Murray S. Blum

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Murray S. Blum is an American research entomologist and a noted authority in the field of chemical ecology.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Blum (pronounced to rhyme with "gum") grew up in that city and in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a BSc in Biology and his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Illinois. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he joined the faculty of Louisiana State University. In the 1960s he moved to the University of Georgia, where he spent three decades as a research professor before his retirement.

Personal life[edit]

Blum is the father of Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and professor of science journalism.


Blum has concentrated much of his research in the area of chemical ecology, and is well-recognized as an expert on pheromones. His subjects of interest also included the eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera) and imported fire ants as the latter species (Solenopsis invicta) spread through the southern United States. Blum's entomology associates and close friends include noted apiologist Stephen Taber III.[1]

Television appearances[edit]

Blum may be best-known outside of academia for his infrequent, but memorable television appearances. An extrovert with a sly sense of humor, he is remembered as the grinning scientist who convinced TV personality Bryant Gumbel to join him in a breakfast of sauteed grubs on NBC's Today Show.[citation needed]


A past winner of the Lamar Dodd Award for excellence in research, he is the author of many scholarly publications, including the book Chemical Defenses of Arthropods, and he has also played a role in popularizing interest in insects. Blum is also the father of Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist and educator Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook.


  • Blum, Murray S. Chemical Defenses of Arthropods. New York: Academic Press, 1981.
  • Blum, Murray S, ed. Chemistry and Toxicology of Diverse Classes of Alkaloids. Fort Collins, CO: Alaken, 1996.
  • Blum, Murray S., ed. Fundamentals of Insect Physiology. New York: Wiley, 1985.
  • Blum, Murray S. and Nancy Ann Blum, eds. Sexual Selection and Reproductive Competition in Insects. New York: Academic Press, 1979.
  • Blum, Murray S., ed. Toxic Action of Marine and Terrestrial Alkaloids.Ft.Collins, CO: Alaken, 1995.


  1. ^ Blum, Murray S.; Stephen Taber III (1960). "Preservation of Honey Bee Semen". Science 131 (3415): 1734–1735. doi:10.1126/science.131.3415.1734. PMID 13836523. 

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