Q & A with Dr. Ryan Kelly

Ryan Kelly
Ryan Kelly

How did you decide to become a professor?

In my case, it wasn’t a very direct path, and I wasn’t quite sure where I would end up. But being a professor brings together a lot of things that I enjoy; it’s a nice balance of research, teaching, writing, and so on. It can be collaborative or solitary, and can take you all over the world. So I’m very glad to have ended up with the job that I have.

What do you like most about your work?

The constant immersion in new and evolving information. I’m curious by nature, and this job lets me do a lot of exploring alongside students and other researchers.

If you could have any amount of funding to conduct research, what would you do, and why?

Figure out how to get people to work together, especially when the payoff is in the future. Also, ride dolphins.

How would you describe SMEA students?

Energetic, engaging, and altogether a lot of fun.

What advice would you give to students who are considering studying at SMEA?

Talk with the current students, because they’ll give you a good sense of what life is really like at SMEA. And take advantage of the opportunity to live in a fantastic city like Seattle.

What is your favorite form of marine life, and why?

Chitons, obviously. They’re 500+ million years old, seem to have changed very little, have tongues made (in part) of iron, and they’re just cool-looking.