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Scientist Works to Protect
Our Coastal Marine Ecosystems
by Dave Reid


From Dateline (May 8, 2003)

Steven N. Murray
Graduate marine biology student Aimee Bullard, left, and senior Nicolle Panos, chat about seaweed with Steve Murray, professor of biological science, who is an expert on marine plants. He is holding a sample of Pterocladiella capillacea. Murray’s research involving a variety of seaweed known as the “killer algae” led to a ban of certain species of this plant in California.

Shortly after receiving his doctorate from UC Irvine in 1971, Steven N. Murray received job offers from Rutgers, University of Florida at Gainesville and Cal State Fullerton. Given the nature of his research interest and what he had been studying, Murray felt Fullerton provided the opportunity for him to be very productive as a scholar and teacher. “I enjoy teaching and I very much wanted to be at an institution where teaching was going to be part of my job,” Murray said.

In 31 years, Murray has distinguished himself as a teacher, researcher and student of Orange County’s coastal marine ecosystems. His expertise has led to his nomination to the newly created National Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee, which provides advice and recommendations to the secretaries of Commerce and the Interior on Marine Protected Areas.

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Q&A with Murray

• Steven N. Murray

• How did you get interested in marine biology?

• Were there particular professors who inspired you?

• Do we have anything like that here?

• But we're fairly close to the ocean.

Could you tell us about some of your recent grants?

• Which agencies are funding your work?

• Are our shorelines in protected areas?

• And your other major project?

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