Marjorie Patrick, PhD
Associate Professor, Biology
Marjorie L. Patrick joined the faculty in Fall 2003. In the Biology Department, Dr. Patrick teaches two of the lower division biology courses that provide students a foundation in genetics, evolution, ecology and cellular processes. Additionally she offers upper division lecture and laboratory courses exploring invertebrate physiology. Her research field is comparative animal physiology, with an interest in osmoregulatory strategies of aquatic insect and fish species residing in chemically diverse environments.
BSc (Hons), McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, Biology
MSc, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, Biology
PhD, University of California, Irvine, Biological Sciences
Scholarly and Creative Work
Dr. Patrick's research field is comparative animal physiology. Her specific interest is to examine how aquatic animals are able to maintain water and ion (e.g. sodium and chloride) balance while residing in environments that pose great challenges to this physiological function. Dr. Patrick studies larval forms of mosquitoes that can thrive in water that ranges from essentially zero ion levels to three-times saltier than seawater. She also studies the ion regulatory strategies of fish that reside in the extremely ion-poor and acidic waters of the Rio Negro, a black water tributary of the Amazon river with enormous diversity of fish life. She utilizes traditional physiological approaches, combined with gene and protein expression assays, to identify ion transporter proteins that are central to the animal's novel ion regulatory abilities and determine how they are regulated in these extreme environments. Dr. Patrick's research has been published in several international physiology journals.
Professor Patrick shares her enthusiasm for physiology in her upper division course that examines the evolution and integration of physiological systems of invertebrate animals. In both the lecture and laboratory component, Dr. Patrick exposes students to the primary literature to provide a greater depth of discussion, including how physiological research is performed. In the laboratory, the students engage fully in the scientific method as they perform experiments to understand the integrative nature of an invertebrate's physiological response to a given environmental challenge. In lower division, Dr. Patrick enjoys introducing students to evolutionary theory that underlies the unity and diversity of life.