Greg Murray

Knowing too much

THEMES: Science & Research  |  WORKSHOP: Natural History & Education


Greg Murray

Greg Murray has been on the faculty of Hope College since 1986, where he teaches ecology and evolutionary biology, organismal biology, conservation biology, and interdisciplinary courses with colleagues from other departments like mathematical biology and marine biology and biophysics. He is an active developer of field and laboratory curricula for undergraduate biology courses, and helped to design an introductory course sequence in which all biology majors and minors are exposed to multiple field experiences. His primary research focuses on the ways in which pioneer plants, fruit-eating birds, seed predators and pathogens, and physical disturbance interact to influence community structure in tropical forests, and his current work follows two tracks: mathematical modeling of plant demography and forest dynamics, and) elucidation of the chemical defenses that allow some pioneer species' seeds to persist for decades to hundreds of years in forest soils.




I have heard a few times from people that knowing too much about something, in a scientific sense, destroys their sense of wonder about it. That's a very foreign view to scientists, and I mostly hang around scientists. I just don't understand that way of looking at things. I don't understand how it could work that way, because it's not the way I see it. I would hope that I'm not destroying somebody's sense of wonder about the world, but rather enhancing it.