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Sheila N Patek


Mrs. Alexander Hehmeyer Professor

The primary goal of research in the Patek laboratory is to examine the dynamic interplay between evolutionary processes and the mechanics of organisms.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Mrs. Alexander Hehmeyer Professor
  • Professor of Biology

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 014 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 613 8306
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Duke University, 2001

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Guggenheim Award. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 2015
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2013
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2012
  • Christopher Clavius, S.J. Award . Sigma Xi, St. Joseph’s University. 2009
  • Radcliffe Institute Fellowship. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. 2008
  • George A Bartholomew Award. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2008
  • Brilliant 10 Award. Popular Science Magazine. 2004

Courses Taught

  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • BIOLOGY 590S: Seminar (Topics)
  • BIOLOGY 493: Research Independent Study
  • BIOLOGY 429S: How Organisms Move
  • BIOLOGY 329L: Principles of Animal Physiology
  • BIOLOGY 293: Research Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Jorge, JF; Bergbreiter, S; Patek, SN, Pendulum-based measurements reveal impact dynamics at the scale of a trap-jaw ant., The Journal of experimental biology, vol 224 no. Pt 5 (2021) [10.1242/jeb.232157] [abs].
  • Longo, SJ; Ray, W; Farley, GM; Harrison, J; Jorge, J; Kaji, T; Palmer, AR; Patek, SN, Snaps of a tiny amphipod push the boundary of ultrafast, repeatable movement., Current biology : CB, vol 31 no. 3 (2021), pp. R116-R117 [10.1016/j.cub.2020.12.025] [abs].

Affiliate Topics in Materials Research