Jeff Murugan was born in Tongaat, a little town on South Africa's north east coast in 1976 and grew up there until the end of apartheid when, in 1994, the year of South Africa's first democratic election, he moved to Cape Town to commence undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town. On completion of a BSc degree, majoring in applied mathematics and physics, he obtained a first class Honours degree in specialising in mathematical physics also at UCT. This was followed by an MSc (awarded with distinction) for a thesis on topological solutions of low dimensional field theories. In 2000, he was awarded a Lindbury Fellowship to pursue a PhD jointly at UCT and Worchester College, Oxford University under the supervision of George Ellis and Philip Candelas respectively. After being awarded a PhD for his work on noncommutative geometry in string theory, he began work as a postdoctoral fellow in the High Energy Theory group at Brown University, specialising in the gauge theory/gravity correspondence. He returned to a faculty position as a lecturer at UCT in 2006.