Archive: Detroit Zoological Society Welcomes Mike Murray as new Vice President of Life Sciences

Veteran animal care advocate joins DZS from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo

March 3, 2023

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) announced today the hiring of Mike Murray as the nonprofit’s new vice president of life sciences. He joins the DZS after spending the past five years at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, serving most recently as its curator of mammals and behavioral husbandry.  

As the DZS’s new vice president of life sciences, Murray leads the life sciences team, a large team of animal care specialists who dedicate themselves to the conservation, care and well-being of the animals who call the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center home.  

“I am honored and thrilled to be joining the incredible DZS organization,” Murray said. “The Detroit Zoo is an established global leader in animal welfare, conservation and connecting communities to nature, and I am excited to lead the life sciences team to continue building these impactful programs. As a Michigan native, it is very special to return to this beautiful state and live in the extraordinary Detroit community.” 

Murray has more than 20 years of experience in the animal care field, having previously worked at Binder Park Zoo (Battle Creek, Michigan), Denver Zoo and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, in addition to Lincoln Park Zoo. He is an expert in providing animals with the highest standards of care and welfare and is also a passionate conservationist who regularly participates in global conservation research. 

“Mike is an incredible addition to our DZS team, and his extensive experience in team leadership, nonprofit management, animal husbandry and project management make him the ideal person to lead our animal care staff,” said Dr. Hayley Murphy, executive director and CEO for the DZS. “He will play an integral role in helping us further our mission of creating meaningful connections between people, animals and the natural world so all can thrive.” 

An avid supporter and member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Murray has served as a coordinator for AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) and SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) programs, as well as the vice chair for an AZA Taxon Advisory Group 

Murray is a native Michigander, having grown up in the Kalamazoo area. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan) and a Master of Arts degree in nonprofit management from Regis University (Denver, Colorado). He resides in metro Detroit with his wife, Kathryn, and their three children.