Faculty Profile

Elena Brezynski

Elena Brezynski

Assistant Professor of Biology

Email: brezynskie@spu.edu
Phone: 206-286-7342
Office: Marston 249

Education: BA, Oxford University, 1984; PhD, Monash University, 1989; PGCE, University of London, 1993. At SPU since 2011.

Elena Brezynski was born and raised in England, and, after completing her degree in Zoology at Oxford, was awarded a scholarship to study for a PhD in Physiology at Monash University, Australia. This started her journey around the English-speaking universities of the globe. In Australia, she researched the effect of pineal hormone melatonin on mammalian circadian systems, and afterward traveled on to three years of post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley.

At Berkeley, Dr. Brezynski continued investigating melatonin, now with respect to its effect on the circannual rhythms of hibernating mammals. After a brief six months in South America, she returned to the UK and the Institute for Education, London University, where she obtained a Post-Graduate Certificate in science education and then taught all manner of biological courses in various schools in London. In 2008, she returned with her family to the U.S. Since 2011, Dr. Brezynski has been teaching Anatomy & Physiology and other biology courses at Seattle Pacific.

In the Biology Department, she is the one responsible for the new generation of SPU graduates pronouncing “capillary” with an English accent.

Hear Dr. Brezynski describe how she has students use white boards to facilitate active learning in her courses.

Selected Publications

  • Hiebert, S.M.; E.M. Thomas; T.M. Lee; K.M. Pelz; S.M. Yellon; and I. Zucker (2000). “Photic entrainment of circannual rhythms in golden-mantled ground squirrels: role of the pineal gland.” J. Biol. Rhythms 15:126–34.
  • Thomas, E.M.; M.E. Jewett; and I. Zucker (1993). “Torpor shortens the period of Siberian hamster circadian rhythms.” American Journal of Physiology.
  • Zucker, I.; E.M. Thomas; and T. M. Lee (1992). “Temperature dependence of mammalian circadian rhythms.” Discussions in Neuroscience 7:48–51.
  • Thomas, E.M.; and S.M. Armstrong (1989). “Effect of ovariectomy and estradiol on the unity of female rat circadian rhythms.” American Journal of Physiology 251:R1241–50.
  • Thomas, E.M.; and S.M. Armstrong (1988). “Melatonin administration entrains female rat activity rhythms in constant darkness but not in constant light.” American Journal of Physiology 255:R237–42.

Please view Dr. Brezynski's CV (PDF) for additional publications.

Elena Brezynski

Why I Teach at SPU

Elena Brezynski, Assistant Professor of Biology

“What I enjoy most is being in a classroom or lab talking with my students about biology. With the small class sizes at SPU, I know my students well and they know me. Questions and discussions flow best in smaller groups, and active, lively participation is the way students make critical connections among biological topics.”