James W. Murray

Historically my research has been in Chemical Oceanography and Aquatic Chemistry. Always with a very interdisciplinary focus.

I started with studies of the surface chemistry of manganese and iron oxides in collaboration with Laurie Balistrieri (UW/USGS). This evolved into studies of particle reactive tracers (like 234Th, 210Po and 210Pb) in the ocean. This research was mostly on new (with 15N) and export production in Monterey Bay (coastal), equatorial Pacific (Panama Basin in 1987 and the US JGOFS Process Study called EqPac in 1992) and the Black Sea (redox impacts). We subsequently started doing food-web modeling with Bruce Frost to understand the biological controls on export production. As iron plays such an important role in controlling food-web structure and new production we conducted a study of the distributions and origin of iron (and manganese and aluminum) in the equatorial Pacific. This included a major research cruise from Hawaii to Papua New Guinea in 2006.

While a graduate student I wrote a paper on nutrients in the oxic/anoxic layers of the Black Sea. I later continued this work by studying diagenesis in sediments with emphasis on gases such as O2, N2, CO2, CH4 and N2O. We did the first analyses of O2 in marine sediments. Field work included cruises to the equatorial Pacific,  Mexican margin and Saanich Inlet. In 1988 I returned to the Black Sea and organized the US-Turkish Black Sea Expedition (5 cruise legs and over 50 PIs and formed the UW Oceanography CTD Team). We did the first CTD profiles in the Black Sea and using a pump-profiling system discovered a suboxic layer at the interface between the oxic surface and anoxic deep waters, Many studies followed, most recently of trace metals and nitrogen cycling (especially, anammox, denitrificaiton and nitrogen fixation) in collaboration with James Staley (Microbiology).

This year I started a new focus on ocean acidification. We built an experimental facility at the UW Friday Harbor Labs and conducted the first mesocosm experiments in June, 2011. Experiments were then conducted in Spring Quarter 2012 and 2013 as part of a Friday Harbor Research Apprenticeship courses. The mesocosm experiments are used to study the impact of ocean acidification on food web structure and interactions.

My lab web site with more details and publications is at: