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Professor Eugene Murphy

Individual Merit Scientist at the British Antarctic Survey

Eugene is an Individual Merit Scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, a Visiting Professor at the University of Newcastle and an Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia.

He has a B.Sc. in Marine Biology, a Doctorate in Fisheries Science and over 35 years research experience. He has led a series of large research programmes at the British Antarctic Survey and is currently Science Leader of the Ecosystems Team. As Science Leader, he leads a wide range of research projects studying organisms and ecosystems in the polar oceans. He has particular expertise in biological oceanography and ecological modelling, examining why animals occur where they do in the ocean, how big oceanic ecosystems work and the impacts of climate change and fisheries. Most of his research has been on Southern Ocean ecosystems, where he has also led major projects on research cruises. He has a special interest in Antarctic krill, a shrimp-like organism, which is the main food of the large numbers of predators (including penguins, seals and whales) that congregate in the Southern Ocean during the short summer period each year. His work has shown how interactions at different scales (between organisms and with their environments) are crucial in determining the overall structure and functioning of oceanic ecosystems.

Eugene has led international efforts to develop understanding of ecosystems throughout the Southern Ocean and to examine the combined impacts of climate change and fisheries. In the mid-2000s he led the development of the international ICED programme - Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics and currently chairs the scientific steering committee. He is also a vice-chair of the global Integrated Marine Biosphere Research Programme (IMBeR).  He has led international modelling studies of Southern Ocean species and food webs, including most recently the development of studies aimed at projecting the impacts of future climate-driven change. An important goal of his work, and that of the Team leads, is to inform the development of policy, providing scientific understanding to underpin decision making for conservation and management of human activities in the Southern Ocean.