Karen Murchie, Ph.D.

Research Biologist and Instructor

Karen Murchie joined the Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research at Shedd in 2016. As a research biologist and instructor, Murchie’s role includes investigations into fish migrations in the Great Lakes and teaching a freshwater ecology course for students within the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA). Murchie has a diverse background in fisheries research, having worked in freshwater systems from the Arctic to the Amazon, and in marine ecosystems in The Bahamas. Additionally, she has taught a variety of undergraduate courses in biology, having served as an Assistant Professor prior to joining Shedd. 

Understanding how fish behave in their natural environment has been a focus of  Murchie’s, and she is interested in how human activities and environmental change can influence fish behavior. Her aim is to undertake a research approach that embraces the complexity of the environment and the human dimension to further understand fisheries, leading to effective conservation and management strategies.

Murchie has published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, but also enjoys sharing her research via popular press articles. For a list of publications, please check out her curriculum vitae (cv). Murchie received her Ph.D. from Carleton University where her dissertation focused on the physiological ecology and behavior of bonefish in tropical tidal flats. Her M.Sc. was obtained at the University of Waterloo, where her research examined young-of-the-year yellow perch ecology at the northern fringe of their distribution.