Tristan R. Brown | Forest and Natural Resources Management | SUNY-ESF
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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Tristan R. BrownAssociate Professor

Tristan Brown

302 Bray Hall
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210


Professional Preparation

  • Member of the Missouri Bar, 2009 – present
  • PhD, Biorenewable Resources & Technology, Iowa State University, 2014
  • JD, University of Missouri, 2008
  • BA, Political Science, University of Iowa, 2005


Professional Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Energy Resource Economics, Dept. of Sustainable Resources Management, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, 2019 – present
  • Assistant Professor of Energy Resource Economics, Dept. of Sustainable Resources Management, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, 2014 – 2019
  • SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow, Syracuse Center of Excellence, Syracuse University, 2017 – 2018
  • Graduate Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Iowa State University, 2013 – 2014
  • Research Associate, Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University, 2011 – 2014
  • Research Associate, Department of Economics, Iowa State University, 2009 – 2011

Grants Funded

PI: “Development Of Stochastic Techno-Economic And Life Cycle Models For Quantifying The Economic And Environmental Costs Of Cellulosic Bioenergy,” USDA BRDI ($906,722).

PI: "Quantifying the comparative value of carbon abatement pathways over different investment timing scenarios," National Biodiesel Board ($58,585).

PI: “The Embedded Carbon Valuation System as an Alternative to Cap-and-Trade,” Biobased Industry Center ($40,000).

PI: “Evaluating the Ability of Land to Replicate Indian Point’s Electricity Supply Profile,” Syracuse Center of Excellence ($15,000).

PI: “Energy Education Grant,” Iowa Office of Energy Independence ($13,750).

PI: “Development of Stochastic Techno-economic Model for Short-Rotation Woody Crop Production,” NEWBio ($10,000).

Co-PI: “Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Biomass for Value-Added Products Consortium (MASBio),” USDA NIFA AFRI Competitive Grants Program ($629,000 SUNY ESF share).

Co-PI: “Techno-economic Analysis Initiative,” Bioeconomy Institute ($150,000).

Areas of Research

  • Sustainable energy law & policy
  • Bioenergy systems analysis
  • Techno-economic analysis
  • Climate policy

Recent Publications

  • Brown, T.R. “Why the cellulosic biofuels mandate fell short: A markets and policy perspective.” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 13(4): 889-898 (2019).
  • Frank, J.R., T.R. Brown, R. Malmsheimer. “A techno-economic analysis of the financial trade-off between the production of biochar and biofuel via pyrolysis under uncertainty.” Biomass and Bioenergy. Under review (2019).
  • Brown, T.R. “Price uncertainty, policy, and the economic feasibility of cellulosic biorefineries.” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 12:485-496 (2018).
  • Brown, T.R., T.A. Volk, R. Malmsheimer, J. Heavey. “A stochastic techno-economic analysis of shrub willow production using EcoWillow 3.0S.” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining. DOI: 10.1002/bbb.1897 (2018).
  • J.R. Frank, T.R. Brown, R. Malmsheimer. “A financial and technical literature review of biochar production pathways.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Under review (2018).
  • T.R. Brown, and O.C. Doering. “Stochastic techno-economic analysis of electricity produced from poplar plantations in Indiana.” Renewable Energy. Under review (2018).
  • Razanakoto, A., T.R. Brown. “A comparison of the total energy efficiency and wood consumption from charcoal and fuelwood adoption in Madagascar.” Biomass and Bioenergy. Under review (2018).
  • Brown, T.R., R.C. Brown. “What role for the bioeconomy in an electrified transportation sector?” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 11:363-372 (2017).
  • Kieffer, M., T.R. Brown, R.C. Brown. “Flex fuel polygeneration: Integrating renewable natural gas into Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.” Applied Energy, 170: 2008-2018 (2016).
  • Hendricks, A.M., J.E. Wagner, T.A. Volk, D.H. Newman, T.R. Brown. “A cost-effective evaluation of biomass district heating in rural communities.” Applied Energy, 162: 561-569 (2016).
  • Brown, T.R. “A critical analysis of thermochemical cellulosic biorefinery capital cost estimates.” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 9(4): 412-421 (2015).
  • Brown, T.R. “A techno-economic review of thermochemical cellulosic biofuel pathways.” Bioresource Technology, 178: 166-176 (2015).
  • Wang, K., L. Ou, T.R. Brown, R.C. Brown. “Beyond ethanol: a techno-economic analysis of an integrated corn biorefinery for the production of hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals.” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 9(2):190-200 (2015).
  • Zhao, X., T.R. Brown, W. Tyner. “Stochastic techno-economic evaluation of cellulosic biofuel pathways.” Bioresource Technology, 198: 755-763 (2015).

Books and Book Chapters

  • Wright, M.M. and T.R. Brown. “Costs of Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Power and Liquid Fuels.” In: Brown, R.C., editor. Thermochemical Processing of Biomass. Wiley, 2019.
  • Brown, T.R. "Economic comparison of various pathways to pyrolysis-based fuels." In: Wang, K. and R.C. Brown, editors. Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass: Advances in Science and Technology. Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017.
  • Brown, T.R., M.M. Wright, Y. Roman-Leshkov, R.C. Brown. “Techno-economic assessment of biorefineries.” In: Waldron, K.W., editor. Advances in Biorefineries: Biomass and waste supply chain exploitation. Woodhead Publishing; 2014.
  • Brown, R.C., T.R. Brown. Biorenewable Resources, 2nd ed., 2013.
  • Brown, R.C., T.R. Brown. Why are We Producing Biofuels? Ames: Brownia; 2012.

Courses Taught

Current courses

SRE 416 Sustainable Energy Policy

SRE 419/619 Energy Policy Assessment Methodologies

SRE 337 Energy Resource Assessment

Past courses

FOR 208 Introduction to Sustainable Energy Resources

ENS 335/535 Renewable Energy (co-lecturer)

BRT 515 Biorenewable Law & Policy

BRT 516 International Biorenewable Law & Policy

BRT 501 Fundamentals of Biorenewable Resources

Current Graduate Advisees

Current Graduate Advisees

Jenny FrankJenny Frank

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Brown and Malmsheimer
  • Area of Study: FRM Sustainable Energy

HakSoo HaHakSoo Ha

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Brown
  • Area of Study: FRM Sustainable Energy
  • Previous Graduate Study: Indiana University of Bloomington* (Energy/ Environmenta)

Personal Statement
My PhD research interest focuses on lifecycle economic analysis of biopower which is one of key sustainable energy resources to help meet our future energy demand. I am keen on techno-economic analysis (TEA) for modeling a whole supply chain of biopower which is from harvesting forest biomass feedstock through supplying electric power and/or heat. I have developed my research and analytical skills through various resources of the FNRM’s Sustainable Energy program such as coursework, seminar, and conference presentations.

Graduate Research Topic
Techno-economic analysis of forest biomass feedstock supply and biopower

Favorite Quote
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. If you do not change, you can become extinct” ― George Bernard Shaw & Spencer Johnson

Julio RosadoJulio Rosado

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Brown
  • Area of Study: Sustainable Energy

Patrick WickershamPatrick Wickersham

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Brown
  • Area of Study: Sustainable Energy