Dr. Xenia K. Morin

Dr. Xenia K. Morin


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 the Introduction to Agriculture and Food Systems (11;020:210) every Fall semester, and this Fall will teach a Byrne seminar called "RU250: A Culinary History" (11:090:101:28) with Cara Cutie, Mary Nucci and Ethan Schoolman. Previously, she has taught courses in Introductory Biology, Biology and Public Policy, Biochemistry, Environmental Studies, Writing, and Agriculture and Food Systems.

Dr. Morin's current research is done in collaboration with several groups:

  • USAID funded research on horticulture and nutrition with Rutgers Professors James Simon, Dan Hoffman and Ramu Govindaswamy.
  • food waste and the food-energy-water nexus research with Serpil Guran, Director, Rutgers EcoComplex
  • public perception of genetically modified foods with Rutgers Professors William Hallman and Cara Cuite as well as Carl Pray and other agricultural economists;
  • NIH-funded research and training on mentoring of under-represented groups with Associate Dean Evelyn Erenrich, Rutgers Professor Rebecca Jordan, and collaborators at Rutgers and in the Big 10 Academic Alliance;
  • science identity and science communication with Professor Mary Nucci; and

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.

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
SEBS250 Coordinator
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.

Contact Information:
Dr. Xenia K. Morin
Department of Plant Biology
New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH)
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
61 Dudley Road, Suite 220
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Office Phone: 848-932-3502