Professor Jeff Morrell | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Jeff Morrell

PhD SUNY, MSc Pennsylvania State University, BSc SUNY

  • Director, National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life
+61 423 348 160
Office location
Ecosciences Precinct Dutton Park Qld
Sunshine Coast
Prof Jeff Morrell


Professor Jeff Morrell is a native of New York in the United States of America and received his education in Forest Biology, Plant Pathology, Forest Pathology and Mycology in New York and Pennsylvania. He also worked as an engineer’s assistant for an electric utility before joining Oregon State University in 1983 and moving through the academic ranks to become a Distinguished University Professor.

Jeff's expertise is in the area of wood deterioration and its prevention where he has undertaken research to identify the fungi associated with the deterioration process, assess the potential for biological control of decay, methods for improving wood treatments, and systems for arresting decay once it has been initiated.

Jeff originally trained as a forester because he wanted to save trees, but sees his career as having worked to achieve that through extending the service life of timber thereby reducing the need to harvest additional wood.

Professional memberships

  • American Phytopathological Society
  • American Society for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Wood Protection Association
  • International Research Group on Wood Protection


  • International Research Group on Wood Protection. Honorary Life Long Member (2016)
  • American Wood Protection Association, Award of Merit (2015)
  • International Union Forestry Research Organisations Distinguished Scientist Award (1990)

Potential research projects for students

  • Performance of wood/metal connections in exterior exposures
  • Effects of heartwood on performance of treated wood
  • Fungal colonisation of wood during decay
  • Effects of treatments on termite attack

Graduate Research Students

  • Andrew Acda PhD Winter '95 (Supercritical fluid impregnation of wood-based composites)  
  • Hunter Anderson MSc Spring ‘19 (The effects of supercritical CO2 on the bending properties and treatment defects of four refractory wood species) 
  • Paola Andrade PhD Fall ‘16
  • Greeley Beck MSc Fall ‘14 (Development of a test method for assessing water repellency and derived physical stability of preservative systems for railroad ties)
  • Yohanna Cabrera MSc Winter ‘08 (Improving durability of second growth timber of naturally durable species)
  • Yohanna Cabrera PhD Su ‘10 (Effects of biocide treatment on durability and fungal colonisation of teak, western red cedar and redwood)
  • Edwin Canessa MSc Fall '93 (Effects of nutrients on interaction between two decay fungi and Trichoderma harzianum Rifai on ponderosa pine sapwood wafers)
  • Edwin Canessa PhD Spring '95 (Fungitoxicities of NaMDC decomposition products to decay fungi colonising Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine wood)
  • Andrew Chang MSc Spring ‘03
  • Rui Chen MSc Fall ‘92
  • Li Cui MSc Fall ‘95 (Extraction of proteins from wood samples colonised by bioprotectants and/or stain fungi)
  • Lori Elkins MSc Summer ‘05 (co w/ R. Leichti) (Establishing a through-boring pattern and method of test for utility poles)
  • Paul Forsyth PhD Summer ‘93 (Decomposition of Basamid in Douglas-fir heartwood)
  • Michael Freitag MSc Fall ‘90 (Measuring extracellular enzymes in pure and mixed cultures of Trametes versicolor (L.:Fr) Pilát and Trichoderma harzianum Rifai)
  • Carlos Garcia MSc Fall ‘96 (Fungal associates of the golden metallic beetle Buprestis aurulenta L)
  • Carlos Garcia PhD Winter ‘05 (Biology and control fo the powderpost beetle, Dinoderus minutus, on bamboo)
  • Magdalena Giron PhD Winter ‘88 (Microfungi of preservative-treated Douglas-fir poles before and after fumigant treatment)
  • Wenlong He MSc Spring ‘95 (co w/ J. Simonsen) (Investigation of Bis-[I-dimethlanino)-2-proparoloto]-copper (II) as a wood preservative)
  • Seungdo Hong MSc Fall ‘93 (The effects of tree position and silvicultural practices on treatability of Douglas-fir lumber)
  • Joseph Hulbert MSc Fall ‘14 (co w/ E. Hansen) (Mitigating the risk of accidental introduction of Phytophthora ramorum on Douglas-fir logs harvested from areas infected with Sudden Oak Death)
  • Sung-Mo Kang MSc Fall ‘99 (Fungal colonisation of Douglas-fir sapwood)
  • Sung-Mo Kang PhD Fall ‘02 (Supercritical fluid impregnation of wood with biocides using temperature reduction)
  • Scott Kent PhD Winter ‘04 (co w/R. Leichti) (The effect of biological deterioration on the performance of nailed oriented strandboard sheathing to Douglas-fir framing member connections)
  • David King MSc Fall ‘13 (co w/A. Sinha) (Moisture effects on properties of wood-composite assemblies)
  • Bernard Kreber MSc Fall ‘91 (Bioprotection of unseasoned ponderosa pine lumber from microbial discolouration)
  • Stan Lebow MSc Spring ‘86 (Migration of creosote from wood and its effect on marine borer attack)
  • Stan Lebow PhD Spring ‘93 (Interactions of ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate (ACZA) wood preservative with Douglas-fir)
  • Shalinney Lipeh PhD Summer ‘16
  • Beom-Goo Lee PhD Winter ‘93 (Removal of fungal stains from ponderosa pine sapwood using caustic bleaching)
  • Ling-Chwun Lin MSc Winter ‘88 (Use of fluorescent-labeled lectins for studying progressive stages of fungal decay in Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine)
  • Shahlinney Lipeh PhD Spring ‘17
  • Jiajian Liu PhD Fall '95 (The role of lytic enzymes in biocontrol of stain fungi)
  • Mark Mankowski PhD Summer ‘01 (Biology of carpenter ants Componotus vicinus (Mayr) and Componotus modoc (Wheeler) in western Oregon)
  • Mark Mankowski MSc Spring ‘92 (Entomology)
  • Maureen Mitchoff MSc Fall ‘89 (Treatability of plywood panels containing western wood species from different geographic regions of the Pacific Northwest)
  • June Mitsuhashi MSc Spring ‘08 (Limiting copper loss from treated wood in or near aquatic environments)
  • June Mitsuhashi PhD Summer ‘10 (Modeling changes in flexural properties of softwood beams during fungal decomposition)
  • Byrne Miyamoto MSc Spring ‘17 (Development of materials properties values for western juniper)
  • Mark A. Newbill MSc Winter ‘93 (Controlling biodeterioration of western wood species with over-the-counter wood preservatives)
  • Josephine Pavia MSc Fall ‘03 (co w/M. Milota) (Wood treatment by double-diffusion using copper sulfate and sodium fluoride)
  • Anita Ragan MSc Summer ‘11 (co w/c. Knowles) (Groundwater and stormwater treatment at western wood treating facilities: An analysis of current treatment methods)
  • Ron Rhatigan MSc Spring ‘96 (Forest Science) (Toxicity of methyl bromide to fungi inhabiting Dahurian larch wood)
  • Leon Rogers MSc Spring ‘19
  • Ben Romanaggii MSc Fall ‘17 (Effect of hole edge distance on flexural properties of through bored Douglas-fir poles)
  • C. Rui MSc Fall ‘92 (Isolation of protoplasts from selected wood degrading fungi and their uses in studying fungicidal action)
  • C. Schauwecker MSc Spring ‘06 (The phytosanitation of solid wood packaging materials using wood preservatives)
  • C. Schauwecker PhD Fall ‘10 (Evaluation of various chemical treatments to prevent the abiotic deterioration of southern pine surfaces through outdoor screening trials)
  • Philip Schneider PhD Winter ‘00 (Pressure measurement in wood as a method to understand impregnation processes: Conventional and supercritical carbon dioxide)
  • Adam Scouse MSc Spring ‘14 (co w/F. Kamke) (Essential oil treatment of VTC wood)
  • Kennedy Sichamba MSc Winter ‘11 (co w/S. Leavengood) (Potential utilisation of western juniper residues)
  • Antonio Silva PhD Spring ‘03 (co w/B. Gartner) (Development of laboratory methods for accelerating decay of wood/plastic composites)
  • Adam Taylor PhD Spring ‘04 (co w/B. Gartner) (Environmental effects of heartwood extractive content and their consequences for natural durability in Douglas-fir and western red cedar)
  • Paola Torres PhD Fall ‘17 (Fungal colonization of wood stakes in soil contact using cultural and high throughput sequencing procedures)
  • Daniel Trebelhorn MSc Spring ‘17 (Effect of wet/dry cycles on dimensional stability of red oak, bigleaf maples and Douglas-fir lumber)
  • Selim Uysal MSc Spring ‘16 (Potential for using boron compounds with differing water solubilities in pastes for remedial treatment of utility poles)
  • Cheney Vidrine MSc Spring ‘08 (co w/F. Kamke) (Copper compounds for durable composites: Effects on material properties)
  • Jerrold E. Winandy PhD Spring ‘93 (Effect of waterborne preservative treatments on allowable stress design values)
  • Ying Xiao PhD Winter ‘04 (Application of green fluorescent protein (GFP) for studying interactions between Ophiostoma piceae and Trichoderma harzianum in freshly sawn Douglas-fir sapwood)
  • Min Ye MSc Summer ‘13 (Effects of best management practices on copper migration from Douglas-fir lumber treated with ACZA, CA or ACQ)
  • Andrew Zahora PhD Winter ‘87 (Interaction of the fumigant methylisothiocyanate with Douglas-fir wood and their influence on fumigant effectiveness)

Research areas

  • Wood Science
  • Wood Biodeterioration

Courses taught

  • WSE611 Wood Biodeterioration/Preservation: ‘86, ‘89, ‘91, ‘93, ‘96, ‘98, ‘04
  • Wood Use in Adverse Environments: 1989, 1990 - (Oregon Institute of Technology)
  • WSE507 Introduction to Graduate Seminar: 1989 to 2018 (Fall/Spring)
  • WSE411-413 Senior Thesis (co-taught): 1991 to 2010
  • WSE440 Seasoning and Drying (co-taught): 1991 to 2010
  • WSE 201 Wood Science Orientation: 2003 to 2010
  • WSE 210 Introduction to Renewable Materials: 2012-2018 (Fall/Winter)
  • WSE 111 Freshman orientation: 2012-2018 (Winter)
  • WSE 599 Wood biodegradation: Winter 2016, 2018

Teaching areas

  • Wood science
  • Mycology

Expertise in wood as a material, fungi and insects that decay wood, preservative treatments, remedial treatments of wood

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