naked mole-rats do not disperse or deliver pups in correlation with moon phase.  African Journal of Ecology, 58: 592-595.

                  Linneman, Z., Reis, C., Balaji, K., Moore, J., and Braude, S., 2019. The Vitamin D Positive Feedback Hypothesis of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.  Medical Hypotheses, 127 (2019) 154-158.

                  Ingram, C., Troendle, N., Gill, C., Braude, S., and Honeycutt, R., 2015. Challenging the inbreeding hypothesis in a eusocial mammal: population genetics of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber.  Molecular Ecology 24, 4848–4865.

                  Braude, S. and A. Beck.  2013.  Complete Blood Counts with Differential: more accurate reference ranges based on circadian leukocyte trafficking.  Journal of Clinical Pathology 66:109-110.

                  Braude, S. and J. Gladman.  2013.  Out of Asia:  An Allopatric Model for the Evolution of the Domestic Dog. ISRN Zoology 2013:1-7

                  Braude, S. 2013.  Chapter 12: The adaptive significance of humor.  In:  Foundations of human social evolution:  Contributions of Richard D. Alexander.  Crespi, B. and Summers, K.,  eds.  Oxford University Press, New York.

                  Braude, S. and R. Templeton. 2009 Understanding the Multiple Meanings of Inbreeding and Effective Size for Management of Rhinoceros Populations. African Journal of Ecology 47: 546-555.

                  Goran, D. and Braude, S. 2007. Social and Cooperative Learning in the Solving of Case Histories. American Biology Teacher, 69 (2): 80-84.

                  Braude, S. 2007. The Multiple Meanings of Inbreeding: The Key to Understanding the Social and Genetic Structure of Subterranean Rodent Populations. In Beagal, S., Burda, H., Schleich, C., eds. Subterranean Rodents: News from Underground. Springer Verlag. pp 331-340.

                  Braude, S. and L. Corey. 2006. The Confidence Game: A simple activity with dice teaches students the importance of replication and sample size in data collection. Science and Children 44(1):40-44.

                  Braude, S., Ciszek, D., Berg, N., and Shefferley, N., 2001. The Ontogeny and Distribution of Countershading in Colonies of the Naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. Journal of Zoology London 253: 351-357.

                  Braude, S. 2000. Dispersal and new colony formation in wild naked mole-rats: evidence against inbreeding as the system of mating. Behavioral Ecology 11:7-12.

                  Braude, S., Tang-Martinez, Z., and Taylor, G. 1999 Stress, Testosterone, and the Immunoredistribution Hypothesis. Behavioral Ecology. 10(3): 345-350.

                  Sherman, P., Braude, S., and Jarvis, JUM, 1999. Litter sizes and mammary numbers of naked mole-rats: breaking the one-half rule. Journal of Mammalogy 80(3):720-733

                  Braude, S. 1998. The predictive power of evolutionary biology and the discovery of eusociality in the naked mole-rat. NCSE Reports, 17(4): 12-15.

                  Lacey, E., Braude, S., and Weiczorek, J. 1997. Burrow sharing by colonial tuco-tucos (Ctenomys sociabilis). Journal of Mammalogy 78(2): 556-562.