Our Team

Principal Investigator: 

Bio + Curriculum VitaeGoogle Scholar,   Research Gate,  Orcid

Prof. S. N. Patek, Ph.D. is the Hehmeyer Professor of Biology and a Bass Fellow at Duke University. Patek received an A.B. with honors in Biology from Harvard University followed by a Ph.D. in Biology from Duke University. Patek was a postdoctoral fellow at the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at UC Berkeley.   Patek has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the George A. Bartholomew Award for distinguished contributions to comparative physiology, and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.


Postdoctoral fellows:

Dr. Melody Young is nearly through her dual physician-scientist training. She received her Ph.D. in Medical and Biological Sciences from the New York Institute of Technology in 2024 where she studied locomotion across a wide phylogenetic range, with a focus on climbing biomechanics. Taking a year off before returning to clinical rotations, her postdoctoral research will center on elucidating the path of energy flow – from storage to release – of tiny biological springs in nature.


Graduate Students:

Jackson Savage (coming soon!)


Special Lab Guests:

Clare Cook (graduate student, Horstmeyer Lab, Duke University)
Grace Farley (high school teacher, Jordan High School)


Undergraduate researchers:

Tarik Burlingham
Angie Huang
Ellery Lei
Victor Slivinskis


Undergraduate Aquarium Staff:

Kennedy Rouser (Aquarium Director)
Sal Carlson
Shantelle Mendez
Victor Slivinskis


Former lab undergraduates who continued on to graduate school (not a complete list):

Marco Mendoza Blanco, M.S., University of Southern California
Nikoletta Danos, Ph.D., Harvard University
Yasuhiko Komatsu, UMass Amherst
Dave Matthews, Ph.D., Harvard University
Lauren Shipp, Ph.D., Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Jack Tseng, Ph.D., University of Southern California
William Van Trump, Ph.D., University of California Irvine
Travis Zack, Ph.D., Harvard University


Former lab managers:

Joe Baio, Ph.D., University of Washington, now Associate Professor at Oregon State University
Rachel Crane, Ph.D., Stanford University
Grace Farley, M.A.T., Duke; high school science teacher at Jordan High School, Durham, NC
Leah Fitchett, M.S., Virginia Tech
Elizabeth Murphy, Ph.D., University of Virginia; Postdoc: Umea U.
Billy Ray, Ph.D. student, UC Santa Barbara
Ben Schelling, Ph.D. student, Old Dominion University
Erica Staaterman, Ph.D., University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Postdoc: Smithsonian Institution; Bioacoustician at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.


Former graduate students:

Suzanne Cox, M.S.M.E., Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst; postdocs: Pennsylvania State University, UC Irvine, Duke; Senior Analyst, DEFCON AI
Maya deVries, Ph.D., University of California Berkeley; Postdoc: Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Assistant Professor at San Jose State University
Jason Dinh, Ph.D., Duke University; Climate editor at Atmos Magazine.
Jacob Harrison, Ph.D., Duke University; Postdoc: Georgia Tech
Justin Jorge, Ph.D., Duke University; BASF Leadership Development Fellow
Michael Rosario, M.S., University of Massachusetts Amherst; Ph.D., Duke University; Postdoc: Brown University; Associate Professor at West Chester University
Patrick Green, Ph.D., Duke University; Postdoc: Duke University, U. Exeter


Former postdocs:

Phil Anderson, Associate Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Thomas Claverie, Maitre de Conferences, Centre Universitaire de Formation et de Recherche
Katsushi Kagaya, Postdoc, University of Tokyo
Chi Yun Kuo, Assistant Professor, Kaohsiung Medical University
Sarah Longo, Assistant Professor, Towson University
Martha Munoz, Assistant Professor, Yale University
Crystal Reynaga, Assistant Professor, Dickinson College
Jennifer Taylor, Associate Professor, Scripps Institute of Oceanography