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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


2018-present, Research Associate, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
2016-2018, Postdoctoral Researcher, Paleogenomics Lab, UCSC
2012-2016, PhD, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge
2011-2012, Research Assistant, CIIE, University of Edinburgh
2010-2011, MSc Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis, University of Edinburgh



I am an evolutionary biologist, whose research has involved investigating genome evolution across a variety of taxa. I am interested in how populations respond to natural selection, especially in relation to the evolution of bacterial pathogens. I am currently investigating the link between a reduction in genome size and becoming a pathogen in Streptococcus suis, a bacterial species that infects pigs.


Key publications: 

Murray GGR, Soares AER, Novak BJ, Schaefer NK, Cahill JA, Baker AJ, Demboski J, Doll A, Da Fonseca RR, Fulton TL, Gilbert MTP, Heintzman PD, Letts B, McIntosh G, O’Connell BL, Peck M, Pipes M-L, Rice ES, Santos KM, Sohrweide AG, Vohr SH, Corbett-Detig RB, Green RE & Shapiro B (2017).  Natural selection shaped the rise and fall of passenger pigeon genomic diversity. Science. 358 (6375). DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0960.

Murray GGR, Weinert LA, Rhule EL, Welch JJ. (2016) The Phylogeny of Rickettsia Using Different Evolutionary Signatures: How Tree-Like is Bacterial Evolution? Systematic biology 65:2, 265-279. DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syv084.

Murray GGR, Wang F, Harrison EM, Paterson GK, Mather AE, Harris SR, Holmes MA, Rambaut A & Welch JJ (2016). The effect of genetic structure on molecular dating and tests for temporal signal. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 7 (1). DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12466.

Other publications: 

Cotoras DD, Murray GGR, Kapp J, Gillespie RG, Griswold C, Simison WB, Green RE & Shapiro B (2017). Ancient DNA resolves the history of Tetragnatha (Araneae, Tetragnathidae) spiders on Rapa Nui. Genes. 8 (12). DOI: 10.3390/genes8120403.

Longdon B, Murray GGR, Palmer W, Day J, Parker D, Welch JJ, Obbard DJ & Jiggins FJ (2015). The evolution, diversity and host associations of rhabdoviruses. Virus Evolution. 1 (1). DOI: 10.1093/ve/vev014.

Paterson GK, Harrison EM, Murray GGR, Welch JJ, Warland JH, Holden MTG, Morgan FJE, Ba X, Koop G, Harris SR, Maskell DJ, Peacock SJ, Herrtage ME, Parkhill J & Holmes MA. 2015. Capturing the cloud of MRSA diversity after transmission and during infection reveals complex and heterogenous carriage and transmission. Nature Communications. 6 (6560). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7560.        

Woolhouse MEJ, Thumbi SM, Jennings A, Chase-Topping M, Callaby R, Kiara H, Oosthuizen M, Ndila M, Conradie I, Handel IG, Poole EJ, Njiri E, Collins NE, Murray G, Tapio M, Tosas Auguet O, Weir W, Morrison WI, Kruuk LEB, Bronsvoort BM de C, Hanotte O, Coetzer K & Toye PG (2015). Coinfections determine patterns of mortality in populations exposed to parasite infection. Science Advances. 1 (2). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400026.

Murray GGR, Woolhouse MEJ, Tapio M, Mbole-Kariuki MN, Sonstegard TS, Thumbi SM, Jennings AE, Conradie van Wyk I, Chase-Topping M, Kiara H, Toye P, Coetzer K, Bronsvoort BM deC & Hanotte O. 2013. Genetic susceptibility to infectious disease in East African Shorthorn Zebu: a genome-wide analysis of the effect of heterozygosity and exotic introgression. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 13 (246). DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-246.

Murray GGR, Kosakovsky Pond SL & Obbard DJ. Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2013).  Suppressors of RNAi from plant viruses are subject to episodic positive selection. 280 (1765). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0965.

Research Associate, Department of Veterinary Medicine
Wheldale Onslow Junior Research Fellow in Evolutionary Biology, Newnham College
Dr Gemma   Murray
Not available for consultancy


Collaborator profiles: 
Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
Host-Pathogen Interaction
Pathogen Evolution
Innate Immunity
Cross-species transmission
Immune Evasion