519-888-4567, ext. 45616
Office: Environment 2, Room 2046A
Steve has converted to using social media in lieu of a static research website; you can follow him on Twitter (@prof_smurph) or on (a new) Instagram (profsmurph) for research updates and stories.
Steve teaches courses on restoration ecology, rewilding, conservation ecology, and translational ecology. Previously, he has taught courses on introduction to environment, resources and sustainability, project management, environmental analysis, parks and protected areas, and sustainable agriculture.
Steve leads the Conservation and Restoration Ecology (CaRE) research group. Restoration ecology interests focus on problem solving and the core theoretical foundations of the discipline as well as innovations like AI. For conservation, the focus has been more geared towards long term planning and management, especially at the international level, but there have been projects on invasive species, rare species, and endgangered species.
In addition to the eponymous areas of conservation and restoration ecology, CaRE’s research is tied to tests of socioecological resilience in a variety of locales around the world and in many anthropogenic and more ‘wild’ lands and waters (industrial sites, urban areas, agroecosystems, parks and protected areas). The research includes many different types of taxa as indicators (plants, fungi, amphibians, arthropods) and different ecosystems (old fields, prairies, forests, dunes, wetlands, riparian zones, mountains, valleys, deserts, and even the Arctic on occasion). Steve lab is question or problem focused rather than concerned with the taxon or type of ecosystem to be studied.
Steve is Editor-in-Chief of Restoration Ecology, the flagship (official) journal of the international Society for Ecological Restoration.
Steve is involved with the Centre for Applied Sciences in Ontario Protected Areas (CASIOPA), the Ontario Invasive Species Centre, Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), and numerous other national and international agencies and projects. He has presented over 150 talks at international conferences and authored several hundred academic, professional, practitioner, and policy papers.
Steve’s research spans populations through landscape scales, though many projects are focused on ecological communities. Students are encouraged to develop their own focus and independent projects though it is expected they will relate to Steve’s main research areas listed above. Steve does have a well-funded research program and there are usually some projects have funding already attached for students. Consider your interests, put together a ‘pitch’ and contact Steve to discuss your ideas.