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Dr. Lisa Morano

Dr. Lisa Morano

Dr. Lisa Morano

Professor of Biology & Microbiology, - Director of Center for Urban Agriculture and SustainabilityNatural Sciences


Dr. Morano's research focuses on aspects of environmental microbiology including pathogens of grapevines and the friendly bacteria found inside plants called endophytes. She is also passionate about sustainable agriculture and urban agricultural systems and supports student projects in renewable energy, water conservation and mushroom production.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. in Viticulture & Enology, University of California, Davis, CA
  • B.S. in Ecology & Environmental Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA

Courses Taught

  • MBIO 3340: Environmental Microbiology
  • BIOL 4360 : Environmental Biology
  • SUST 3302: Fundamental of Sustainability
  • SUST 4301: Seminar in Sustainability
  • SUST 4302 : Capstone in Sustainability

Experience Qualifications

Current Grants:
University of Houston-Downtown's Program to Support Undergraduate Sustainable Technology and Agricultural Instructional Needs (SUSTAIN). 2019. National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) USDA. PI: L. Morano and co-PI V. Tzouanas. $246,550 over four years.

Adding Mushrooms to Urban Agriculture: Collaboration for Improved Mushroom Cultivation through Research and Education. 2018. UH System Synergy Grants. UH PIs: V. Balan and D. Benhaddou. UHD PI: L. Morano and co-PI V. Tzouanas. $24,000 for UHD.

Peer-Reviewed Short Reports (last 3 years):
Wood, G. Diaz, S., Tzouanas, V. and L. Morano. 2019. Solar Powered Aquaponics: Modeling Real World Solutions through Engineering Technology, paper ID# 25081. 2019 American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exposition, June 16-19, 2019. Tampa, Florida.

Gilmore, J., Patterson, S., Morano, L. and V. Tzouanas. 2017. Sustainable Development and Engineering Technology, paper ID#18960. 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exposition, June 25-28th, 2017, Columbus, OH.

Publications (last 3 years):
Morano, L. and V. Tzouanas. 2017. Urban agriculture and sustainability program at Houston's downtown university: Combining new curriculum, hands-on projects, and a hurricane. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. ISSN: 2152-0801 online, 7(4):1-11.


  • 2019 UHD Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2018 UHD Excellence in Service Award Finalist
  • 2010 UHD Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2009 T.V. Munson Award, Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association

More Information

Dr. Morano is currently the Director for the Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability (CUAS) that has a mission to create and support sustainable neighborhoods throughout Houston by engaging UHD and the external community in teaching, research and professional development and promoting best practices in business, technology, science and engagement. The CUAS collaborates with the Texas AgriLife Extension, the Gulf Coast Texas Master Naturalists, local companies and urban farms and non-profits. The CUAS also oversees capstone projects in sustainability, hands-on experiential projects in science and technology, and the EcoReps program.