Elizabeth May Chair in Environmental Health and Sustainability Candidate Teaching Demonstration: Dr. Erin Murphy

Dr. Erin Murphy
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Ocean Conservancy & University of Toronto

Title: The social costs of plastic (ENVS 3501)

Bio: I am a marine conservation ecologist conducting policy-driven research to improve the social and ecological health of coastal communities. I am currently working as a post-doctoral researcher with Ocean Conservancy and University of Toronto to study social and ecological consequences of plastic pollution and the benefits of marine debris removal. In this position, I am leading research on macroplastic risk assessments to better understand the mortality risk macroplastic ingestion poses to marine megafauna. Additionally, I serve as a co-chair for a National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS) working group on the social costs of plastic pollution.

Outside of my postdoctoral position, I hold an adjunct faculty appointment at Arizona State University where I serve as the Program Lead of Pollution and Environmental Policy for the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes. In this role, I have two main areas of research on (1) the impacts of land-based pollution (e.g., turbidity, nutrients) in marine ecosystems and (2) upstream interventions for marine plastic pollution.

I completed my Ph.D. in Biology at Arizona State University in the Ecology, Economics, and Ethics of the Environment program, advised by Dr. Leah Gerber and Dr. Beth Polidoro. My dissertation research focused on the impacts of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems. Specifically, I conducted research and developed tools to inform more effective, cost-efficient, and equitable intervention strategies for marine plastic pollution. During my Ph.D., I also led research on sustainable fishery certifications and U.S. pesticide registration policy.

Outside of academic research, I am committed to policy research and development. Before entering my Ph.D. program, I worked as an ORISE research fellow in the EPA's Ocean and Coastal Management Branch, in Washington D.C. In this role, I developed recommendations for federal vessel sewage standards and Florida turbidity standards. For the six years, I have worked to inform plastic policy with several non-profit organizations across scales of governance.

Personal Website: https://elmurph1.wixsite.com/home/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erin-murphy-88312994/




Milligan Room, 8th Floor Biology-Earth Sciences Wing, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University