Southeastern biologist receives BioOne Ambassador Award
Thursday, May 21, 2020
by: Tonya Lowentritt
SOUTHEASTERN BIOLOGIST RECEIVES BIOONE AMBASSADOR AWARD - Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University Chris Murray has been awarded a 2020 BioOne Ambassador Award. The award is given to early career scholars nominated by their publishers.
HAMMOND – Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana
University Chris Murray has been awarded a 2020 BioOne Ambassador Award. BioOne is
a nonprofit publisher that aims to make scientific research more accessible. It serves
a community of over 150 scholarly publishers, 1,400 subscribing institutions, and
millions of researchers worldwide.
Established in 2018, the Ambassador Award is given to early career scholars nominated by their publishers. The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists nominated Murray.
“This very prestigious award is designed for biologists early in their careers, but if you look at Dr. Murray's accomplishments, his record is closer to that of a top-notch scientist with 20 years of experience. Simply put, his productivity is staggering,” said Dean of the College of Science and Technology Dan McCarthy. “However, the most impressive aspect of his work is not the quantity of output, but also the diversity of subjects that he approaches. He is a world-class scientist, but also fantastic at educational outreach. This is a rare combination.”
“I have known Chris since he was a graduate student at Southeastern,” McCarthy continued. “He distinguished himself then, is distinguishing himself now, and will continue to do so for the duration of his career at Southeastern.”
Recipients of the Ambassador Award communicate their specialized research beyond their immediate discipline. Winners receive a $1,000 award and wide dissemination of their research.
Winners were chosen through a competitive process. Active BioOne publishers were invited to nominate an early career researcher who published in their journal in 2019. In order to qualify, the author needed to be either a graduate student or a scientist who had completed their PhD within the last five years. BioOne invited qualified nominees to submit a 250-word, plain-language summary explaining how the results of their work apply across subjects and to the public at large.
Murray’s winning summary was titled “Hidden Predators in the Vaults of Museum Collections.” It discussed the discovery of a new species of crocodile and how it highlights the importance of museum collections as vaults of diversity and discoveries waiting to be explored.
“The award is humbling because of the nature of the particular manuscript that was recognized,” said Murray of Hammond. “To receive the award for a manuscript honoring a late crocodilian colleague was extremely special and makes me proud of my current collaborations and support at Southeastern. To be nominated by the society that raised me academically is also very humbling.”
A member of the Southeastern faculty since 2019, Murray’s teaching expertise lies in the fields of comparative morphology, physiological ecology, ecotoxicology, evolution, biogeography, philosophy of biology, and herpetology. His areas of study include comparative morphology and physiological ecology of vertebrates in temperate, neotropical and subtropical coastal wetlands. Recent research addresses the interactions among aquaculture practices, crocodile sex ratio biases, and endocrine disrupting compounds in Costa Rica, incorporating population ecology, endocrinology, sex determination, stress physiology, and reproductive ecology.
Murray, a resident of Hammond, holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Juniata College, a master of science in biology from Southeastern, and a doctorate in biology from Auburn University. He is a member of the American Society for Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Alabama Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the Crocodile Specialist Group Species Survival Commission, IUCN.