Desneiges Murray

2019 Awardee

S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources


Deni is an ecology and biogeochemistry M.S. student in the Department of Watershed Sciences. She is from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and attended University of Washington for her B.S. degree with a major in Ecology. Before coming to USU, Deni worked on projects ranging from plant ecophysiology to riparian ecology. She eventually found her research passion: the terrestrial-freshwater interface. Deni’s research focuses on analyzing processes that affect freshwater quality, chemistry and ecology.At USU, Deni studies beaver impacts (e.g. dams, ponds) on biogeochemical and ecological processes in mountain streams. She has presented her research at national and local conferences and intends to produce three manuscripts from her thesis. Beaver-centric restoration efforts have gained momentum in the Intermountain West and are renowned for the geomorphic restoration benefits. However, little is known of the water quality ecosystem services or disservices resulting from beaver restoration projects. Results from Deni’s research will inform scientists and managers on the water quality implications of restoring beaver populations in the Intermountain West. She hopes to continue as a researcher in the public or private sector, pursuing projects on nutrient cycling and global change. Deni is an avid rock-climber and skier, and she enjoys travelling, board-games and cooking.