Steve Murphree

Steve Murphree

Professor, Biology

College of Sciences & Mathematics

Ph.D. in Entomology, Auburn University - Specialization: Entomology and Ecology Research - Interest: Field studies of medically important and other anthropods

Location: Janet Ayers Academic Center 3017



I grew up in rural middle Tennessee where childhood explorations of my family's farm led to insect collections, participation in science fairs, 4-H Club events and eventually my specialization in entomology. My interest in science also led me to a Christian calling to teach biology. I completed a B.S. degree in 1981 and a Master of Science degree in 1984 - both in biology and both at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. I received my Doctor of Philosophy degree in Entomology from Auburn University in 1990 and joined the Belmont Biology faculty in 1991.

I am a Professor of Biology, and have taught freshman and upper level biology courses as well as a graduate science education course. I serve as advisor for Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Pre-Dentistry and some Pre-Medicine biology majors. In addition, I advise students in the Honors Program.  I have served as advisor for our Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society chapter since 1992 and have been active in campus recycling since 1993.

I consider myself to be a medical-veterinary entomologist with broad interests in entomology, ecology and science education. The undergraduate research projects that I have directed have mostly determined the incidence of arthropod-borne pathogens like Lyme disease in ticks and Chagas disease in conenose bugs.  I am a frequent contributor of articles about arthropods to the Tennessee Conservationist and have been interviewed about insects by local print, radio and television media.  Since coming to Belmont, I have visited many classrooms in middle Tennessee where I have given insect/spider presentations and have assisted in judging science fairs in the area. Since 1992, I have taught summer insect day camps for children (Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies) and have assisted staff members at local nature centers/events in educating about insects since 1994.

I served as president of the Tennessee Entomological Society in 1998 and of the Tennessee Academy of Science in 1999. In 2001, I received Belmont's Presidential Faculty Achievement Award.  In 2004 I was named the Tennessee Environmental Education Association's Environmental Educator of the Year.

My wife Kay and I, and children Steven, Melissa, Daniel and Anna, are active members of First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro.  Being a faculty member at Belmont University has been a most rewarding experience. The Biology Department is a wonderful teaching/learning environment and I am glad to correspond with prospective students and parents who have questions or are seeking more information about what we have to offer.