David W. MurrayLecturer in Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
I received a BS in Geology with Honors in 1978 from the University of Rhode Island, and a MS in 1983 and a PhD in 1987 in Geological Oceanography from Oregon State University. I came to Brown as a post-doc in 1986 with research interests in Cenozoic climate change with a focus on the evolution of the Indian Ocean monsoon system. After 12 years of grant-funded research projects, I became the manager for the technical and curricular programs in Environmental Science housed in MacMillan Hall. I still maintain an active research program, serving as the Director of the Environmental Chemistry Facility in MacMillan Hall and am a co-investigator with Warren Prell on projects concerning environmental change in Narragansett Bay and the surrounding watershed.
Taylor, D.L., Linehan, J.C., Murray, D.W., Prell, W.L, 2012. Indicators of sediment and biotic mercury contamination in a southern New England estuary. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64, 807-819.
Tewari, N., Kalkunte, S., Murray, D.W., Sharma, S., 2009. The water channel aquaporin 1 is a novel molecular target of polychlorinated biphenyls for in utero anomalies. J. of Biol Chem , 284, 15224-15232.
Saarman, E., Prell, W., Murray, D.W., Deacutis, C., 2008. Chapter 11: Summer bottom water dissolved oxygen in Upper Narragansett Bay. In: Science for Ecosystem-Based Management: Narragansett Bay in the 21st Century, Desbonnet & Costa-Pierce (eds.), Springer Series on Environmental Management, 325-347.
Murray, D.W., Prell, W.L., Rincon, C.E., and Saarman, E., 2007. Physical property and chemical characteristics of surface sediment grab samples from Narragansett Bay and the Providence and Seekonk Rivers, a summary of the Brown University Narragansett Bay Sediment Project (BUNBSP). Narragansett Bay Estuary Program Report, NBEP-07-127.http://www.nbep.org/publications/nbep07-127OPTIMIZED.pdf
Liu, X., Gurel, V., Morris, D., Murray, D., Zhitkovich, A., Kane, A.B., Hurt, R.H., 2007. Bioavailability of nickel in single-wall carbon nanotubes, Advanced Materials 19:2790-2796
Pryor, D., Saarman, E., Murray, D., and Prell, W., 2007. Nitrogen loading from wastewater treatment plants to upper Narragansett Bay. NBEP Report 07-126. http://www.nbep.org/publications/NBEP-126-FNL-Pryor.pdf
Deacutis, C.F., Murray, D., Prell, W., Saarman, E., and Korhun, L., 2006. Hypoxia in the upper half of Narragansett Bay, RI, during August 2001 and 2002. Northeastern Naturalist, 13, 173-198.
Higginson, M.J., Altabet, M.A., Murray, D.W., Murray, R.W., Herbert, T.D., 2004. Geochemical evidence for abrupt changes in relative strength of the Arabian monsoons during a stadial/interstadial climate transition. Geochimia et Cosmochimica Acta, 68, 3807-3826.
Kryc, K.A., Murray, R.W., Murray, D.W., 2003. Al-to-oxide and Ti-to-organic linkages in biogenic sediment: Relationships to paleoexport production and bulk Al/Ti. Earth and Planetary Research Letters, 211, 125-141.
Kryc, K.A., Murray, R.W., Murray, D.W., 2003. Elemental speciation of Si, Al, Ti, Fe, Ca, Mn, P, and Ba in five marine sedimentary standard reference materials: Results from sequential extractions. Analytica Chimica Acta, 487, 117-128.
Altabet, M.A., Higginson, M. J., Murray, D.W., 2002. The effect of millennial-scale changes in Arabian Sea denitrification on atmospheric CO2. Nature,, 415, 159-162.
Hargrave, B.T., Walsh, I.D., Murray, D.W., 2002. Seasonal and spatial patterns in mass and organic matter sedimentation in the North Water Polynya. Deep Sea Research II, 49, 5227-5244.
Altabet, M.A., Murray, D.W., Prell, W.L., 1999. Climatically linked oscillations in Arabian Sea denitrification over the past 1 m.y.: Implications for the marine N cycle. Paleoceanography, 14, 732-743.
Lee, C., Murray, D.W., et al., 1998. Particulate organic carbon fluxes: compilation of results from the 1995 US JGOFS Arabian Sea process study. Deep-Sea Research II, 45, 2489-2501.
Schrag, D.P., Hampt, G., Murray, D.W., 1996. Pore fluid constraints on the temperature and oxygen isotopic composition of the glacial ocean. Science, 272, 1930-1932.
Clemens, S.C., Murray, D.W., and Prell, W.L., 1996. Nonstationary phase of the Plio-Pleistocene Asian Monsoon. Science, 274, 943-948.
Murray, R.W., Leinen, M., Murray, D.W., Mix, A.C., Knowlton, C.W., 1995. Terrigenous Fe input and biogenic sedimentation in the glacial and interglacial equatorial Pacific Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 9:667-684.
Altabet, M.A., Francois, R., Murray, D.W., Prell, W.L., 1995. Climate-related variations in denitrification in the Arabian Sea from sediment 15N/14N ratios. Nature, 373, 506-509..
Murray, D.W., Farrell, J.W., and McKenna, V., 1995. Biogenic sedimentation at ODP Site 847, eastern equatorial Pacific during the past three million years. In, Pisias, N.G., et al., Proc. ODP Sci. Results, 138, College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), 429-460.
Murray, D.W., and Overpeck, J.T. (eds.), 1993. Decadal to millennial-scale varibility in the climate system. Quaternary Science Reviews, 12.
Murray, D.W., and Prell, W.L., 1992. Late Pliocene and Pleistocene climatic oscillations and monsoon upwelling recorded in sediments from the Owen Ridge, northern Arabian Sea. In, Summerhayes, C.P., Prell, W.L., and Emeis, K-C (eds), Upwelling Systems: Evolution Since the Early Miocene. Geological Society Special Publication No 64, 301-321.
Prell, W.L., Murray, D.W., Clemens, S.C., and Anderson, D.M., 1992. Evolution and variability of the Indian Ocean summer monsoon: evidence from the western Arabian Sea drilling program. In, Duncan, R.A. et al.(eds), Synthesis of Results from Scientific Drilling in the Indian Ocean, Geophysical Monograph 70, Amer. Geophy. Union, 447-469.
Clemens, S.C., Prell, W.L., Murray, D.W., Shimmield, G.B., and Weedon, G.P., 1991. Forcing mechanisms of the Indian Ocean monsoon. Nature, 353, 720-725.
Lyle, M., Murray, D.W., Finney, B.P., Dymond, J., Robbins, J.M., and Brooksforce, K., 1988. The record of late Pleistocene biogenic sedimentation in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Paleoceanography, 3, 39-59.
Pisias, N.G., Murray, D.W., and Roelofs, A.K., 1986. Radiolarian and silicoflagellate response to oceanographic changes associated with the 1983 El Niño. Nature, 320, 259-262.
Murray, D. and Schrader, H., 1983. Distribution of silicoflagellates in plankton and core top samples from the Gulf of California. Marine Micropaleontology, 7, 517-539.
I am a senior research associate, facilities manager, and the director of the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory for Environmental Studies and Geological Sciences at Brown University. My research spans topics of global-scale studies of past climates recorded in ocean sediments, local-scale studies of water quality in Narragansett Bay, and studies of chemicals linked to environmental contamination.
My research focuses on both global-scale paleoceanography and local-scale estuarine oceanography. My paleoceanographic research seeks to understand the evolution of the Cenozoic climate-ocean system using chemical proxies to document these changes on interannual to orbital time scales. My estuarine oceanography research is focused nutrient loading to Narragansett Bay and links to summertime low oxygen conditions in the upper Bay. I also study the chemical inputs to the Bay and changes over time preserved in the Bay sediments. In my role as director of Environmental Chemistry Facility in MacMillan Hall, I am interested in innovative techniques to measure chemical contaminants in organisms and the environment.
NOAA/URI: Modeling Tools to Predict Hypoxia/Anoxia in Upper Narragansett Bay, collaborative project with the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, University of Connecticut, Avery Point, and Brown University. This project is to study the interactions between nutrient loads, physical processes, and biological processes that are attributed to the development of summertime hypoxia in Upper Narragansett Bay and to develop predictive models of these conditions. My effort is to coordinate the spatial surveys and supervise data synthesis. For more details, go to
NIH: Reuse in Rhode Island: A State-Based Approach to Complex Exposures, PI's: K. Boekelheide, A. Zhitkovich, E. Suuburg, A. Kane, M. Hixon, J. Calo, D. Murray, S. Sharma, R. Hurt, and P. Brown. Brown's Superfund Basic Research Program grant to study exposures and remediation of complex mixtures of toxic chemicals, Director of the Analytical Core (Core C). For more information, go to
EPA/URI: Advancing Nutrient TMDL Efforts for Upper Narragansett Bay Through Retrospective Analysis of Available Dissolved Oxygen Data and Application to ROMS Model. PI's August, Deacutis, Kiernan, Kincaid (URI), Murray, Prell (Brown). This project synthesized data collected during spatial surveys of dissolved oxygen, temperature, and salinity in Narragansett Bay since 1999, continue time series monitoring, and model circulation in upper Narragansett Bay to address water quality issues.
EP: Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry, co-Project director with M. Altabet. (UMass-Dartmouth) and R. Francois (WHOI). Funding for Post-Doc Matthew Higginson.
NSF: High resolution reconstruction of Arabian Sea denitrification and its forcing by productivity and hydrography, subcontract from Umass-Dartmouth, M. Altabet, co-PI. This project used microfossil and chemical proxies in marine sediments in the Arabian Sea to separate influences of productivity and hydrography on Arabian Sea denitrification and its linkage to global climate records over the past 60,000 years.
USSAC: Post cruise support for analysis of Leg 154 samples, Stable Isotopic and Geochemical Variations in Neogene Sediments from the Ceara Rise, co-operative project with L. Peterson (RSMAS).
NSF/OCE: Variability of the Monsoon and Biogenic Particle Flux in the Arabian Sea: Faunal and Isotopic Tracers, co-operative project with W. Prell (Brown) and W. Curry (WHOI).
NSF/OCE: Late Neogene Evolution of Monsoon Circulation in the Indian Ocean and its Relationship to Global Climatic and Oceanographic Change, co-operative project with L. Peterson (RSMAS).
NOAA: Interannual to Millennial-Scale Oceanographic Changes Recorded in Laminated Sediments from the Gulf of California.
USSAC: Post cruise support for analysis of Leg 138 samples, Detailed Paleoceanographic Records of the Past 2.5 myr from the Equatorial Pacific Site, co-operative project with J. Farrell (Brown).
NSF/OCE: Plio-Pleistocene Oceanography and Climatology of the Northeastern Indian Ocean: Implications for Monsoon Variability.
NSF/OCE,ATM: High-resolution Paleoenvironmental Study of the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela: Late Quaternary to the Present, co-operative project with J. Overpeck (L-DGO) and L. Peterson (RSMAS).
USSAC: Post cruise support for analysis of Leg 117 samples, Neogene Variations in the Accumulation of Calcium Carbonate, Opal, and Organic Carbon on the Owen Ridge, Northern Arabian Sea.