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Principal Investigator

Rosie Brown staff photo Dr Rosie Brown

Tel +64 3 479 8207
Fax 64 3 479 7323
Department of Physiology website

Research interests

I am interested in how the changing hormones of pregnancy and lactation act on neural circuitry in the maternal brain to influence behaviour. In particular, I focus on maternal behaviour, a complex set of behaviours displayed by a mother that promote the survival and wellbeing of her offspring. Our work aims to understand how hormones normally act to direct a mother's behaviour and how these processes may become disrupted.
At the Centre for Neuroendocrinology, I use transgenic mouse models to address the impact of specific neuroendocrine disruptions on maternal behaviour using behavioural assays. We investigate hormonal actions on neural circuitry underlying parental behaviour using a range of molecular, immunohistochemical and imaging approaches.
I am also interested in how changes in the ability of hormones to access the brain in different physiological or pathological states might underlie changes in hormone function.

Clinical conditions

  • Postpartum depression
  • Postpartum anxiety
  • Maternal obesity

Rosie Brown Laboratory staff & students

Isaiah Cheong_webIsaiah Cheong, Assistant Research Fellow
Neuroendocrine regulation of maternal behaviour

Jenny Clarkson_webJenny Clarkson, Research Fellow
Neural circuits required for maternal adaptation to pregnancy

Jamie McQuillan_webJamie McQuillan, Postdoctoral Fellow

Tapasya Pal webTapasya Pal, Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael Perkinson_webMichael Perkinson, Postdoctoral Fellow

Logan Wragg, MSc student

Visit Our people for an alphabetical list of all Centre for Neuroendocrinology staff.

Research Funders


Brown, R. S. E., Jacobs, I. M., Khant Aung, Z., Knowles, P. J., Grattan, D. R., & Ladyman, S. R. (2023). High fat diet-induced maternal obesity in mice impairs peripartum maternal behaviour. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13350

Campbell, G., Brown, R., & Iremonger, K. J. (2023, August). Investigating the influence of postpartum stress on anxiety and maternal motivation in dams and on offspring anxiety outcomes. Poster session presented at the 17th New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Smiley, K. O., Phillipps, H. R., Fang, C., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2023). Mating-induced prolactin surge is not required for subsequent neurogenesis in male mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 17, 1227726. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2023.1227726

Hackwell, E. C. R., Ladyman, S. R., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2023). Mechanisms of lactation-induced infertility in female mice. Endocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqad049

Swart, J. M., Grattan, D. R., Ladyman, S. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2023). Pups and prolactin are rewarding to virgin female and pregnant mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 35, e13232. doi: 10.1111/jne.13232

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