Sioux City, IA – Kurt Spearing, associate professor of anatomy at Morningside College, presented at the Sanford Museum in Cherokee, Iowa on February 5. Spearing discussed his professional journey into paleontology and his work with morphology and the evolution of Carnivoran Mammals including his recent work researching the anatomy of the Mesocyon, an extinct genus of dog that lived approximately 30 million years ago.Riley Custer and Kurt Spearing at the 2019 Geological Society of America meeting

Spearing hosted the presentation as part of the Northwest Chapter of the Iowa Archaeological Society, a branch of the Iowa Archaeological Society pledged to support and advance the knowledge of all archaeological remains for the benefit of future generations of Iowans and scientists. Spearing began research into the Mesocyon in 2018 with senior biology and studio art major Riley Custer as part of Morningside’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, a funded scholar’s program that provides students and faculty with research and presentation opportunities during summer sessions. Custer and Spearing presented their research at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in September 2019. 

Spearing teaches courses in human anatomy, vertebrate paleontology, and comparative vertebrate anatomy. He earned his B.S. at Eastern Illinois University, M.S. at Michigan State University, and Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University.

The biology program at Morningside College provides students with unique opportunities to participate in and present research at the undergraduate level. The program places an emphasis on field and laboratory skills, preparing students for careers in teaching, medicine, conservation, and more. Learn more here.