Congratulations Class of 2023!

Click here to watch or share the 2023 graduation events, including playback of the livestream, the doctoral hooding ceremony, and the awards ceremony. 


Laura Murphy, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor

Suite 2210
Laura Murphy

Education & Affiliations

PhD, City and Regional Planning, UNC at Chapel Hill
Certificate of Latin American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
BS, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University


Laura Murphy, PhD, is a trans-disciplinary scholar studying intertwined issues of environment, technology, population, and development. Her work experience since 1983 spans the globe: Indonesia, Ecuador, Kenya and New Orleans. Her doctoral studies (UNC-CH City and Regional planning, 1998) explained the determinants of human well-being and deforestation among Amazonian in-migrants.  NSF-funded research (2006-10) explored how mobile phones and kitchen gardens are adaptive community-based responses to the impacts of AIDS in rural Africa. Currently she's elaborating "Design Capabilities" and documenting theories of social innovation. At Tulane since 2000, Prof Murphy offers graduate courses in global development theory and practice, social innovation, design-thinking, and field research methods. She earned the President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Education in 2008. Murphy is associate director at Tulane’s university-wide Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, leading research & scholarship initiatives. 

Research Areas

  • Environmental change and sustainability transitions
  • Social innovation and design capabilities to address major societal & environmental challenges
  • Complexity thinking applications for global development theory and practice

Honors & Awards

  • 2016: Recipient of Flint & Steel faculty-artist collaborative grant for climate-changing conversations
  • 2011-2016: Holder of Carnegie Corporation of NY Professorship of Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane
  • 2008: Recipient of Tulane President's Award for Excellence in Graduate & Professional Education


View Dr. Murphy's publications at her NCBI profile page.


GCHB 7200 Development Issues: Theory and Measurement (fall, period II, Tue&Thur 5:30-8 PM)

Dissertation Info

New Orleans regional history; food systems/food history