Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Laura Murphy

Clinical Associate Professor - Global Community Health & Behavioral Sciences (GCHB)

Contact Info


  • B.S., Stanford University, Mechanical Engineering, 1983
  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina, City and Regional Planning, 1998
  • Certificate in Latin American Studies from the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute for Latin American Studies (ILAS), 1998

Academic Experience

  • Associate Director, Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Design Thinking and Social Innovation (Taylor), Tulane University
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York Professor of Social entrepreneurship, 2011-2016
  • Clinical Associate Professor, Tulane University, 2006-
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Tulane University, 2001-2006
  • Adjunct Professor, Tulane University, 1998-2001
  • Post-Doctoral Scholar, University of North Carolina, 1988-2000

Research & Teaching Specializations: Development Theory; Population and Environment; Social Innovation, Design thinking; Complexity; Human-environment change; Tropical Deforestation; Mobile phone revolution

Related Experience

  • Humanitarian Policy Group Consultant, Overseas Development Institute, 2003-2004
  • Coordinator, The Population Environment Research Network, 2000-2002
  • United Nations Development Program Consultant, “Population-Environment Case Study of Ecuador’s Amazon,” 1998
  • Co-Investigator, Ecuadorian Amazon land use study, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, 1998-2000
  • Consultant, Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH)


  • A Studio in the Woods faculty-artist Flint and Steel residency, for collaboration on Climate Changing Conversations project with Christy George, 2016
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, part of Tulane’s social innovation program of teaching, service, and scholarship on changemaking.
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional School Teaching, Tulane University, 2008
  • Dean’s Scholar Award, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 2008
  • National Science Foundation Grant, 2007
  • John T. and Catherine E. MacArthur Foundation Grant, 2005
  • Mellon Foundation Grant, 1995
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Award, 1993-1994


  • Spanish
  • Indonesian
  • Kiswahili
  • French

Selected Publications

  • 2017. Human-centred design in global health: A scoping review of applications and contexts. Bazzano, Alessandra, Jane Martin, Elaine Hicks, Maille Faughnan, Laura Murphy. PLoS ONE 12(11).
  • 2015. “Diagnostics barriers and innovations in rural areas: insights from junior medical doctors on the frontlines of rural care in Peru.” Anticona Huaynate CF, Pajuelo Travezaño MJ, Correa M, Mayta Malpartida H, Oberhelman R, Murphy LL, Paz-Soldan VA. BMC Health Serv Res 15:454
  • 2013. “Global and Local Dynamics of REDD in Forest Communities: A Case Study from Peru’s Amazon.” Evans, Kristen, (lead), Wil de Jong, Laura Murphy. In special volume of Environmental Science and Policy.
  • 2012. “Inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches to population–environment research for sustainability aims: a review and appraisal.” Diana Hummel, Susana Adamo, Alex de Sherbinin, Laura Murphy, Rimjhim Aggarwal, Leo Zulu, Jianguo Liu & Kyle Knight. In the Journal of Population and Environment.
  • 2011. “My Co-Wife Can Use My Phone: Insights into Mobile Phone Use in Rural Africa”. Murphy, Laura and Alex Priebe. Gender, Technology, and Development.
  • 2008. “AIDS and Kitchen Gardens: Insights from a Village in Western Kenya.” Journal of Population and Environment. 29 (3-5): 133-161.
  • 2005. “How do we know what we know about AIDS impacts in rural Africa: evidence from field studies” With L. P. Harvey and E. Silvestre. Human Organization. 64 (3): 265-275.
  • 2002. “Choice and Constraint in the Making of the Amazon Frontier: Settler Land Use Decisions and Environmental Change in Ecuador.” With Francisco Pichon et al. In Patterns and Processes of Land Use and Forest Change in the Amazon. C. Wood, ed. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
  • 2001. “Colonist Farm Income, Cattle, Off-farm Work and Differentiation in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon.” Human Organization. Spring.
  • 1998. “Migration Decisions Among Settler Families in the Ecuadorian Amazon: The Second Generation.” With Lucie Laurian and Richard Bilsborrow. Research in Rural Sociology and Development: Focus on Migration. 7: 169-196.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: Development Theory and Issues; Population-Environment Relationships; Saturday field methods and grant-writing workshop; Social Innovation Toolkit for graduate students

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in the Past 5 Years: 12