Keenan Amundsen  Assistant Professor

Keenan Amundsen

Contact Information

Area of Focus

Turfgrass Genetics


Turfgrass Website



  • B.S. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, 1998
  • M.S. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, 2003
  • Ph.D. Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, George Mason University, 2010

Research Interests

  • Buffalograss breeding and genetics
  • Turfgrass germplasm improvement for reduced input sustainability
  • Evaluate the turf potential of other native grass species
  • Develop tools to improve breeding methods used in turf

Major Project Activities 

  • The primary objective of my research program is to develop improved buffalograss cultivars. I am therefore focused on improving turf characteristics, seed yield, sod performance, and stress tolerance of buffalograss. At a basic research level I am applying genetic and molecular biology tools to improve the efficiency of breeding for improved cultivars and to understand the processes contributing to turf traits and stress tolerance.

Selected Publications

  • Amundsen, K. and S. Warnke. 2011. Species relationships in the genus Agrostis based on flow cytometry and MITE-display molecular markers. Crop Science 51:1224-1231.
  • Amundsen, K., D. Rotter, M. L. Huaijun, J. Messing, G. Jung, F. Belanger, and S. Warnke. 2011. Miniature inverted-repeat transposable element identification and genetic marker development in Agrostis. Crop Science 51:854-861.
  • Dhar, A.K., D.K. Lakshman, K. Amundsen, R. Robles-Sikisaka, K.N. Kaizer, S. Roy, K.W. Hasson, and F.C.T. Allnutt. 2010. Characterization of a taura syndrome virus isolate originating from the 2004 Texas epizootic in cultured shrimp. Archives Virology 155:315-327.
  • Rotter, D, K. Amundsen, S. Bonos, W. Meyer, S. Warnke, and F. Belanger. 2009. Molecular Genetic Linkage Map for Allotetraploid Colonial Bentgrass. Crop Science 49:1609-1619.
  • Jaglo, K.R., S. Kleff, K.L. Amundsen, X. Zhang, V. Haake, J.Z. Zhang, T. Deits, M.F. Thomashow. 2001. Components of the Arabidopsis C-repeat/dehydration-responsive element binding factor cold-response pathway are conserved in Brassica napus and other plant species. Plant Physiol. Nov;127(3):910-917.