Professor of Biology
Neufeld Science Centre 111D
+1 (604) 513-2121 ext. 3446

Department(s) or Program(s)


Dennis Venema is a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation, and was Fellow of Biology for the BioLogos Foundation from 2011 to 2018. He was a Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) Visiting Scholar in Science and Religion in 2015-2016. He is co-author, with Scot McKnight, of Adam and the Genome (2017).

Research & Scholarship

Research in my lab is focused on the genetics of pattern formation and signaling, using the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. The superior genetic and molecular biology tools available in Drosophila make this organism second to none for developmental biology studies. Current projects include investigating the role of cell-cell junction components in tissue patterning and examining the insulin signaling pathway in flies.

I also conduct education research in the areas of genetics and cell biology. I am particularly interested in developing and evaluating active-learning methods to improve learning outcomes in these areas.


Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2003.

B.Sc. (Hons.), University of British Columbia, 1996.

Recent Publications

Peterson, M.L. and Venema, D.R. (forthcoming, 2020) Biology, Religion, and Philosophy: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Venema, D.R. and McKnight, S. (2017). Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press.

Venema, D.R. (2011). Intelligent design, abiogenesis, and learning from history: a reply to Meyer. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 63 (3), 183-192.

Venema, D.R. (2010). Seeking a signature: essay book review of Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 62 (4), 276-283.

Venema, D.R. (2010). Genesis and the genome: genomics evidence for human – ape common ancestry and ancestral hominid population sizes. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 62 (3), 166-178.

Venema, D.R. (2010). An evangelical geneticist's critique of Reason to Believe's Testable Creation Model. BioLogos Foundation.

Venema, D.R. (2009). Laboratory exercises to examine recombination and aneuploidy in Drosophila. American Biology Teacher 71 (6), 325-332.

Venema, D.R. and Paulton, R. (2009). A Christian Perspective on Biology. In Christian Worldview and the Academic Disciplines: Crossing the Academy, Downey, E.D. and Porter, S.E., Eds.  McMaster Divinity College Press General Series, Wipf and Stock, Eugene, Oregon.

Venema, D.R. (2006). Enhancing undergraduate teaching and research with a Drosophila virginizing system. CBE-Life Sciences Education 5, 353-360.

 Venema, D.R., Ben-Mordehai, T., and Auld, V.J. (2004). Transient apical polarization of Gliotactin and Coracle is required for parallel alignment of wing hairs in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 275, 301-314.


  • Developmental biology
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Genetics, science education
  • Creationism
  • Intelligent design and evolution

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Evolutionary Theory (BIOL 226)
  • Evolutionary Theory (BIOL 326)
  • Immunology (BIOL 336)
  • Introduction to Genetics (BIOL 371)
  • Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 423)
  • Developmental Neurobiology (BIOL 440)
  • Senior Thesis supervision (BIOL 409/410)