Michael W. Murray

Adjunct Associate Professor


Ph.D. Water Chemistry, University of Wisconsin
M.S. Water Chemistry, University of Wisconsin
B.S. Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines



Michael is Staff Scientist with NWF’s Great Lakes office and has over two decades experience working on Great Lakes science and science-policy issues. After an initial emphasis on toxic chemicals - including mercury sources, fate and transport, ecological and human health effects, and pollution prevention and control strategies - his work expanded to other areas, including aquatic invasive species, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and scientific and policy aspects of Great Lakes restoration more broadly. He has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Water Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has published a number of papers and reports, has appointments at the University of Michigan and Georgia Regents University, and has served on over two dozen technical and advisory committees, including currently on the International Joint Commission Science Advisory Board.

  • Factors influencing nutrient delivery to surface waters, in particular via agricultural practices, and approaches to reduce nutrient runoff
  • Broader aspects of factors influencing harmful algal bloom development, including climate-related, and approaches to integrate climate adaptation planning into nutrient management
  • Environmental indicator development in the Great Lakes region and beyond, in particular for toxic chemicals in biota and abiotic media
  • Development and use of conceptual models to link restoration and protection actions to improved ecological conditions and human health
  • Alternative approaches to chemicals management in the Great Lakes region and beyond, including through use of principles involving precaution, prevention, and approaches such as green chemistry and alternatives assessments, and application to chemical groups such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Select publications: 
  • Murray, M.W., Allan, J.D. and M. Child, 2018. Potential ecological impacts of crude oil transport in the Great Lakes Basin. Prepared by the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board for the International Joint Commission. Available at https://www.ijc.org/en/sab/SAB-SPC_CrudeOil_Transport_GreatLakes_Report.
  • Allan, J.D., Murray, M. and M. Child, 2018. Fertilizer application patterns and trends, and their implications for water quality in the western Lake Erie basin. Prepared by the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board for the International Joint Commission. Available at https://www.ijc.org/en/fertilizer-application-patterns-and-trends-and-their-implications-water-quality-western-lake-erie.
  • Collingsworth, P.D., Bunnell, D.B., Murray, M.W., Kao, Y-C., Feiner, Z.S., Claramunt, R.M., Lofgren, B.M., Höök, T.O., Ludsin, S.A., 2017, Climate change as a long-term stressor for the fisheries of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 27(2):363-391.
  • Kalcic, M.M., Kirchhoff, C., Bosch, N., Muenich, R.L., Murray, M.W., Gardner, J.G., Scavia, D., 2016. Engaging stakeholders to define feasible and desirable agricultural conservation in Western Lake Erie watersheds, Environmental Science and Technology, 50:8135-8145.
  • Watson, S. B., Miller, C. J., Arhonditsis, G., Boyer, G.L., Carmichael, W., Charlton, M.N., Confessor, R., Depew, D.C., Höök, T.O., Ludsin, S.A., Matisoff, G., McElmurry, S. P., Murray, M.W., Richards, R.P., Rao, Y.R., Steffen, M.M., Wilhelm, S.W. 2016. The re-eutrophication of Lake Erie: Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, Harmful Algae, 56:44-66.
  • Murray, M.W., Kirchhoff, C., Kalcic, M.M., Steiner, A., Bosch, N., Lopez, F., Scavia, D., 2016. Guidance addressing Lake Erie eutrophication in a changing climate based on a case study with agricultural and coastal managers.

  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (including member of Science Committee)
  • American Public Health Association
  • International Association for Great Lakes Research
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Association of University Professors
  • Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences

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