Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ryan Bebej

Associate Professor of Biology
Calvin University

Recording of Dr. Bebej's presentation (requires SPU login)

Ryan Bebej

"Remarkable tales of walking whales: the origin and early evolution of cetaceans"

Ryan Bebej is a professor in the Department of Biology at Calvin University, where he was selected as professor of the year in 2017. He earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology with a focus in paleontology from the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the evolution of aquatic mammals from terrestrial ancestors, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses). He is especially interested in the earliest stages of these large-scale evolutionary transitions and the anatomical modifications that facilitate changes in swimming mode. He has excavated skeletons of fossil whales at Wadi Al-Hitan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Egypt’s western desert, and he routinely spends time working in collections at world-renowned museums. Ryan is also deeply interested in the relationship between science and Christian faith. He has been a speaker for the BioLogos Foundation since 2016 and frequently presents at churches and schools about evolutionary science and Christianity. He has been a Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) visiting scholar in science and religion and a participant in SCIO's Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II program.

As a taste of Dr. Bebej's talk, please enjoy his recent podcast - "Fossils: A Window to God's Creation", featuring SPU Professor of Biology, Cara Wall-Scheffler.