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Matthew Morris, PhD

Associate Professor, Biology
Phone number
(403) 407-9494


Dr. Morris is a biologist interested in the ecology and evolution of fishes. His work utilizes DNA barcoding to explore such varied topics as invasive fishes in Alberta or the mislabeling of seafoods. He has a deep interest in the interaction between science and faith, and most recently co-published a paper with Professor of Old Testament Dr. Beth Stovell on the science and theology of naming living creatures. He has authored 16 field guides on provincial and state fishes and has been published in such journals as Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Journal of Fish Biology, Evolution, and Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. Dr. Morris is an active member of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation. He and his wife, Danielle, are the proud parents of three children.

Current Research

Taxonomic Theology – Taxonomy is the science of naming and classifying living things. Adam’s naming of the animals in Genesis 2 is the starting point of a broad theology of naming throughout Scripture, which has resonances with, and lessons for, the scientific practice of naming today. Similarly, the practice of taxonomy brings a new lens to the theology of naming. In this study Dr. Morris and Dr. Stovell argue that the naming of living things is a human calling that is creative, relational, and protective to the creatures so-named.

Mislabeling of seafood – What you bought is not always what you got, especially in the wild world of seafoods. Using DNA barcoding, Ambrose genetics students, in collaboration with Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary, have discovered that roughly 1 in 5 seafood samples in Calgary are mislabeled, with economic, health, and conservation consequences.


PhD (University of Calgary)
MA (University of Calgary)
BSc (Dalhousie University)
BRE (Alberta Bible College)

Signature Courses

BIO 211 Principles of Genetics
ZOO 275 Invertebrate Zoology
IND 287 Science and Christian Faith

Select Publications

Stovell B, Morris MRJ (2022) Taxonomic theology: an interdisciplinary approach to a biblical and biological theology of naming. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. 74: 194-211. Morris MRJ, Smith S, Rosebush J, Rogers S (2021) Mitochondrial volume density and evidence for its role in adaptive divergence in response to thermal tolerance in threespine stickleback. Journal of Comparative Physiology B.
Morris MRJ (2020) Naming as a form of stewardship: A case study on fraudulent fishes sold in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. 72: 151-166.
Morris MRJ, Kaufman R, Rogers SM (2019) Heterozygosity and asymmetry: Ectodysplasin as a form of genetic stress in marine threespine stickleback. Evolution. 73: 378-389.
Morris MRJ, Bowles E, Allen BE, Jamniczky HA, Rogers SM (2018) Contemporary ancestor? Adaptive divergence from standing genetic variation in Pacific marine threespine stickleback. BMC Evolution.
Morris MRJ, Petrovitch E, Bowles E, Jamniczky HA, Rogers SM (2017) Exploring Jordan's Rule in Pacific three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. Journal of Fish Biology.
Rogers SM, Morris MRJ (2014) Alberta fishes: a folding pocket guide to all known native and introduced species. Waterford Press.
Morris MRJ (2014) We know in part: James McCosh on evolution and Christian faith. Journal of the History of Biology. 47(3): 363-410.
Morris MRJ, Rogers SM (2013) Overcoming maladaptive plasticity through plastic compensation. Current Zoology. 59: 526-536.
Morris MRJ, Fraser DJ, Heggelin AJ, Whoriskey FG, Carr JW, O'Neil SF, Hutchings JA (2008) Prevalence and recurrence of escaped farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in eastern North American rivers. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 65: 2807-2826.