Alison Murray, Ph.D.

Research Professor

Contact Information


  • Ph. D., Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1998
  • M.S., Cell and Molecular Biology, San Francisco State University, 1994
  • B.S., Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1989


Professional Appointments

  • 2013 Research Professor, Desert Research Institute, Reno
  • 2011 Visiting Professor, University Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI)
  • 2010 - 2012 Senior Visiting Fellow, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • 2006 Associate Research Professor, Desert Research Institute, Reno
  • 2008 Adjunct Professor, UNR, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • 2005 Adjunct Professor, UNR, Biology Department
  • 2003 Adjunct Professor, UNR, Reno Environmental Sciences Graduate Program
  • 2002 Adjunct Professor, UNR, Reno Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program
  • 2001 - 2006 Assistant Research Professor, Desert Research Institute, Reno
  • 1999 - 2001 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University

Fellowships, Awards, Distinguished Honors

  • 2014 Nevada System of Higher Education Regents Researcher Award
  • 2009 Nevada System of Higher Education Regents Rising Researcher Award
  • 2009 Sabbatical, DRI
  • 2006 Peter B. Wagner Medal of Excellence for DRI Scholars in the Early to Mid Stages of Career Development
  • 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, SFSU
  • 2004 US Representative to the Scientific Standing Group in Life Sciences, on the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR); Polar Research Board appointment: 2004-2014.
  • 2004 Member of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life Steering Committee

Research Interests

  • Molecular microbial biology
  • Microbial genome evolution
  • Symbiosis and host-microbe interactions
  • Aquatic ecosystems research
  • Life in extreme environments
  • Astrobiology

Selected Publications

  • *Murray, AE, F Kenig, CH Fritsen, CP McKay, KM Cawley, R Edwards, E Kuhn, DM McKnight, NE Ostrom, V Peng, A Ponce, JC Priscu, V Samarkin, AT Townsend, P Wagh, SA Young, PT Yung, PT Doran. 2012. Microbial life at -13oC in the brine of an ice-sealed Antarctic Lake. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109 (50) 20626-20631. doi:10.1073/pnas.1208607109. *Ranked top 10 PNAS articles in 2012.
  • Ghiglione, JF, PE Galand, T Pommier, C Pedrós-Alio, EW Maas, K Bakker, S Bertilson, DL Kirchman, C Lovejoy, PL Yager, AE Murray. 2012. Pole to pole biogeography of surface and deep marine bacterial communities. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109 (43) 17633-17638. doi:10.1073/pnas.120816109.
  • Vernet, M., KL Smith Jr., AO Cefarelli, JJ Helly, RS Kaufmann, H Lin, DG Long, AE Murray, BH Robison, HA Ruhl, TJ Shaw, AD Sherman, J Sprintall, GR Stephenson Jr., KM Stuart, BS Twining. 2012. Islands of ice: Influence of free-drifting Antarctic icebergs on pelagic marine ecosystems. Oceangr. 25(3): 38-39.
  • Chown, SL, JE Lee, KA Hughes, J Barnes, PJ Barrett, DM Bergstrom, P Convey, DA Cowan, K Crosbie, G Dyer, Y Frenot, SM Grant, D Herr, MC Kennicutt, M Lamers, AE Murray, HP Possingham, K Reid, MJ Riddle, PG Ryan, L Sanson, JD Shaw, MD Sparrow, C Summerhayes, A Terauds, DH Wall. Challenges to the Future Conservation of the Antarctic. Science 337(6091): 158-159.
  • Williams, TJ, E Long, F Evans, MZ DeMaere, FM Lauro, MJ Raftery, H Ducklow, JJ Grzymski, AE Murray, R Cavicchioli. 2012. A metaproteomic assessment of summer and winter bacterioplankton from Antarctic Peninsula coastal surface waters. ISME Journal 6:1883-1900; doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.28.
  • Grzymski, JJ, CS Riesenfeld , TJ Williams, AM Dussaq, H Ducklow, M Erickson, R Cavicchioli, & AE Murray. 2012. A metagenomic assessment of winter and summer bacterioplankton from Antarctic Peninsula coastal surface waters. ISME Journal 6:1901-1905; doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.31.
  • Ghiglione, JF, and AE Murray. 2012. Pronounced summer to winter differences and higher wintertime richness in coastal Antarctic marine bacterioplankton. Environ. Microbiol. 14(3): 617-629; DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02601.
  • Ducklow, HW, KMS Myers, M Erickson, JF Ghiglione, AE Murray. 2011 Response of a summertime Antarctic marine bacterial community to glucose and ammonium enrichment. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 64:205-220
  • Cruz-García, C, AE Murray, JLM Rodrigues, JA Gralnick, LA McCue, MF Romine, FE Löffler, JM Tiedje. 2011. Fnr (EtrA) acts as a fine-tuning regulator of anaerobic metabolism in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. BMC Microbiology. 11:64
  • Murray, AE, V Peng, C Tyler, P Wagh. 2011. Marine bacterioplankton biomass, activity and community structure in the vicinity of Antarctic icebergs. Deep Sea Research, II. 58: 1407-1421.
  • Smith, Jr., KL, AD Sherman, T Shaw, AE Murray, M Vernet, A Cefarelli. 2011. Carbon export associated with free-drifting icebergs in the Southern Ocean. Deep Sea Research, II. 58:1485-1496.