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Laura Murphy

Associate Professor
Laura Murphy

Laura Murphy is clinical associate professor in the Department of Global Health Systems and Development at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM). In 2011, Dr. Murphy was appointed “Carnegie Corporation of New York Professor of Social Entrepreneurship” in the first class of Social Entrepreneurship Professors at Tulane University. Five endowed Social Entrepreneurship Professorships have been established to provide a critical mass of faculty support for university-wide, interdisciplinary endeavors in social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Murphy's current research focuses on social change in rural Africa, the social impacts of HIV/AIDS epidemic and technology change--focusing on the cellphone in rural Africa. She has also researched environmental change, deforestation in the Amazon, and worked on environmental issues in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Her work has been funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation  Her teaching spans development, population, environment, and interdisciplinary social science research,. In 2008 she earned the Tulane "President's Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching".  She is an adjunct associate professor at Tulane's Payson Center for International Development , and serves as the Payson PhD program director. She is an affiliated faculty member at Tulane's Stone Center for Latin American Studies. 

You can learn more about Dr. Murphy on her Website.

Primary Classification: 
  •     B.S., Stanford University, Mechanical Engineering, 1983 (with honors in Values, Technology and Society)
  •     Ph.D., University of North Carolina, City and Regional Planning, 1998 (with a Certificate in Latin American Studies)
Academic Experience: 
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Payson Center for International Development
  • Clinical Associate Professor, Global Health Systems and Development, Tulane
  • Affiliate Faculty,Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane
Selected Publications: 
  • with Susan Wyche, 2012. “Dead China-Make’’ Phones Off the Grid: Investigating and Designing for Mobile Phone Use in Rural Africa" in DIS, June 11-15, 2012, Newcastle, UK
  • Murphy, Laura and Alex Priebe, 2012, My Co-Wife Can Use My Phone: Insights into Mobile Phone Use in Rural Africa”. Gender, Technology, and Development.
  • Murphy, Laura. 2008. “AIDS and Kitchen Gardens: Insights from a Village in Western Kenya.” Journal of Population and Environment. Special Issue: HIV/AIDS and the Environment. Volume 29, Numbers 3-5, 2008
  • Murphy, Laura, Paul Harvey and Eva Silvestre. 2005. “How do we know what we know about AIDS impacts in rural Africa: evidence from field studies” Human Organization. Vol 64, No 3 2005 pp 265-275
  • Pichón, Francisco, Catherine Marquette, Laura Murphy and Richard Bilsborrow. 2002. "Choice and Constraint in the Making of the Amazon Frontier: Settler Land Use Decisions and Environmental Change in Ecuador." In Wood (et al Eds.) Land Use and Deforestation in the Amazon. Gainesville: University of Florida. (Chapters were peer-reviewed for inclusion)
  • Murphy, Laura. 2001. "Colonist Farm Income, Cattle, Off-farm Work and Differentiation in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon," Human Organization, spring 2001.
  • Laurian, Lucie, Richard Bilsborrow and Laura Murphy. 1998. “Migration Decisions among Settler Families in the Ecuadorian Amazon: the Second Generation,” in Research in Rural Sociology and Development: Focus on Migration. Vol. 7 (Summer, 1998): 169-196.
  • Murphy, Laura, Richard Bilsborrow and Francisco Pichón. “Poverty and Prosperity among Migrant Settlers in the Amazon Rainforest Frontier of Ecuador,” Journal of Development Studies. Vol. 34 (December, 1997), No. 2, pp. 35-65.
  • Thapa, Keshari, Richard Bilsborrow and Laura Murphy. 1996. “Deforestation, Land Use and Women's Agricultural Activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon.” World Development. Vol. 24 (1996), No. 8, pp. 1317-1332
Country Experience: 
United States

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