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.


Graduate Students:

Justin Jorge received a B.A. in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 where he worked in Dr. Mimi Koehl’s lab to investigate the biomechanics of single cell predators feeding on choanoflagellates. Justin’s research focuses on ultra-fast movements in nature, specifically those of trap-jaw ants and seed shooting plants such as the witch hazel.


Undergraduate researchers:

Katie Meehl is a Biology major with a Marine Science and Conservation minor. She is interested in medicine, ecosystem health, and animal morphology, leading her to the Patek Lab where she studies the muscles in the raptorial appendages of arthropods for her undergraduate thesis.


Undergraduate Aquarium Staff:

Nhu Bui (Aquarium Director)

Sal Carlson

Kennedy Rouser

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

William Van Trump, Ph.D., University of California Irvine

Jack Tseng, Ph.D., University of Southern California

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

Leah Fitchett, M.S., Virginia Tech

Grace Farley, M.A.T., Duke; high school science teacher at Jordan High School, Durham, NC

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

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, Bryn Mawr College

Jennifer Taylor, Associate Professor, Scripps Institute of Oceanography