Dr. Patrick Bryan
Associate Professor, Biology
Office Location: Wheaton 209
See office hours here
I received a bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in marine science from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. During summers, I took additional marine science courses in Virginia and Florida. After graduating, I was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and attended training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. When this training was completed, I began graduate school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My research focused on the chemical communication systems used by marine invertebrates. Some of these chemical signals are used to attract mates, some to locate food, some for defense against predation, and some to trigger metamorphosis of invertebrate larvae. I conducted both laboratory and field work during my time as a graduate student. Some of my projects took me to Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, California, Duke University Marine Laboratory in North Carolina, and McMurdo Station on Ross Island, Antarctica. I ended up going to Antarctica twice as a research diver. Our work combined ecology with pharmaceutical drug development. We identified animals that used chemicals to protect themselves from being eaten or overgrown and the chemists we worked with would test these same compounds for activity that could be useful for pharmaceutical development.
After finishing my Ph.D. at UAB, I went to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for a year and studied chemical cues that trigger metamorphosis in abalone, in association with an aquaculture facility in China. I also studied metamorphic cues in tube-building polychaete larvae for a project funded by the U.S. Navy. After a year, I ended up back in the U.S. at the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, which is a marine laboratory on Catalina Island run by the University of Southern California. During this year, I studied energetics of larval development in sea urchin larvae and continued with this theme of research during my faculty appointment at Central Washington University. I taught Cell Biology, Zoology, Invertebrate Zoology, Coral Reef Natural History (in Hawaii), Developmental Biology, and Introductory Biology for 6 years while I was in Washington. I performed my research at Bamfield Marine Station on Vancouver Island and focused on identifying environmental metamorphic cues for a seastar, Mediaster aequalis. I also studied the energetics of development in the seastar’s larvae. While at CWU, I was nominated for several teaching awards and was awarded the Most Inspirational Biology Instructor award from the student biology club and department. I also received several small research grants to facilitate my research.
I came to Connecticut in 2005 and focused on my teaching. At Middlesex, I have taught General Biology 1 (Intro Cell biology), General Biology 2 (Organismal Biology), Zoology, and Introduction to Biology (a non-majors course). I have been the Academic Advising coordinator, served on the college council and curriculum committee and am now the biotechnology coordinator.
In addition to my academic pursuits, I have been an active mountaineer, rock climber, mountain biker, and trail runner. Recently I have been focused on the half marathon and continue to improve my times each year. My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Last year, I missed the qualification time by one minute.