Dr. Murray leads a group studying the molecular biological (DNA/RNA/Protein) make‐up and biogeochemical impacts of microorganisms living in oceanic and terrestrial polar environments, in association with marine invertebrates, in alpine snowpack, polar and desert hypersaline systems and even the deep sea. Common themes across this research are studying the diversity of life using gene, (meta)genome and metatranscriptome approaches, and studying the biogeochemical processes occurring and capabilities required for survival under varying conditions and environmental extremes.

mmeg amlabteamFrom left to right: Lucas Bishop, Dr. Zoe Harrold, Dr. Alison Murray and Eric Lundin pose in the molecular microbial ecology lab at the Desert Research Institute, in Reno, Nev. Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Momentum

Current Research Team

Dr. Alison MurrayDr. Alison Murray
Research Professor
Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Diversity, ecology and evolution of archaea and bacteria, focus on marine systems, Polar microbial ecosystems, Environmental microbial genomics, specifically, functional and comparative genomics, Astrobiology, life detection methods
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Research Page |  Curriculum Vitae

Post-doctoral researcher

Dr. Zoe HarroldDr. Zoe Harrold
Geochemistry, Geomicrobiology and Astrobiology

Graduate students

Lucas BishopLucas Bishop 
Biotechnology MS, UNR

Carla GimpelCarla Gimpel
Fullbright Graduate Fellow, Marine Biology, Ph.D. Univ. Hawaii

Undergraduate students

Eric LundinEric Lundin 
Biotechnology BS/MS Program, UNR

Research Technician

Mary Higham


Postgraduate training interns

Nathan Ernster (Chemistry, UNR, 2010)

Lab Alumni

Post-doctoral researchers
Dr. Joseph Grzymski
Dr. Christian Riesenfeld (2006-2009)

Graduate students
Alexandra Kameda
(Environmental Sciences and Health, M.S., UNR, Dec. 2006)
Annika Mosier (Environmental Resource Sciences, M.S., UNR, Dec. 2004)

Graduate students (committee members)
Dr. Sara Nassar
, (Computer Science and Engineering, UNR; Ph.D. May 2008)
Dr. Kendra Zamzow, (Environmental Sciences and Health, UNR. Ph.D. Dec. 2007)
Dr. Mihailo Kaplarevic (Computer Engineering, Ph.D., U. Delaware, Apr 2007)
Nipesh Shah (Computer Science, M.S. UNR, Dec., 2004)
Sarah Marshall (Environmental Sciences and Health, M.S., UNR, July, 2002)
Dr. Claribel Cruz-Garcia (Soil Sciences, Ph.D. MSU Aug. 2002)

Undergraduate students
Alex Dussaq
, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UNR Fall 2006 - Spring 2008; INBRE Summer research Fellowship Summer 2007, and NSF EPSCOR Undergraduate Research Fellowship 07-08 academic year
Scott Lucas, Biology, UNR, Fall 2004 through Spring 2006
Devin Currie, UM Amherst, Summer 2005
Jason Michaels, Biochemistry, UNR, Spring 2003
Alexandra Kameda (Biology, UNR Summer-Fall 2002)

High School students:
Alex Dussaq
(Summer 2006)
Kaitlyn Shakleton (Summer 2005)
David Shakleton (Summer 2003)