ACES has been part of cutting-edge research history since the university’s establishment. Learn about our historical contributions below, or view our research areas to learn about current, groundbreaking research.
The Morrow Plots
Established just 10 years after the University of Illinois was founded, the Morrow plots are the second oldest experimental crop field in the world and one of two National Historic Landmarks on campus.
This stand of trees at the corner of Lincoln Ave and Pennsylvania Ave predates the Morrow Plots, with the first trees planted in 1871. Formerly called “The Forestry,” the trees were planted to research and demonstrate their economic benefit. The grove is no longer actively used for research purposes and is currently managed by Campus Recreation.
In 1953 University of Illinois professor of botany John R. Laughnan discovered a gene that made sweet corn even sweeter. Today, supersweet corn dominates national markets and is competitive around the globe.