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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

Lab website: http://www.ksu.edu/morganlab


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. For more information about our current research please visit my lab website.

Selected Publications

Gray, M.M., P. St. Amand, E.D. Akhunov, M. Knapp, K.A. Garrett, T.J. Morgan, Sara G. Baer, B.R. Maricle, and L.C. Johnson (2014) Ecotypes of an Ecologically Dominant Grass (Andropogon gerardii) Exhibit Genetic Divergence across the U.S. Midwest Environmental Gradient. Molecular Ecology.

Williams C.M., M. Watanabe, M.R. Guarracino, M.B. Ferrero, A.S. Edison, T.J. Morgan, A. Boroujerdi, and D.A. Hahn (2014) Cold adaptation shapes the robustness of metabolic networks in Drosophila melanogaster. Evolution. In press.

Fallis, L.C., J.J. Fanara, and T.J. Morgan (2014) Developmental thermal plasticity among Drosophila melanogaster populations. J. Evol. Biol. 27: 557–564.

Fallis, L.C., J.J. Fanara, and T.J. Morgan (2012) Genetic variation in heat-stress resistance among South American Drosophila populations. Genetica DOI 10.1007/s10709-012-9635-z.

Kawakami, T., T.J. Morgan, J.B. Nippert, T.W. Ocheltree, R. Keith, P. Dhakal, and M.C. Ungerer (2011) Natural selection drives clinal life history patterns in the perennial sunflower species, Helianthus maximiliani. Molecular Ecology 20: 2318-2328.

Clowers, K.J., R.F. Lyman, T.F.C. Mackay, and T.J Morgan (2010) Genetic variation in Senescence marker protein-30 is associated with natural variation in cold tolerance in Drosophila. Genetics Research doi:10.1017/S0016672310000108.

Morgan, T.J. and T.F.C. Mackay.  2006.  Quantitative trait loci for thermotolerance phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity 96: 232-242.

View the complete publication list in NCBI