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”



Isabel Fernandez,

“I did my Master in Marine Aquaculture at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain). Since I can remember, I have always loved marine animals and aquatic environments. During my Master thesis I discovered my passion for histology. Thanks to a MEXT scholarship and driven by that passion, now I am  studying the neuroanatomy of the Baird’s Beaked Whale  at Nina’s Laboratory (Hokkaido University, Japan). A fulfilling work in a great University with excellent companions”



Jinta Kasai


“In April 2018 I joined Nina’s laboratory  after studying basic biology in the Faculty of Science ( Hokkaido University) for 3 years. From early childhood I’ve loved marine mammals, especially seals. Now I am studying the neuroanatomy of the Harbor Porpoise. In my free time, I work as a volunteer at the Maruyama Zoo. It is really fun and meaningful to work with colleagues from various countries in my home country, Japan”


Technical staff


Hinako Katsushima & Masakazu Hoshino


Hinako and Masakazu are students of the Hokkaido University Science Faculty. They are helping us with homogenization and cell counting of the brains.






Asa Watanabe