Murray Roberts

  • Professor Applied Marine Biology & Ecology - University of Edinburgh

Research interests

Murray Roberts is Professor of Applied Marine Biology & Ecology at the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences. He leads the Changing Oceans research group and coordinates the European Horizon 2020 ATLAS and iAtlantic projects.

He studies structural habitats in the deep ocean, notably those formed by cold-water corals, in order to enhance plans for their long term management and conservation.

His previous roles include Reader and then Professor of Marine Biology and Director of the Centre for Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh (2009-16) where he co-ordinated the development of the Lyell Centre (2012-15). Before working in Edinburgh Murray was based at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (1997-2009) with a period as Marie Curie Fellow at the Center for Marine Science, University North Carolina Wilmington in the USA (2007-09).

Murray studied Biology at the University of York before completing a PhD at the University of Glasgow examining nitrogen cycling in the Anemonia viridis symbiosis.

Since 1997 his work on cold-water corals and deep-sea biology has taken him to sites off the UK, Norway, Ireland and the SE United States. Murray is senior author of the ‘Cold-water Corals’, the first book covering the biology and geology of these important deep-sea habitats, a contributing author to the 2014 and 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports and co-lead editor of a 2014 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity report on ocean acidification.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and holds an honorary position at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA. He has led or participated in 23 offshore research cruises, published 90 peer-reviewed publications and has raised £21.3M in research grants during since July 1999.