Dr. Morin is interested in working at the intersection of science, social science and society and also tackling the formidable challenge of feeding our growing population. As a trained plant biochemist, her research and teaching has grown increasingly interdisciplinary over the years and she now focuses on agriculture and food systems.
Dr. Morin currently teaches • Careers in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (11:020:205) (new! Spring 2020) • Introduction to Agriculture and Food Systems (11;020:210) • Special Topics in Ag and Food Systems (11:020:255) • Feeding the World (honors seminar) (11:020:296) • Sustainability: Tackling Food Waste (11:020:337) • Feeding America's Cities (11:020:465) • Independent study courses (11:020:495/496)
She supports other courses in the program, and, in 2019 helped launch our new Developing Ideas in Teaching Agriculture and Food Systems (11:020:425) along with a new major in Agricultural Science Education (teachag.rutgers.edu). She also helped to develop the new Sustainable Global Food Systems minor with Dr. Ethan Schoolman in Human Ecology. New in Spring 2020, Dr Morin is co-teaching an embedded study abroad course called "Tropical Environments and Society"(11:375:380) with Dr. Ben Lintner (environmental studies), Laura Schneider (geography), and Lena Struwe (ecology and evolutionary biology; plant biology) which includes a study abroad trip to Costa Rica to perform field work. In 2019, Dr. Morin was awarded the SEBS Teaching Award
Dr. Morin's current research interests include (with many wonderful collaborators):
- envisioning the future of sustainable agriculture, food systems, and climate change
- education including digital badging
- indoor cultivation and sustainability
- food systems, horticulture and nutrition
- food waste and the food-energy-water nexus
- public perception of genetically modified foods
- research and training to support mentoring of under-represented groups in higher education as well as agriculture
- science communication
While at Rutgers, Dr. Morin has had the privilege of serve as associate director for research the science/adventure documentary, Antarctic Edge:70 degrees South (http://beyondtheice.rutgers.edu/), released in 2015. This NSF- and SEBS- funded documentary feature Rutgers Professor Oscar Schofield and the Long Term Ecology Research Team, and was directed by Dena Seidel. Xenia is also a founding member of the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health and an active member of the new Center for Food System. She is also a member of Rutgers Climate Institute as well as the Institute for Earth, Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences. Previously, she has taught courses in Introductory Biology, Biology and Public Policy, Biochemistry, Environmental Studies, Writing, and Agriculture and Food Systems.
Dr. Morin obtained her Ph.D. at Cornell University in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1992. Her dissertation title was "Metabolite Transport across the Chloroplast Inner Envelope. " Her postdoctoral work took her to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany (plant cell biology), to the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada (membrane protein and cell biology studies in cystic fibrosis), and to Bryn Mawr College outside of Philadelphia, PA (RNA structure and function).
Dr. Morin joined Rutgers University in 2010 working on curriculum redesign for the Agricultural Sciences major and in 2011 took the position of Associate Dean and Liaison for Sponsored Program at SEBS and supervised the Office of Grants Facilitation at SEBS. In 2015, Dr. Morin was honored to join the Plant Biology Department and to resume her teaching and research as undergraduate program director (UPD) for the Agriculture and Food Systems Major (http://agricultureandfoodsystems.rutgers.edu/).
Prior to Rutgers, she was a lecturer at Princeton University for six years focusing on teaching writing and environmental studies on agriculture and food systems. There she supervised several senior undergraduate theses including "Why is Government in the Garden? Case Studies of Resilient Co-Governance in urban Community Gardening Programs" by Henry Barmeier (Rhodes Scholar) and "Planting the Seeds for an African Green Revolution: The Millennium Development Villages and Input Subsidy Program in Malawi" by Joseph Vellone.
Title and Address:
Senior Associate Dean for Learning
Associate Teaching Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology
Undergraduate Program Director for Agriculture and Food Systems
Department of Plant Biology
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Primary Focus Area: Food systems studies.
Secondary Focus Area: Local through global food production and its ability to respond to climate change while maintaining health, the environment and economic sustainability.