Lab Members


Dr. Nina Patzke

“I am a neuroscientist, with my research focusing on brain evolution. I did my M.Sc in Biochemistry (2005) and my PhD (2009) in Biopsychology, both at the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany. In 2010 I moved to South Africa and in 2014 to Brazil to conduct studies on the mammalian brain. Since March 2017 I have been at Hokkaido University. Using the comparative neuroanatomical approach on non-model organisms, I would like to understand how the mammalian brain evolved. I am especially interested in the evolution of large brains”

See my short CV


Suzuka Iritani

I joined this lab in 2020 as a bachelor student. I am interested in aquatic mammals especially pinnipeds. After completing my bachelor studies on the seal hippocampus, I will continue with my master studies on the seal neuroanatomy. I am currently analyzing the brains of spotted seals and Steller sea lions. I am exited to work on this project.

Nasiba Afrin

I am Nasiba Afrin from Bangladesh. After completing by bachelor’s in Zoology from Bangladesh, I joined as a master’s student in Hokkaido university on 2nd October 2019. I am proud to be part of Patzke lab. It is a very nice place where students of different countries work. I always love animals and now I get the opportunity to work on marine animals in this lab. I am interested to work on the neuroanatomy of cetaceans.

Aya Komemura

I am 4th senior at Hokkaido University and I joined Prof. Patzke’s laboratory in April 2021. I am interested in how underwater environment can influence the evolution of marine mammals. Specifically, I want to understand how different habitats can affect brain evolution.

Kaede Watanabe

In April 2021 I joined this lab. I am interested in neuroscience especially in whales. I would like to study the different types of astrocytes of in the brains of different whale including dolphins. I love animals because my parents often took me to zoos and aquariums. Therefore, I am very excited to learn more about marine mammals.

Technical staff

Phua Yong Heng

Phua is an undergraduate student at the Faculty of Life Science who is assisting us in the laboratory.


Mahmutjan Dawut
Hinako Katsushima &
Masakazu Hoshino
Asa Watanabe
Zhu Yao
Minasa Kasai
Jinta Kasai
Yingxue Guan
Deepika Jauhar
Isabel Fernandez