SPEAKERS BIOGRAPHIES

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Leonard Brand

Dr. Leonard Brand is Professor of Biology and Paleontology in the Department of Earth and Biological Sciences, at Loma Linda University. He received his PhD at Cornell University in 1970 and has been on the LLU faculty since then. He teaches courses in paleontology, vertebrate biology, and philosophy of science. His research focuses on the processes of fossilization and the geological factors that influence preservation of fossils. He has published over 35 scientific research papers and numerous articles in church publications. He has published three books, which have been translated into one or more other languages. He has received a Zapara Award for Distinguished Teaching, a best student paper award at national meetings, and a Distinguished Service Award from LLU. His strongest long-term interest has been developing a Bible-centered approach to the integration of faith and science.

Raul Esperante

Dr. Raúl Esperante holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia in Spain, and a Doctorate in Biology with emphasis on Paleontology from Loma Linda University, California. He is Senior Researcher at the Geoscience Research Institute and adjunct professor at Loma Linda University. His research includes the study of fossil marine mammals and sediments, sequence stratigraphy, ichnology, and ancient environments recorded in sedimentary rocks in Peru, Spain and Bolivia. He has given lectures at universities and museums in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Australia. He frequently lectures at meetings of pastors, teachers and university students on topics related to the interface between science and faith, and the topics of creation and evolution. Dr. Esperante is a member of several scientific societies, including the Ichnological Association, the Geological Society of Spain, the Spanish Society of Paleontology, Society of Economic Paleontology and Mineralogy, and the International Palaeontological Association. His scientific articles have been published in the journals Geology, Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Palaios, Geologica Acta, Spanish Journal of Paleontology, and Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology. He enjoys gardening, photography and reading theology books.

Jim Gibson

Dr. Jim Gibson is Director of the Geoscience Research Institute, in Loma Linda, California. After completing his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Pacific Union College, he taught academy science and mathematics in California and West Africa. Further graduate work led to the PhD from Loma Linda University in 1984, when he joined the Geoscience Research Institute. In 1994, he succeeded Dr. Ariel Roth as Director of the Institute. His main study interests are in historical biology and the relationship of faith and science. He has participated in conferences on the Bible and science in all of the Church’s Divisions. He and Humberto Rasi co-edited the book, Understanding Creation. He was also an editor of the book, Entrusted: Christians and Environmental Care, with Steven Dunbar and Humberto Rasi. He was the principal contributor to the Sabbath School lessons for first quarter, 2013, and the author of the companion book for the lessons, entitled Origins. He also contributed to the 2014 missionary book, Beyond Imagination. His hobbies include birding, gardening, and grandchildren. For more information about the Geoscience Research Institute, visit www.grisda.org.

Ronny Nalin

Dr. Ronny Nalin (Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, University of Padova) works as Associate Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute (CA, USA) and is Adjunct Professor of Geology at Loma Linda University. His interests focus on the sedimentology of non-tropical carbonates and sequence stratigraphy of shallow marine deposits. He has published several papers on these subjects on international journals of sedimentary geology. Ronny’s personal quest is to better understand the role faith and science should play in the construction of a biblical worldview.

Suzanne Phillips

Dr. Suzanne Phillips is the chair of the Earth and Biological Sciences Department at Loma Linda University. She previously served as chair and professor in the Biology Department at Southwestern Adventist University (Texas) for nine years. She attended Sunnydale Academy in Missouri for high school, then Union College where she received a BS in Biology in 1998. She graduated from Loma Linda University’s Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Department with a Ph.D. in 2003. She serves on the Faith & Science Council and the Geoscience Research Institute’s board, GRICO. Her interests include bacterial signaling pathways, geology, and sharing the gospel. She and her husband, David, live in the mountains of southern California above Loma Linda University with their two children, Anna and Shane.

Timothy Standish

Dr. Timothy Standish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up in the Far East where his parents served as missionaries. He completed a BS degree in zoology with a chemistry minor and an MS degree in Biology while studying brachiopods at Andrews University in Michigan. At George Mason University, he was awarded a Ph.D. in environmental biology and public policy based on his research into molecular techniques useful for identification and classification of nematode worms.

Dr. Standish has taught all over the world: United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Austria and the Philippines. His publications cover topics ranging from the molecular basis of behavior in crickets, to turtle conservation, Intelligent Design and public policy. In addition, he has authored many academic and popular publications dealing with faith and science. Production of films exploring the beautiful and elegant design evident in living things is another area in which he has been active. Dr. Standish holds the rank of Senior Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California.

Edward Zinke

E. Edward Zinke, a theologian and businessman, was the son of missionary parents who served in Mexico. Ed has an MDiv and MA from Andrews University and doctoral candidate status at Catholic University of America in systematic theology. He has published various articles and books including the Sabbath School quarterly for the first quarter of 2010 and its accompanying book, “The Certainty of the Second Coming.” He was associate director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference from 1971 to 1986. He served as president of Ann’s House of Nuts, an international food company, until 2008, when he and his wife sold the company. He serves on the Boards of Trustees of Andrews and Oakwood Universities, on the Biblical Research Institute Committee, on the Sabbath School Lesson Committee, the Faith and Science Council, International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education, the General Conference Executive Committee, and is Vice- Chair of the Ellen G. White Estate. He was co-founder, past president and current treasurer of the Adventist Theological Society. He is also active at Spencerville Adventist Church, teaching an adult Sabbath School class. Ed and His wife Ann have two sons and are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren.

Tom Zoutewelle

Noemi Duran

Dr. Noemí Durán is the director of the European branch office of the Geoscience Research Institute. She obtained a degree in Animal Biology in the University of Valencia, Spain, and a PhD in Marine Biology at Loma Linda University, California. Her educational background includes as well a graduate diploma in Social-Environmental Education.
Noemí loves animals and strongly advocates the need of reconnecting with nature, spending time outdoors, and studying the natural world to learn more about God and ourselves. For her PhD research, she studied sea turtles in a remote nesting beach in South Honduras and she has also done behavioral research and educational work in zoos and aquaria.
In her current position for GRI at the EUD, Noemí travels across Europe teaching about Creation in Adventist churches, schools and universities. She develops educational activities and audiovisual materials to promote creation and care for nature, specially among children, teenagers and young people.

Néstor Petruk

Néstor Petruk teaches Hebrew Language, Biblical Exegesis and Archaeology at the Spanish Adventist College in Sagunto. He is trained in Theology, Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages, and Assyriology. He studied his BA at the River Plate Adventist University, in Argentina, and graduate studies at the University of Barcelona in Spain. His research interests are Biblical Theology, Hebrew Linguistics, and Mesopotamian Language and Literature. He studies the cuneiform tradition on the origin of the world and the flood, and its relationship with the Bible. Néstor has participated in different archaeological expeditions to Israel and Jordan, and in projects in Egypt. He has published several academic articles and is the co-author of the book “History of Jewish People” (2016), along with other scholars from the Ancient Near Eastern Institute of the University of Barcelona. Nestor is married to Nuria and they have a 4-year-old boy, Hugo.

Martin Pröbstle

Martin Pröbstle is Professor of Old Testament and the Dean of the Department of Theology at Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen in Austria. He is passionate about studying and teaching the Bible with “fresh eyes,” discovering the power of its ancient words anew with others, and explore the intersections of faith and science. He holds a a Ph.D. in Old Testament exegesis and theology from Andrews University and a MA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Pröbstle is the principal contributor of the Adult Bible Study Guide on the Sanctuary (4/2013) and authored the books Where God and I Meet: The Sanctuary (2013) and Himmel auf Erden(2013). He contributed the commentary on Micah for the forthcoming Andrews Bible Commentary and is writing the commentaries on Haggai and Zechariah for the new Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary. Among articles and essays in academic publications, he enjoys his column on challenging Bible texts in the journal Salvation + Service. Martin is married to Marianne, and they call two energetic university students their sons.

Birgir Oskarsson