bob murphy's very brief bio


B.A. 1970, Pasadena College, Pasadena, California

M.A. 1976, San Francisco State University, California

Thesis Title:  The Evolution of a Peninsular and Insular Herpetofauna:  A Drift Based Alternate Hypothesis.
Supervisor:  Dr. Alan E. Leviton

Ph.D. 1982, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Thesis Title:  The Genetic Relationships and Biogeography of the Baja California Herpetofauna.
Supervisor:  Prof. George C. Gorman



2007-present         Laboratory of Molecular Evolution & Genome Diversity, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China

2005-present          Adjunct Professor, Hainan Normal University, Haikou, China

2000-present          Adjunct Professor, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China

1998-present          Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto

1996 - present        Curator, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

1995 - 1996            Curator, Department of Ichthyology and Herpetology

1994 - present        Associate Faculty, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Guelph

1993 - 1995            Curator-in-Charge, Department of Ichthyology and Herpetology

1991 - 1993            Associate Curator-in-Charge, Department of Ichthyology & Herpetology

1989 - 1998            Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto

1987 - 1993            Associate Curator, Department of Ichthyology & Herpetology, ROM

1985 - 1989            Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto

1984 - 1987            Assistant Curator, Department of Ichthyology & Herpetology, ROM

1984 - present        Invited Research Investigator, Instituto de Ecologia, Mexico City, Mexico

1982 - 1984            Postdoctoral Scholar (with Dr. Donald G. Buth), Dept. Biology, UCLA



Genomics and Bioinformatics, Conservation Genetics, Biogeography, Evolutionary Relationships of Amphibians and Reptiles, and Molecular Systematics.



1980 - 1981 - Senior Museum Scientist, Fish Collection, Department of Biology, UCLA

1977 - 1982 - Collection Manager, Herpetology Collection, Department of Biology, UCLA

1975 - 1976 - Museum Technician, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles, Museum of Zool., U. Michigan, Ann Arbor

1973 - 1975 - Curatorial Assistant, Department of Herpetology, California Academy of Sciences

1970 - 1973 - Museum Preparator, Dallas Museum of Natural History, Dallas, Texas



Prof. Murphy is a Senior Curator in the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Department of Natural History at the Royal Ontario Museum, and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  He also holds adjunct faculty positions at East China Normal University (Shanghai) and Hainan Normal University. His Ph.D. (1982) in biology was awarded from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His early work concentrated on the evolutionary genetics of reptiles from Baja California, Mexico and he was the first person to study the genetic consequences of plate tectonics. The later discovery of the "Vizcaino Seaway" of Baja California has stimulated much subsequent research.

Dr. Bob, as he prefers to be addressed formally, undertook postdoctoral studies at UCLA Medical School in flow cytometry and the diagnosis of forms of cancer, as well as the conservation genetics of fishes.  He has worked at the ROM since 1984.  Today his interests concentrate on comparative genomics, genetic adaptation, conservation genetics, and the genealogical relationships of species, usually from amphibians and non-avian reptiles but also from insects, freshwater mussels, birds, fishes, mammals and even viruses.  He has collected amphibians and reptiles in diverse foreign places such as Australia, Mexico, Russia, The Republic of Georgia, Armenia, China, and Vietnam, building up one of the world's largest collections of tissue samples for genetic research. Dr. Bob initiated the ROM’s involvement and commitment to working on the biodiversity crisis in Vietnam which has resulted in significant national and international exposure for the ROM, Ontario, and Canada alike including both printed and audio-visual media features.

Dr. Bob has published about 200 academic papers and reports. He is the ROM's most productive researcher. Bob serves the co-coordinator for the amphibians in the Genome 10K project, as well as the co-coordinator for non-avian reptiles. He is also the coordinator for the amphibians and reptiles in the International Barcode of Life initiative. Along with former graduate student Dr. L.A. Lowcock, he wrote and performed the world's first phylogenetic rock opera—ROMMY—in 1989 at the University of Michigan with a cameo performance in Toronto. Although largely rewritten, this novel endeavour was repeated 10 years later in Guelph, Ontario. He is committed to the ROM’s display of living organisms discovered by ROM researchers, and to their conservation through research, education and captive propagation.


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