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Division of Biology

Division of Biology
Kansas State University
116 Ackert Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-6653 fax

Ted Morgan, Associate Professor

Ted Morgan

Contact information

239D Chalmers Hall
(785) 532-6126


Ph.D. 2002, Washington State University. Biology.

Area(s) of Specialization

Evolutionary and Physiological Genomics of Adaptive Traits.

Research Focus

The research in my lab is motivated by the fact that most species are subdivided into systems of finite subpopulations and that the pattern of phenotypic and genetic variation within and among populations provides crucial information about evolutionary processes. In my lab we combine these observations with modern genomic methods and ecological and evolutionary theory to address long-standing yet largely unanswered questions in evolutionary biology. These include:

  • What are adaptive traits?
  • What is the genetic basis of adaptive trait variation in nature?
  • What is the relative importance of different evolutionary processes in shaping this variation within and among populations and species?
  • How does the genomic system interact with independent variables (e.g., age or environment) to change the expression, evolution, and maintenance of genetic variation in nature?
  • How do functional polymorphisms mechanistically modify biochemical and physiological processes to give rise to phenotypic variation in nature?

My research primarily focuses on Drosophila melanogaster as an evolutionary and ecological genetic model system. We use Drosophila populations (and species) because they display a rich collection of natural genetic variation in many ecologically and evolutionarily relevant phenotypes; many of which appear to exhibit strong patterns of local adaptation among populations and species.

Recent Publications

Freda, P.J., Z.M. AliUG, N. HeterUG, G.J. Ragland, and T.J. Morgan (2019) Stage-specific genotype-by-environment interactions for cold and heat hardiness in Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity. doi.org/10.1038/s41437-019-0236-9.

Gleason, J.M., P.R. RoyGS, E.R. EvermanGS, T.C. Gleason, and T.J. Morgan (2019) Phenology of Drosophila species across a temperate growing season and implications for behavior. PLoS One. 14(5): e0216601. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0216601.

Gerken, A.R., O.C. EllerUG, and T.J. Morgan (2018) Speed of exposure to rapid cold hardening and genotype drive the level of acclimation response in Drosophila melanogaster. J. Thermal Biol. doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2018.06.011.

Morgan, T.J., M.A. Herman, L.C. Johnson, B.J.C.S. Olson, and M.C. Ungerer (2018) Ecological Genomics: genes in ecology and ecology in genes. Genome. 61:doi.org/10.1139/gen-2018-0022.

Everman, E.R., P.J. Freda GS, M. BrownUG, A.J. SchiefereckeUG, G.J. Ragland, and T.J. Morgan (2018) Ovary development and cold tolerance of the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii Matsumura in the central plains. Env. Ento. doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvy074.

Williams, C.M., J.R. Rocca, A.S. Edison, D.B. Allison, T.J. Morgan and D.A. Hahn (2018) Cold adaptation does not alter ATP homeostasis during cold exposure in Drosophila melanogaster. Integr. Zool. doi:10.1111/1749-4877.12326.

Everman, E.R., J.L. DelzeitUG, J. L., F.K. HunterUG, J.M. Gleason, and T.J. Morgan (2018) Costs and benefits of cold acclimation on survival and reproductive behavior inDrosophila melanogaster. PLOS One. 13(5): e0197822. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197822.

Everman, E.R. and T.J. Morgan (2018) Antagonistic pleiotropy and mutation accumulation contribute to age-related decline in stress response. Evolution, 72: 303–317. doi:10.1111/evo.13408.

View the complete publication list in NCBI