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Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy kneeling and looking at barley plots.

Associate Professor

International Seed and Cropping Systems
Sustainable Seed Systems Lab

ITB 3045
PO Box 646420
Pullman WA 99164-6420 USA
Phone 509-335-9692
FAX 509-335-8674


  • Ph.D., Plant Breeding and Genetics, Washington State University
  • M.A., Anthropology, University of Idaho
  • M.S., Crop Science, Washington State University
  • B.A., Biology, Colorado College


  • AFS 201: Systems Skills Development for Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Soils 302: Introduction to Agroecology
  • Crops 497/499/512: Neotropical Agroecology and Participatory Research: Ecuador


I lead the specialty crop breeding and agronomy program at WSU. Our goal is to increase the genetic- and bio-diversity of cropping systems across Washington State through the development of new cultivars and implementation of ecologically-rooted production practices. Internationally, we conduct participatory breeding and agronomic research on quinoa, barley, and millets in Rwanda, Malawi, and Ecuador. Our group focuses on breeding and/or cropping systems research in quinoa, barley, spelt, buckwheat, perennial grains, and proso millet. We emphasize crops, varieties, and/or farming systems that optimize nutritional value and provide tolerance to heat, drought, and diseases while improving yield, flavor and end-use quality. Our cropping systems research has included studies on intercropping, cover crops, crop rotation effects, no-till farming, crop-livestock integration, and optimal planting dates and nitrogen, irrigation and seeding rates.


  • Crop Science Society of America, Division C-9 ‘Biomedical, Health Beneficial, and Nutritionally Enhanced Plants’ Chair 2019
  • Asia Rice Foundation USA, Board of Trustees, 2014-present
  • Open Source Seed Initiative, Board of Directors, 2018-present
  • Sustainability journal, Associate Editor, 2014-present

Recent Awards and Honors

  • Fulbright Global Scholar, Ecuador 2019 and Malawi 2021
  • Fulbright Specialists Fellow, Malawi, 2017
  • Faculty of the Year Award, WSU CAHNRS Alumni and Development, 2016
  • Early Career Excellence Award, WSU CAHNRS, 2016
  • Team Leader, WSU CAHNRS Interdisciplinary Research Team Award, Team Quinoa, 2015
  • WSU Innovator Award, 2014
  • Fulbright Specialists Fellow, Philippines, 2013


Murphy, K., and J.B. Matanguihan (eds.) (2015). Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production, Wiley-Blackwell. Hoboken, New Jersey, USA.

Varieties and Germplasm

Murphy, K., S.E. Ullrich, M.B. Wood, J.B. Matanguihan, V.A. Jitkov, S.O. Guy, X. Chen, B.O. Brouwer, S.R. Lyon, and S.S. Jones (2015). Registration of ‘Muir’ spring feed barley. Journal of Plant Registrations 9:283-287.

Meints, B., A. Cuesta-Marcos, S. Fisk, A.S. Ross, K. Murphy, and P.M. Hayes (2015). Registration of ‘#STRKR’ barley germplasm. Journal of Plant Registrations 9:388-392.

Murphy, K., S. Ullrich, M. Wood, J. Matanguihan, S. Guy, V Jitkov, and X. Chen (2015). Registration of ‘Lyon’, a two-row, spring feed barley. Journal of Plant Registrations 9:6-9.

Jones, S.S., S.R. Lyon, K.A. Balow, M.A. Gollnick, K. Murphy, J. Kuehner, X.M. Chen, T.D. Murray, D.A. Engle, and K.G. Campbell (2010). Registration of ‘Xerpha’ wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations 4:137-140. IF=0.62.

Jones, S.S., S.R. Lyon, K.A. Balow, M.A. Gollnick, K. Murphy, T.D. Murray, X.M. Chen, K.G. Campbell, J.W. Burns, W.F. Schillinger, P.E. Reisenauer, and B.J. Goates (2007). Registration of ‘MDM’ wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations 1: 104-106. IF=0.62.

Extension Publications

Bramwell, S., B. Brouwer, C. Mundt, A. Hulting, P. Hayes, K. Murphy, B. Meints, A. MacLeod, D. Carrijo, C. Waite, S. Fisk, B. Verhoeven (2021). Growing winter malting barley west of the Cascades. Washington State University Extension FS356E.

Weime, R., J. Reganold, D. Packer, K. Murphy (2021). Growing quinoa in Washington State. Washington State University Extension FS355E.

Kellogg, J., K. Murphy (2017). Growing quinoa in home gardens. Washington State University Extension, Home Gardening Series FS258E.

Winkler, L., K. Murphy (2017). Producing milling oats in western Washington: Guide to grain quality optimization and marketing. Washington State University Extension EM109E.

Miles, C., J. Roozen, S. S. Jones, K. Murphy, and X. Chen. (2009). Growing wheat in western Washington. Washington State University Extension EM022E.

Selected Publications

Oeller, E., R. Clark, L. Hinojosa, K. Murphy, D. Crowder (2021). Effects of agronomic practices on Lygus spp. (Hemipera: Miridae) population dynamics in quinoa. Environmental Entomology (in press).

Craine, E., S. Bramwell, C.F. Ross, S. Fisk, K. Murphy (2021). Strategic malting barley improvement for craft brewers through consumer sensory evaluation of hot steep malt and beer. Journal of Food Science (in press).

Little, A., K. Murphy, P. Solverson (2021). Quinoa’s potential to enhance dietary management of obesity and type-2 diabetes: a review of the current evidence. Diabetology (in press).

Habiyaremye, C., K.L. Schroeder, J.P. Reganold, D. White, D. Packer, K. Murphy (2021). Effect of nitrogen and seeding rate on yield, protein, and β-glucan of naked food barley in no-till cropping systems in the Palouse. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems (in press).

McGinty, E.M., K. Murphy, A.L. Hauvermale (2021). Evaluating the mechanisms of seed dormancy and preharvest sprouting (PHS) in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Plants 10: 458.

Hinojosa, L., A. Leguizamo, M. Vivar, C. Carpio, C. Mestanza, J. Ochoa, C. Castillo, A. Murillo, E. Villacréz, C. Monar, Andrés Torres, N. Pichazaca, K. Murphy (2021). Quinoa in Ecuador: Recent advances under quinoa global expansion. Plants 10: 298.

Kellogg, J.A., J.P. Reganold, K. Murphy, L.A. Carpenter-Boggs (2021). Using a plant-fungus bioassay to investigate the mycorrhizal status of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Microbial Ecology (in press).

Merrick, L.F., S.R. Lyon, K.A. Balow, K. Murphy, S.S. Jones, A.H. Carter (2020). Utilization of evolutionary plant breeding increases stability and adaptation of winter wheat across diverse precipitation zones. Sustainability 12: 9728.

Choi, H., A. Esser, K. Murphy (2020). Genotype × environment interaction and stability of β-glucan content in barley in the Palouse region of eastern Washington. Crop Science 60: 2500–2510.

Craine, E.B., K. Murphy (2020). Seed composition and amino acid profiles for quinoa grown in Washington State. Frontiers in Nutrition 7:126.

Wieme, R., J.P. Reganold, D. Crowder, K. Murphy, L. Carpenter-Boggs (2020). Productivity and soil quality of organic forage, quinoa, and grain cropping systems in the dryland Pacific Northwest, USA. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 293: 106838.

Eustis, A., K. Murphy, F.H. Barrios-Masias (2020). Leaf gas exchange performance of ten quinoa genotypes under a simulated heat wave. Plants 9: 81. Doi:10.3390/plants9010081

Wieme, R., L. Carpenter-Boggs, D. Crowder, K. Murphy, J.P. Reganold (2020). Agronomic and economic performance of organic forage, quinoa, and grain crop rotations in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest, USA. Agricultural Systems 177: 102709.

Hinojosa, L., M. Sanad, D. Jarvis, P. Steel, K. Murphy, and A. Smertenko (2019). Impact of heat and drought stress on peroxisome proliferation in quinoa. The Plant Journal 99: 1144-1158.

Kellogg, J., and K. Murphy (2019). Evolutionary participatory quinoa breeding for organic agroecosystems in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, In: Farmer participation in plant breeding: Adapting crops, institutions and policies, Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity Series, Routlege Taylor & Francis Group.

Hinojosa, L., N. Kumar, K.S. Gill, and K. Murphy* (2019). Spectral reflectance indices and physiological parameters in quinoa under contrasting irrigation regimes. Crop Science 59: 1927-1944. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2018.11.0711

Ludvigson, K., J.P. Reganold, and K. Murphy (2019). Sustainable intensification of quinoa in peri-urban environments in western Washington state utilizing transplant vs. direct-seed methods. Ciencia e Investigatcion Agraria 46: 100-112. doi: 10.7764/rcia.v45i2.2169

Gardner, M., M.F.A. Maliro, J.R. Goldberger, and K. Murphy (2019). Assessing the potential adoption of quinoa for human consumption in central Malawi. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3: 52.

Sankaran, S., C. Zuniga Espinoza, L. Hinojosa, X. Ma, and K. Murphy (2019). High-throughput phenotyping to assess irrigation treatment effects in quinoa. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment 2: 180063. doi:10.2134/age2018.12.0063

Clark, I., S.S. Jones, J.P. Reganold, K.A. Sanguinet, and K. Murphy (2019). Agronomic performance of perennial grain genotypes in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest, USA. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3: 39.

Hinojosa, L., J. Matanguihan, and K. Murphy (2019). Effect of high temperature on pollen morphology, plant growth and seed yield in quinoa. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 205: 33-45.

Noratto, G.D., K. Murphy, and B.P. Chew (2019). Quinoa intake reduces plasma and liver cholesterol, lessens obesity-associated inflammation, and helps to prevent hepatic steatosis in obese db/db mouse. Food Chemistry 287: 107-114.

Baidoo, E., K. Murphy, and G. Ganjyal (2019). Hulled varieties of barley showed better expansion characteristics compared to hull-less varieties during twin-screw extrusion. Cereal Chemistry 96: 391-404.

Milosavliević, I., A.D. Esser, K. Murphy, and D.W. Crowder (2019). Effects of imidacloprid seed treatments on crop yields and economic returns of cereal crops. Crop Protection 119: 166-171.

Murphy, K., J. Matanguihan, F. Fuentes, L. Gomez-Pando, R. Jellen, J. Maughan, and D. Jarvis (2018). Advances in quinoa breeding and genomics. Plant Breeding Reviews 42: 257-320.

Hinojosa, L, J.A. Gonzalez, F.H. Barrios-Masias, F. Fuentes, and K. Murphy (2018). Quinoa abiotic stress responses: A review. Plants 7: 106.

Winkler, L.R., K. Murphy, J.C. Hermes (2018). Three hulless oat varieties show economic potential as organic layer feed grain. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 23: 418-431.

Garcia-Mazcorro, J.F., D. Mills, K. Murphy, and G. Noratto (2018). Effect of barley supplementation on the fecal microbiota, caecal biochemistry, and key biomarkers of obesity and inflammation in obese db/db mice. European Journal of Nutrition 57:2513-2528.

Wu, G., C. Morris, and K. Murphy (2017). Quinoa starch characteristics and their correlations with the texture profile analysis (TPA) of cooked quinoa. Journal of Food Science 82: 2387-2395.

Aluwi, N.A., K. Murphy, and G.M. Ganjyal (2017). Physicochemical characterization of different varieties of quinoa. Cereal Chemistry 94: 847-856.

Wu, G., C.F. Morris, K. Murphy, and C.F. Ross (2017). Lexicon development, consumer acceptance, and drivers of liking of quinoa varieties. Journal of Food Science 82: 993-1005.

Winkler, L.R., A. Hasenbeck, K. Murphy, and J. Hermes (2017). Replacing corn and wheat in layer diets with hulless oats shows effects on sensory properties and yolk quality in eggs. Frontiers in Nutrition 4: 37.

Piaskowski, J., K. Murphy, T. Kisha, and S.S. Jones (2017). Perennial wheat lines have highly admixed population structure and elevated rates of outcrossing. Euphytica: International Journal of Plant Breeding 213: 171.

Habiyaremye, C., K. Highet, V. Barth, T. Coffey, and K. Murphy (2017). Phenotypic responses of twenty diverse proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L) accessions to irrigation. Sustainability 9: 389.

Maliro, M.F.A., V.F. Guwela, J. Nyaika, and K. Murphy (2017). Preliminary studies of the performance of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) genotypes under irrigated and rainfed conditions of central Malawi. Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 227.

Jarvis, D.E., Y.S. Ho, D.J. Lightfoot, S.M. Schmöckel, B. Li, T. Borm, H. Ohyanagi, K. Mineta, C.T. Michell, N. Saber, N.M. Kharbatia, R.R. Rupper, A.R. Sharp, N. Dally, B. Boughton, Y.H. Woo, G. Gao, E. Schijlen, X. Guo, A.A. Momin, S. Negrão, S. Al-Babili, C. Gehring, U. Rӧssner, C. Jung, K. Murphy, S. Arold, T. Gojobori, G. van der Linden, R. van Loo, E.N. Jellen, P.J. Maughan, and M. Tester (2017). The genome of Chenopodium quinoa. Nature 542: 307-312. IF=38.138.

Murphy, K. (2017). A quiet harvest: Linkage between ritual, seed selection and the historical use of the finger-bladed knife as a traditional plant breeding tool in Ifugao, Philippines. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 13:3.

Habiyaremye, C., J.B. Matanguihan, J. d’Alpoim Guedes, G.M. Ganjyal, M.R. Whiteman, K.K. Kidwell, and K. Murphy (2017). Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) and its potential for cultivation in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.: A review. Frontiers in Plant Science 7:1961.

Curwen-McAdams, C., M. Arterburn, K. Murphy, X. Cai, and S.S. Jones (2017). Toward a taxonomic definition of perennial wheat: A new species × Tritipyrum aaseae described. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 64: 1651-1659.

Aluwi, N., B-J. Gu, G. Dhumal, I.G. Medina-Meza, K. Murphy, and G. Ganjyal (2016). Impacts of scarification and degermination on the expansion characteristics of select quinoa varieties during extrusion processing. Journal of Food Science 81: E2939-E2949.

Winkler, L., K. Murphy, and S.S. Jones (2016). The history of oats in western Washington and the role of regionality in agriculture. Journal of Rural Studies 47: 231-241.

Walters, H., L. Carpenter-Boggs, K. Desta, L. Yan, G.J. Matanguihan, and K. Murphy (2016). Effect of irrigation, intercrop and cultivar on agronomic and nutritional characteristics of quinoa. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 40: 783-803.

Murphy, K., D. Bazile, J. Kellogg, and M. Rahmanian (2016). Development of a worldwide consortium on evolutionary participatory breeding in quinoa. Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 608.

Brouwer, B.O., P.B. Schwarz, J.M. Barr, P.M. Hayes, K. Murphy, and S.S. Jones (2016). Evaluating barley for the emerging craft malting industry in western Washington. Agronomy Journal 108: 1-11.

Wu, G., A.J. Peterson, C.F. Morris, and K. Murphy (2016). Quinoa seed quality response to sodium chloride and sodium sulfate salinity. Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 790.

Kowalski, R.J., I.G. Medina-Meza, B.B. Thapa, K. Murphy, and G.M. Ganjyal (2016). Extrusion processing characteristics of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) var. Cherry Vanilla. Journal of Cereal Science 70: 91-98.

Vico, G., S. Manzoni, L. Nkurunziza, K. Murphy, and M. Weih (2016). Trade-offs between seed output and life span – a quantitative comparison of traits between annual and perennial congeneric species. New Phytologist 209: 104-114.

Brouwer, B.O., K. Murphy, and S.S. Jones (2016). Plant breeding for local food systems: A contextual review of end-use selection for small grains and dry beans in Western Washington. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 31: 172-184.

Meints, B., A. Cuesta-Marcos, A.S. Ross, S. Fisk, T. Kongraksawech, J. Marshall, K. Murphy, and P.M. Hayes (2015). Developing winter food barley for the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Crop Science 55:1563-1573.

Peterson, A.J., S.-E. Jacobsen, A. Bonifacio, and K. Murphy (2015). A crossing method for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). Sustainability 7: 3230-3243.

Peterson, A. and K. Murphy (2015). Tolerance of lowland quinoa cultivars to sodium chloride and sodium sulfate salinity. Crop Science 55: 331-338.

Wu, G., K. Murphy, and C. Morris (2014). Evaluation of texture differences among varieties of cooked quinoa. Journal of Food Science 79(11): S2337-S2345.

Rustgi, S., J. Matanguihan, J. Mejias, R.A. Brew-Appiah, N. Wen, C. Osorio, N. Ankrah, K. Murphy, and D. von Wettstein (2014). Assessment of genetic diversity among barley cultivars and breeding lines adapted to the US Pacific Northwest, and its implications in barley breeding for imidazoline-resistance. PLoS ONE 9(6):e100998.

Lu, L., K. Murphy, and  B.-K. Baik (2013). Genotypic variation in nutritional composition of buckwheat groats and husks. Cereal Chemistry 90: 132-137.

Abi-Ghanem, R., L. Carpenter-Boggs, R.T. Koenig, J.L. Ullman, K. Murphy, and C.D. Pannkuk (2013). Access to agricultural inputs, technology and information, communicating with farmers, and the role of women in agriculture: Perceptions of Iraq extension agents. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education 20: 6-18.

Murphy, K., A.H. Carter, and S.S. Jones (2013). Evolutionary Breeding and Climate Change, In: Genomics and Breeding for Climate-Resilient Crops, Vol. 1 Concepts and Strategies. C. Kole (ed.); Springer.

Jakumar, N., S. Snapp, S., K. Murphy, and S.S. Jones (2012). Agronomic assessment of perennial wheat and perennial rye as cereal crops. Agronomy Journal 104: 1716-1726.

Hayes, R.C., M.T. Newell, L.R. DeHaan, K. Murphy, S. Crane, M.R. Norton, L.J. Wade, M. Newberry, M. Fahim, S.S. Jones, T.S. Cox, and P.J. Larkin (2012). Perennial cereal crops: An initial evaluation of wheat derivatives. Field Crops Research 133: 68-89.

Murphy, K., L.A. Hoagland, L. Yan, M. Colley, and S.S. Jones (2011). Genotype × environment interactions for mineral concentration in grain of organically grown spring wheat. Agronomy Journal 103: 1734-1741.

Döring, T.F., S. Knapp, G. Kovacs, K. Murphy, and M.S. Wolfe (2011). Evolutionary plant breeding in cereals – Into a new era. Sustainability 3: 1944-1971.


Kevin Murphy News Articles

FFAR Seeding Solutions Grant to Improve Nutrition in Quinoa

PULLMAN (March 2, 2021)— Quinoa, a crop known for its protein quality and nutritional content, is widely consumed in the US. Despite its popularity, quinoa is still underutilized because it is imported, even though nutritious, high-quality varieties can grow and thrive in this country. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $1 million Seeding Solutions grant to Washington State University (WSU) to continue research for their Enhancing Human Health project that is identifying opportunities to improve the nutritional content of various crop varieties. This research is focusing specifically on quinoa and quinoa-based food products. Lundberg Family Farms and WSU provided matching funds and Ardent MillsBrabender CWB and Seattle Food Tech/Rebellyous Foods provided additional support for a total $2,044,872 research investment.

Book Cover of Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production.
Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production

Kevin Murphy (Editor), Janet Matanguihan (Editor)

Quinoa is an ancient grain that has grown in popularity in recent years. It has been known as a good source of both protein and fiber. As the demand for quinoa increases a comprehensive and up-to-date reference on the biology and production of the crop is essential. Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production brings together authors from around the world to provide a complete assessment of the current state of global quinoa research and production. Topics covered include quinoa history and culture, genomics and breeding, agronomy, nutrition, marketing, and end-uses. The book focuses in particular on the emerging role of quinoa in providing increased food security to smallholder farmers and communities throughout the world.
Quinoa will interest quinoa researchers, producers, crop scientists, agronomists, and plant geneticists, as well as advanced students working with this important grain.

New York Times: 5 Things to Know About Quinoa

This week, a new food is appearing on Passover tables around the country. The Orthodox Union, the authority on kosher foods, recently ruled that certain brands of quinoa could carry its “Kosher for Passover” symbol.

‘NPR, The Salt’
Can Quinoa Farming Go Global Without Leaving Andeans Behind?

Will Quinoa be the new corn . . . that might be a stretch  . . .

WSU releases new barley variety honoring longtime plant breeder Steve Lyon

Barley in a hand.MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – After more than 22 years of breeding wheat for Washington State University, Steve Lyon never expected to make a name for himself in the barley field. But this spring’s release of ‘Lyon,’ a new variety of barley, is one way his colleagues in Pullman have chosen to recognize his long-term contributions to small grains research.

“As a graduate student in Stephen Jones’ winter wheat program, I worked with Steve Lyon on a daily basis,” said WSU barley breeder Kevin Murphy.

Research cultivates seeds of opportunity

Quinoa plants.PULLMAN, Wash. – The grain-like seed crop quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has grown in popularity and likely will be grown more widely in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to a $1.6 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant recently awarded to Washington State University researchers. . .   Traditional quinoa producing countries like Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru are not keeping up with U.S. demand, said Kevin Murphy, lead scientist and plant breeder for the WSU project.


Western innovator: Researcher shines light on quinoa

PULLMAN, Wash.–Every week, Kevin Murphy gets e-mails from farmers interested in growing quinoa.

There isn’t enough seed available, so Murphy intends to grow more of the popular specialty crop next spring on a half-dozen farms in Washington and Oregon.

Quinoa will never rival wheat’s overall popularity, Murphy said, but it has the potential to become an important specialty crop for the Northwest.

New WSU feed barley has disease resistance package (Muir)
Washington barley growers will have another new variety to consider next spring.

Muir is a spring, two-row feed barley developed by Washington State University barley breeder Kevin Murphy in Pullman, Washington.

A Perennial Search for Perfect Wheat

This WSU breeding team’s pursuit of a wheat variety that sprouts year – after –  year instead of dying after producing seed was featured in the science section of the New York Times.