plant shoots in dirt

Plant Adaptation

Improving plant adaptation to meet society’s need for more productive, sustainable and resilient agriculture.

The Institute for Plant Adaptation is a new initiative under development at Colorado State University, aligning the best academic plant science with industry priorities in a positive feedback loop. The collective experience of our scientists spans traits such as drought adaptation, carbon sequestration, nitrogen use efficiency, vitamin biofortification, food quality, and pest and disease resistance. 

Vision Talks

Plant adaptation research serves applications like crop breeding, conservation, and invasive species management. With a growing population and changing climate, understanding and utilizing plant adaptation is more important than ever.

To spark discussion and catalyze connections, the College of Agricultural Sciences will host a series of lectures from global thought leaders who are using innovative approaches to make greater progress in plant adaptation and genetics.

Mark Cooper

Plant Success: Effective Translation from Natural to Agricultural Systems

Mark Cooper, Deputy Director, Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture, Queensland University
March 30, 2023 | 4 p.m. | Biology room 136

Mike Gore

A Genome-Level Approach to Balancing the Micronutrient Content of Maize Grain

Mike Gore, Cornell University
April 12, 2023 | 11 a.m. | Nutrien room 135

Susan McCouch

Learning via Radical Collaborations and Transdisciplinary Science

Susan McCouch, Director, CROPPS Center, Cornell University
April 19, 2023 | 10 a.m. | Behavioral Sciences room 136



We have recruited a core set of founding faculty members across Colleges and Departments, each of whom will lead an IPA initiative that plays to their core strengths.


We have initiated engagement with key stakeholders in Industry that can both provide critical feedback on the IPA mission and deliverables and serve as strategic collaborators.

Program Development

We are taking initial steps to develop a graduate program by pursuing a cluster hire for new faculty positions that can help create innovative curriculum.


  • Our work increases profitability for growers, spurs economic development of rural communities, and improves sustainability and health in the rural environment.
  • Rapidly testing the adaptive value of new traits and genetics allows farmers in Colorado, the US and the developing world to take advantage of new varieties that have higher nutritional value, greater ROI per hectare and can be produced more sustainably.