Professor Jennifer Murphy (supplied image)

Jennifer Murphy recognized with 2024 Clara Benson Award

Jennifer Murphy, a professor in the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science, has been named the recipient of the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s 2024 Clara Benson Award.

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs, the Clara Benson Award recognizes women who have made distinguished contributions to chemistry while working in Canada. It is named for Clara Cynthia Benson, one of the first two women to earn a doctorate from U of T and one of the university’s first two female professors.

Murphy is a leading atmospheric chemist studying atmospheric reactive nitrogen species. Her hypothesis that emissions from sea bird colonies are the dominant source of ammonia to the Arctic atmosphere led her to perform the first high-quality ammonia measurements in the Arctic, onboard a Canadian icebreaker.  

“While my career has been much smoother sailing than Benson’s, there are still structural and social factors posing challenges to the equitable participation of many individuals in chemistry,” Murphy said. "One lesson I take from Clara Benson’s legacy is that sustained advocacy is needed to continue on a trajectory to a more inclusive future.”

Read the Faculty of Arts & Science story