Brandon Sinn, Assistant Professor, Biology & Earth Science

Dr. Sinn is a botanist whose research leverages molecular and morphological techniques to answer questions central to our understanding of the diversification of lineages and their evolutionary relationships, the transfer of genetic material between distantly related organisms, conservation, and organellar genome evolution. Dr. Sinn joined the department in 2019 after serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Barrett Lab at West Virginia University where his work focused on conservation genetics, comparative genomics, and ecological niche modeling. He also served as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory at the New York Botanical Garden as part of the international Planteome Project. Dr. Sinn teaches Principles of Biology, Introduction to Organisms and Ecology, and Molecular Evolution.


  • Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 2015
  • B.S. in Biological Sciences, Youngstown State University, 2008
  • Postdoctoral Experience: West Virginia University, Barrett Lab
  • Postdoctoral Experience: New York Botanical Garden, Stevenson Lab
  • Publications

  • Sinn, B.T. and C.F. Barrett. 2020. Ancient mitochondrial gene transfer between fungi and the orchids. Molecular Biology and Evolution 37(1):44-57. PDF
  • Folk, R.A., N. Sewnath, C.-L. Xiang, B.T. Sinn, and R.P. Guralnick. 2020. Degradation of key photosynthetic genes in the endangered semi-aquatic flowering plant Saniculiphyllum guangxiense (Saxifragaceae). BMC Plant Biology 20:324. PDF
  • C.F. Barrett, J. Lambert, M.V. Santee, B.T. Sinn, S.V. Skibicki, H.M. Stephens, and H. Thixton. 2020. Genetic, morphological, and niche variation in the widely hybridizing Rhus integrifolia-Rhus ovata species complex. Plant Species Biology – in press.
  • Fama, N. M, B. T. Sinn, C. F. Barrett. 2020. Integrating genetics, morphology, and fungal host specificity in conservation studies of a vulnerable, selfing, mycoheterotrophic orchid. BioRxiv preprint.
  • Barrett, C.F., B.T. Sinn, and A.H. Kennedy. 2019. Unprecedented parallel photosynthetic losses in a heterotrophic orchid genus. Molecular Biology and Evolution 36(9):1884-1901. PDF
  • Barrett, C.F., B.T. Sinn, L.T. King, J.C. Medina, C.D. Bacon, S.C. Lahmeyer, and D.R. Hodel. 2019. Phylogenomics, biogeography, and evolution in the American genus Brahea (Araceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society 190(3):242-259. PDF
  • Barrett, C.F., M.R. McKain, B.T. Sinn, X.J. Ge, Y. Zhang, A. Antonelli, and C.D. Bacon. 2019. Ancient polyploidy and genome evolution in palms. Genome Biology and Evolution 11(5):1501-1511. PDF
  • Sinn, B.T., D.D. Sedmak, L.M. Kelly, and J.V. Freudenstein. 2018. Total duplication of the small single copy region in the angiosperm plastome: rearrangement and inverted repeat instability in AsarumAmerican Journal of Botany 105(1): 71-84. PDF
  • Roznere, I., B.T. Sinn, and G.T. Watters. 2018. The Amblema plicata transcriptome as a resource to assess environmental impacts on freshwater mussels. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation 21(2):57-64. PDF
  • Cooper, L., A. Meier, M.-A. Laporte, J.L. Elser, C. Mungall, B.T. Sinn, D. Cavaliere, S. Carbon, N.A. Dunn, B. Smith, B. Qu, J. Preece, E. Zhang, S. Todorovic, G. Gkoutos, J.H. Doonan, D.W. Stevenson, E. Arnaud, and P. Jaiswal. 2018. The Planteome database: an integrated resource for reference ontologies, plant genomics and phenomics. Nucleic Acids Research 46(D1):1168-1180. PDF
  • Sinn, B.T. 2017. Asarum rosei (Aristolochiaceae), a new species from the Blue Ridge Escarpment of North Carolina, USA. Phytotaxa 296(1):53-62. PDF
  • B.T. Sinn, L.M. Kelly, and J.V. Freudenstein. 2015. Putative floral brood-site mimicry, loss of autonomous selfing, and reduced vegetative growth are significantly correlated with increased diversification in Asarum (Aristolochiaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 89:194-204. PDF
  • B.T. Sinn. Asarum chueyi (Aristolochiaceae), a new species from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee and Virginia, USA. Phytotaxa 224(1):85-95.
  • B.T. Sinn, L.M. Kelly, and J.V. Freudenstein. 2015. Phylogenetic relationships in Asarum: effect of data partitioning and a revised classification. American Journal of Botany 102(5):765-779. PDF
  • Renne, I.J., B.T. Sinn, G.W. Shook, D.M. Sedlacko, J.R. Dull, D. Villarreal, and J.L. Hierro. 2014. Eavesdropping in plants: delayed germination via biochemical recognition. Journal of Ecology 102(1):86-94. PDF