Cheryl Murphy, Ph.D.

Cheryl Murphy

Associate Professor

11D Natural Resources


Area of Expertise: Aquatic toxicology; effects of contaminants on fish populations

Dr. Murphy’s Website


Ph.D., Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, 2006
M.S., Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Alberta, 1998
B.S., Marine Biology, Dalhousie University, 1993



Dr. Murphy is an assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Lyman Briggs College. She is also an affiliate for the Center for Integrative Toxicology, Center for Water Sciences, the Environmental Science and Public Policy program and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program. Her current research focuses on how information collected on an individual translates across higher levels of biological organization. Using fish as a model organism, she explores how changes in gene expression and the physiological processes occurring within an individual translate to behavioral changes and ecologically relevant endpoints such as reproduction and growth, how short term phenotypic changes in expressed traits alter long term genetic change and affect life history traits, and how anthropogenic influences such as contaminants and other stressors impact such relationships and affect populations or communities of fish.

Dr. Murphy is well-versed in various subjects such as reproductive physiology, behavior, ecology, toxicology, and modeling, and can provide links between the different disciplines. Her overall goal is to bridge laboratory work with field sampling and modeling to address issues in environmental toxicology.


Research Interests


Courses Taught

Ecophysiology and Toxicology of Fishes, FW 431

Introduction to Organismal Biology, LB 144

Biology of Stress, FW 893

Environmental Science and Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin, Study Abroad

Workshop on Introduction to R statistical Programming language for Fisheries Scientists

Short Course on Ecotoxicology of Fishes

Fish Health Management - online module related to toxicology of fish


Selected Publications

Schulz, C.A., M. Faisal, C.A. Murphy, T. P. Loch, and D. Van Vliet. The effects of exposure route and disease course on the validity of non-lethal sampling techniques for the detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) (in review).

Armstrong, B.M., J.M. Lazorchak, C.A. Murphy, H.J. Haring, K. Jensen, and M.E. Smith. Determining the effects of a mixture of an endocrine disrupting compound, 17a-ethinylestradiol, and ammonia on fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) (in review).

Smith, S.E. C.A. Murphy, F.W. Goetz, Sitar, S.P. Life history mediates sublethal response to sea lamprey parasitism in two lake trout morphotypes (in review).

Sitar, S. P., A.J. Jasonowicz, C.A. Murphy, F.W. Goetz. Estimates of skipped spawning in lean and siscowet lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in southern Lake Superior: Implications for Fisheries Management (in review).

Diamond, S.L., C.A. Murphy and K. A. Rose. 2013. Simulating the effects of global climate change on Atlantic Croaker population dynamics in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Ecological Modelling 264: 98-114..

Basu, N., J. Head, D.-H. Nam, J. R. Pilsner, M. Carvan, H.M. Chan, F. Goetz,C.A. Murphy, K. Rouvinen-Watt, and A.M. Scheuhammer. 2013. Effects of methylmercury on epigenetic markers in a mammal, bird, and fish. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Pt. C. 157: 322-327

Luckie, D.L., J. J. Smith, K.S. Cheruvelil, C. Fata-Hartley, C. A. Murphy, G.R. Urquhart. 2013. The “Anti-Cookbook Laboratory”: Converting “Canned” Introductory Biology Laboratories to Multi-Week Independent Investigations. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching: Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, Vol 34 196-213.

Depew, D.C., N. Basu, N. M. Burgess, L.M. Campbell, E.W. Devlin, P.E. Drevnik, C.R. Hammerschmidt, C.A. Murphy, M. B. Sandheinrich, J. G. Wiener. 2012. Toxicity of dietary methlymercury to fish: derivation of ecologically meaningful threshold concentrations. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 31:1536-1547.

Armstrong, B.M., J. M. Lazorchak, C.A. Murphy, H. J. Haring.,K . Jensen., & M. E. Smith. Determining the effects of ammonia on fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction. 2012. Science of the Total Environment. 420: 127-133.

Murphy, C.A., S.P. Bhavsar and N. Gandhi. Contaminants in Great Lakes fish: historical,current and emerging concerns. 2012 In: Great Lakes Fisheries Policy and Management: A Binational Perspective, second edition. (eds). W.W. Taylor, A. Lynch & N. J. Leonard, East Lansing, Michigan: MSU Press. pp 203-258.

Kramer, V. J., M. A. Etterson, M. Hecker, C.A. Murphy, G. Roesijadi, D. J. Spade, J. A. Spromberg, M. Wang, G.T.Ankley. 2011. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 30: 64-76.

Venturelli, P. A., C. A. Murphy, B. J. Shuter, T. A, Johnston, P.J. de Groot, P. T. Boag, J. M. Casselman, R. Montgomerie, M.D. Wiegand, and W. C. Leggett. 2010. Maternal influences on population dynamics: evidence from an exploited freshwater fish. Ecology 91: 2003-2012.

Goetz, F., D. Rosauer, S. Sitar, G. Goetz, S. Roberts, R. Johnson, C. Murphy, C. Bronte, S. MacKenzie. 2010. A genetic basis for the phenotypic differentiation between siscowet and lean lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Molecular Ecology 19 (Suppl. 1) 176-196.

Rose, K. A., A.T. Adamack,C.A. Murphy, S.E. Sable, S.E. Kolesar, J.K. Craig, D. L Breitburg, P. Thomas, M.H. Brouwer, C.F. Cerco. 2009. Does hypoxia have population- level effects on coastal fish? Musings from the virtual world. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 381: S188–S203.

Murphy, C.A., K.A. Rose, Md. S. Rahman, and P. Thomas. 2009. Testing and applying a fish vitellogenesis model to evaluate laboratory and field biomarkers of endocrine disruption in Atlantic croaker exposed to hypoxia. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28: 1288-1303.

Venturelli, P.A., B.J. Shuter and C.A. Murphy. 2009. Evidence for harvest-induced maternal influences on the reproductive rates of fish populations. Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 276: 919-924.

Murphy, C.A., K.A. Rose, M.C. Alvarez and L.A. Fuiman. 2008. Modeling larval fish behavior: scaling the sublethal effects of methylmercury to population relevant endpoints. Aquat. Toxicol. 86: 470-484.

Murphy, C.A., and J.H. Cowan Jr. 2007. Production, marine larval retention or dispersal, and recruitment of amphidromous Hawaiian gobioids: issues and implications. Bishop Museum Bulletin in Cultural and Environmental Studies 13:63-78.

Alvarez, M.C., C.A. Murphy, K. A. Rose, I.D. McCarthy and L.A. Fuiman. 2006. Maternal body burdens of methylmercury impair survival skills of offspring of Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus). Aquat. Toxicol. 80: 329-337.

Murphy, C.A., K.A. Rose, and P. Thomas. 2005. Modeling vitellogenesis in female fish exposed to environmental stressors: predicting the effects of endocrine disturbance due to exposure to a PCB mixture and cadmium. Reprod. Toxicol. 19: 395-409.

Sorensen, P.W., C.A. Murphy, K. Loomis, P. Maniak and P. Thomas. 2004. Evidence that 4-pregnen,-17,20ß,21-triol-3-one functions as a maturation-inducing hormone and pheromonal precursor in the percid fish, Gymnocephalus cernuus. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 139: 1-11.

Stacey, N., A. Chojnacki, A. Narayanan, T. Cole, and C. Murphy. 2003. Hormonally derived sex pheromones in fish: exogenous cues and signals from gonad to brain. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 81: 329-341.

Rose, K.A., C.A. Murphy, S.L. Diamond, L.A. Fuiman, and P. Thomas. 2003. Using nested models and laboratory data for predicting population effects of contaminants on fish: a step toward a bottom-up approach for establishing causality in field studies. Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess. 9:231-257.

Murphy, C.A., and N.E. Stacey. 2002. Methyl testosterone induces male typical ventilatory behavior in response to putative steroidal pheromones in female round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus). Horm. Behav. 42:109-115.

Murphy, C.A., N. E. Stacey and L.D. Corkum. 2001. Putative steroidal pheromones in the round goby, Neogobius melanostomus: Olfactory and behavioral responses. J. Chem. Ecol. 27: 443-470.

Murphy, C.A, and N.E. Stacey. 1999. Putative steroidal sex pheromones in the round goby, Neogobius melanostomus: good correlation between behavioural and sensory discrimination. In Advances in Chemical Communication in Vertebrates 8. Edited by R. E. Johnston, D. Muller-Schwarze and P. W. Sorensen. Plenum Press, N.Y. pp. 599-605.

Murphy, C.A, J.R. Cardwell and N.E. Stacey. 1995. Characterization of steroidal sex pheromones in the round goby, (Neogobius melanostomus). In Proc. Fifth Int. Symp. on the Reprod. Physiol. Fish. Edited by F.W. Goetz and P. Thomas. FishSymp 95, University of Texas at Austin Press, Austin. p.274.

Stacey, N.E., J.R. Cardwell and C. Murphy. 1995. Hormonal pheromones in freshwater fish: Preliminary results of an electro-olfactogram survey. In Fish Pheromones: Origins and Modes of Action. Edited by A.V.M. Canario and D.M. Pouser. University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal. pp.47-55.