Professor Matthew Morell

Institute Director

Office of the Provost

Institute Director

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
+61 7 334 60551


Professor Matthew Morell has had an extensive career over four decades characterised by his focus on conducting and leading high-quality agricultural research that delivers benefits to the agriculture and food sectors, and to consumers. In leadership, Professor Morell has a track record in developing effective teams and working with institutions and their stakeholders to deliver innovations for the future.

As Director of QAAFI, Professor Morell is highly motivated by the opportunity to lead research programs that provide research and knowledge based solutions to many of the major big challenges of our times, including enhancing both profitability and sustainability in agricultural production, providing improved nutrition, building resilience in the face of climate change, and reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture, all in ways that protect and build the livelihoods of farmers and rural communities. The mission of QAAFI in providing benefits to Queensland through working closely with producers, the food industry, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and other research partners and stakeholders across the state, provides a highly fertile ground for conducting and delivering research that makes a significant difference to Queensland and its people. QAAFI has an important role serving as a focal point for Queensland in engaging nationally and internationally with global efforts to find solutions to global challenges in agriculture and food production.

Over the past seven years, Professor Morell led research in an international development context at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines. As IRRI’s CEO for the past five years, he led the institute’s affairs across 17 countries, set strategic direction in close consultation with its Board of Trustees, staff and stakeholders. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Professor Morell was IRRI’s Deputy Director General (Research), driving research and outreach programs across various dimensions of rice science including climate change-ready rice, healthier varieties, environmentally sustainable farming systems, and capacity development. In his leadership at IRRI, Professor Morell instilled a strong focus on both understanding and meeting the needs of stakeholders and beneficiaries, he strengthened IRRIs regional presence, particularly through the establishment of the IRRI South Asia Research Centre, and drove modernisation of the Institute's research operations to be more effective and efficient.

Before joining IRRI, Professor Morell worked for 17 years at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), where he initiated, developed, and led a research program on future grains and plant oil production. Dr Morell has extensive experience in working closely with industry and in identifying, protecting, and managing intellectual property. His work at CSIRO resulted in the formation of two spin off companies which have commercialised novel grains delivering human health benefits. He holds a PhD in agricultural chemistry from the University of Sydney; conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Davis; and was a research fellow at the Australian National University. He is an Academy Fellow of the International Association of Cereal Chemists and of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering of Australia. (ATSE).


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor (Honours), University of Sydney


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Book Chapter

  • Regina, A., Rahman, S., Li, Z. and Morell, M. K. (2015). Starch: synthesis. Encyclopedia of food grains. (pp. 181-189) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier . doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394437-5.00094-2

  • Topping, David and Morell, Matthew (2014). Barley foods and public health. Barley: chemistry and technology. (pp. 223-231) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-1-891127-79-3.50009-3

  • Regina, Ahmed, Li, Zhongyi, Morell, Matthew K. and Jobling, Stephen A. (2014). Genetically modified starch: state of art and perspectives. Starch polymers: from genetic engineering to green applications. (pp. 13-29) San Diego, CA, United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00019-1

  • Topping, D. L., Segal, I., Regina, A., Conlon, M. A., Bajka, B. H., Toden, S., Clarke, J. M., Morell, M. K. and Bird, A. R. (2010). Resistant starch and human health. Dietary Fibre: New Frontiers for Food and Health. (pp. 311-321) Wageningen Academic Publishers. doi: 10.3920/978-90-8686-692-2

  • Stone, Bruce and Morell, Matthew K. (2009). Carbohydrates. Wheat: Chemistry and Technology: Fourth Edition. (pp. 299-362) Elsevier Inc.. doi: 10.1016/B978-1-891127-55-7.50016-1

  • Mann, Gülay, Diffey, Simon, Rampling, Lynette, Nath, Zena, Kutty, Ibrahim, Leyne, P. Emmett, Azanza, F., Quail, Ken J., Smith, Alison, Cullis, Brian and Morell, Matthew K. (2008). Bubbles in Bread: Is the Answer in the Genes?. Bubbles in Food 2: Novelty, Health and Luxury. (pp. 307-310) Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-1-891127-59-5.50034-1

  • Topping, David, Bird, Anthony, Toden, Shusuke, Conlon, Michael, Noakes, Manny, King, Roger, Mann, Gulay, Li, Zhong Yi and Morell, Matthew (2007). Resistant Starch as A Contributor to the Health Benefits of Whole Grains. Whole Grains and Health. (pp. 219-228) Ames, Iowa, USA: Blackwell Publishing Professional. doi: 10.1002/9780470277607.ch17

  • Morell, Matthew K., Li, Zhongyi, Regina, Ahmed, Rahman, Sadiq, D'Hulst, Christophe and Ball, Steven G. (2007). Control of Starch Biosynthesis in Vascular Plants and Algae. Annual Plant Reviews. (pp. 258-289) Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9780470988640.ch10

  • Howitt, C. A., Tamás, L., Solomon, R. G., Gras, P. W., Morell, M. K., Békés, F. and Appels, R. (2003). Modifying flour to improve functionality. Bread Making: Improving Quality. (pp. 220-252) Elsevier Inc.. doi: 10.1016/B978-1-85573-553-8.50015-0

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision