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Dr. Sunshine Brosi

Dr. Sunshine Brosi, Ph.D.

Curriculum Vita


Associate Professor


Office: Compton Science Center 205
Telephone: 301.687.4213


Ph.D. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
M.S. Forestry, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
B.A. Environmental Studies, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC

Dr. Brosi inspecting plant

Research Interests

Ethnobotany in Appalachian and other cultures. Specific interest in the preservation of cultural keystone species including rare, threatened and endangered plants. Also interested in the economic and environmental sustainability of non-timber forest products including: black cohosh, American ginseng, bloodroot, goldenseal, ramps, and maple syrup. Diversification of economic opportunities for small-scale Appalachian landowners including methods to save small woodlots through agroforestry techniques, mushroom and medicinal herb cultivation. Educational outreach in ethnobotany and natural resources.

Butternut Research

Individual independent research projects are focused around finding surviving butternut trees. Visit the National Geographic Website for more information on the Butternut Project 

Scientific Publications

  • pdf: Hoban, S.M., D. Borkowski, S.L. Brosi, T.S. McCleary, L.M. Thompson, J.S. McLachlan, M.A. Pereira, S.E. Schlarbaum, and J. Romero-Severson. 2010. Range-wide distribution of genetic diversity in North American tree Juglans cinerea: a product of historical range shifts, not ecological marginality or recent population decline. Molecular Ecology, 19 (22): 4876-4891.
  • Sunshine L. Brosi, Fall 2010, Book Reviews, Ethnobotany of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, A Path to Sustaining Traditional Identity with an Emphasis on Medicinal Plant Use, by Karen Hall, Appalachian Heritage, 38 (4): 83-85.
    Reprinted with permission Sept. 23rd, 2010, Appalachian Independent, Frostburg, MD.
  • pdf: Sunshine L. Brosi, 2010. Steps Towards Butternut, Juglans cinerea L., Restoration, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, May 10th defense of dissertation, awarded PhD in Natural Resources, August 18th.
  • pdf: Clark, Brosi, Schlarbaum, and Grissino-Mayer  2008, Dendrochronology of two butternut (Juglans cinrea) populations in the southeastern United States, Forest Ecology and Management, 255: 1772-1780.
  • pdf:  Schlarbaum,  Brosi, and Anagnostakis   2005, Feasibility of large-scale reintroduction of chestnut to national park service lands: some thoughts, in proc. of conference on restoration of American chestnut to public lands, Steiner, K.C. and J.E. Carlson, (eds) . 
  • pdf:  Rhoades, Brosi, Dattilo, and Vincelli  2003, Effect of soil compaction and moisture on incidence of phytophthora root rot on American chestnut, (Castanea dentata) seedlingsForest Ecology and Management, 184:  47-54.