Dr. Mike Murray

Dr. Michael J. Murray

Director of Veterinary Services

Dr. Michael Murray (or "Dr. Mike" as he's known by all) is a leading authority in sea otter conservation efforts from California to the Russian Far East. He's also deeply engaged in the exhibit and field research activities of the Aquarium's Project White Shark, cares for the Aquarium's living collection, and has worked to support recovery of endangered bald eagles and California condors.


"Being from Indiana, my first opportunity to actually get down to the Pacific Ocean and explore tide pools was at Soberanes Point in 1975. I couldn't get enough of it. I would return right after work nearly every day."

Dr. Mike provides routine health care for exhibit sea otters and other animals in the Aquarium's living collection, from shorebirds to giant Pacific octopus. He is the veterinarian for the Aquarium's pioneering Sea Otter Program, which integrates the live stranding program with conservation research efforts and treats sea otters for return to the wild. Dr. Mike's also a sought-after and highly respected collaborator with sea otter researchers throughout the Pacific Rim.

The Monterey County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recognized Dr. Mike as its two-time Humanitarian of the Year, and his peers honored him as Exotic Veterinarian of the Year in 2002.

He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University and is currently a research associate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He also serves on the Accreditation Commission of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which honored him as Accreditation Inspector of the Year in 2011.