CNCS Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems
   Search Help Login pdf version printable version

A. Brad Murray, Professor of Geomorphology and Coastal Processes and CNCS: Center for nonlinear and complex systems

A. Brad Murray

Murray, a geomorphologist, studies how Earth-surface environments are shaped, and how they change over time, especially in response to changing forcing. He has addressed phenomena in desert, artic, alpine, and riverine environments, although most of his recent research focuses on coastal environments. Much of his research addresses couplings between physical and ecological processes, and couplings between natural and human dynamics. Murray approaches natural systems, and human/natural coupled systems, with the perspective and techniques developed in the study of nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, looking for possibly simple, emergent interactions that could explain apparently complicated behaviors. He develops and uses relatively simple, numerical models to test such hypotheses, and uses observations in developing hypotheses and testing models (using strategies and types of model predictions most effective for testing the usefulness of the type of model in question, in specific scientific contexts). Murray’s most recent research falls under three umbrellas, investigating: 1) how changes in the size and shape of river deltas can be driven by couplings between river processes, coastal processes, and sea-level rise, and by couplings between physical and ecological processes; 2) how coastlines (sandy and rocky) are shaped and reshaped over time, including the effects of changing storm climates; 3) how coastal barriers and back-barrier marshes and bays respond to changing rates of sea-level rise and storm impacts. Some of the research under each of these umbrellas addresses couplings between human actions and landscape/ecosystem evolution.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  A318 LSRC, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 681-5069
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2021):

    Grainger 1105, WF 12:00 PM-01:15 PM
    (also cross-listed as EOS 785S.01)
Teaching (Spring 2022):

    Grainger 2102, WF 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
    (also cross-listed as EOS 315.01)
    Grainger 2102, WF 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
    (also cross-listed as EOS 715.01)
    Grainger 2102, WF 12:00 PM-01:15 PM
    (also cross-listed as EOS 785S.01)

Ph.D.University of Minnesota, Twin Cities1995
M.S.University of Minnesota, Twin Cities1990
B.A.University of Minnesota, Twin Cities1986
BISUniversity of Minnesota, Twin Cities1986

earth surface processes
shorelines and coastal geology
Research Interests: coastal, river, and landscape processes and pattern formation using relatively simple computer models to test hypotheses arising from field observations.


Biological Evolution • Biomass • Computer Simulation • Ecosystem • Erosion • Geologic Sediments • Geomorphology • Machine learning • Models, Theoretical • Plant Development • Ripples • Time Factors • Water Movements • Wetlands

Curriculum Vitae
Postdocs Mentored

  • Eli Lazarus (2005 - present)  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Reeves, IRB; Moore, LJ; Murray, AB; Anarde, KA; Goldstein, EB, Dune Dynamics Drive Discontinuous Barrier Retreat, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 48 no. 13 (July, 2021) [doi]  [abs]
  2. Dong, X; Murray, AB; Heffernan, JB, Competition Among Limestone Depressions Leads to Self-Organized Regular Patterning on a Flat Landscape, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, vol. 126 no. 5 (May, 2021) [doi]  [abs]
  3. Bamunawala, J; Dastgheib, A; Ranasinghe, R; van der Spek, A; Maskey, S; Murray, AB; Duong, TM; Barnard, PL; Sirisena, TAJG, A Holistic Modeling Approach to Project the Evolution of Inlet-Interrupted Coastlines Over the 21st Century, Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 7 (July, 2020) [doi]  [abs]
  4. Yousefi Lalimi, F; Marani, M; Heffernan, JB; D'Alpaos, A; Murray, AB, Watershed and ocean controls of salt marsh extent and resilience, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, vol. 45 no. 6 (May, 2020), pp. 1456-1468 [doi]  [abs]
  5. Montaño, J; Coco, G; Antolínez, JAA; Beuzen, T; Bryan, KR; Cagigal, L; Castelle, B; Davidson, MA; Goldstein, EB; Ibaceta, R; Idier, D; Ludka, BC; Masoud-Ansari, S; Méndez, FJ; Murray, AB; Plant, NG; Ratliff, KM; Robinet, A; Rueda, A; Sénéchal, N; Simmons, JA; Splinter, KD; Stephens, S; Townend, I; Vitousek, S; Vos, K, Blind testing of shoreline evolution models., Scientific Reports, vol. 10 no. 1 (February, 2020), pp. 2137 [doi]  [abs]