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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Dr. Kimberly Williams

Dr. Kimberly Williams


Greenhouse Management

Kansas State University
2744 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-1434
Fx: +1-785-532-6949

Areas of Specialization

  • Plant Nutrition
  • Greenhouse Management
  • Substrate Physiochemical Properties
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Biography & Education


Growing up as a self-described “hybrid farm-kid,” Dr. Kim Williams was raised in Great Bend, Kansas, but assisted her family on her grandparents’ farm. She graduated from Kansas State University with her B. S. in Horticulture in 1988, then completed graduate work at North Carolina State University in 1995, earning M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with Dr. Paul Nelson. Williams’ first position was as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois until 1997 when she returned to Kansas State University as a member of the faculty. She has a 60% teaching and 40% research appointment, and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2006.  In 2010, she was recognized as University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

Dr. Williams’ classes provide extensive opportunities for hands-on crop production in greenhouses. In HORT 570 Greenhouse Operations Management, her students produce poinsettias and grow crops hydroponically. In HORT 600 Herbaceous Crop Production, students produce annuals and perennials for the KSU campus and KSU Gardens. In HORT 625 Floral Crops Production and Handling, students grow fresh flowers used in the department's floral design class.

Williams expertise on plant production in controlled environment structures has resulted in her giving invited presentations around the U.S. and Canada, and she is currently co-authoring a book about Water and Nutrient Management for Floral Crops. She focuses her research on solving greenhouse industry problems.

Williams really enjoys advising 25 to 30 students who are specializing in crop production disciplines and enjoys linking them to national floriculture industry scholarships and awards; her students have been awarded over $100,000 in industry scholarships during the past decade.

Dr. Williams and her family enjoy traveling, and they visit greenhouse operations at every opportunity. She stays active with her young daughter and does her best to keep up on current events when she is not on the job.

  • Ph.D. Horticulture, North Carolina State University (1995)
  • M.S. Horticulture, North Carolina State University (1991)
  • B.S. Horticulture, Kansas State University (1988)


  • Wu, Qingyu, Sunghun Park, M.B. Kirkham, and K.A. Williams. 2017. Transcriptome analysis reveals potential mechanisms for inhibition of intumescence development by UV radiation in tomato. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 134:130-140. KAES #16-380-J.
  • Burnett, S.E., N.S. Mattson, and K.A. Williams. 2016. Substrates and fertilizers for organic container production of herbs, vegetables, and herbaceous ornamental plants grown in greenhouses in the United States. Scientia Hort. 208:111-119. KAES# 15-455-J.
  • Kerschen, E.W., C. Garten, K.A. Williams, and M.M. Derby. 2016. Evaportranspiration from spider and jade plants improves relative humidity in an interior environment. HortTechnology 26(6):X-X. KAES # 16-373-J.
  • Williams, K.A., C.T. Miller, and W. Upham. 2016. Relationship between high school student participation in state-level FFA career development events and matriculation at the host university: a case study in horticulture at Kansas State University. HortTechnology 26(6):X-X. KAES # 15-262-J.
  • Wu, Qingyu, Sunghun Park, M.B. Kirkham, and K.A. Williams. 2017. Understanding the mechanisms regulating the development of intumescences in tomato through genomic analyses. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 134:130-140. KAES #16-380-J.
  • Williams, K.A. and J. Nelson. 2016. Challenges of using organic fertilizers in hydroponic and recirculating production systems. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): Acta Horticulturae. 1112:365-370. ISBN 978-94-62611-06-1. KAES # 15-216-A.
  • Lavis, C.C., K.A. Williams, J. Fallin, P.K. Barnes, S.J. Fishback, and S. Thien. 2016. Assessing a faculty development program for the adoption of brain-based learning strategies. J. Faculty Development. 30(1):57-69. KAES# 16-083-J.


Dr. Kim Williams' areas of emphases in Horticulture focus on topics related to crop production in protected environments, water and nutrient management during greenhouse production, and floriculture crops. She teaches four undergraduate courses in these subjects, advises undergraduate students who specialize in crop production disciplines, and conducts applied research projects that help solve the problems of today's greenhouse industry.

Dr. Williams’ research projects focus primarily on water and nutrient management for floriculture crops. She is currently studying the physiological disorder edema, organic versus conventional fertilization of greenhouse crops, and use of clays in soilless root media for their attributes of water and nutrient retention. Dr. Williams also studies the teaching and learning process in higher education in horticulture.


Course #TitleSemesterDelivery Method
HORT 377Interior PlantscapingSpring (Even Years)On Campus
HORT 570Greenhouse Operations ManagementFallOn Campus
HORT 600Herbaceous Plant ProductionSpringOn Campus
HORT 625Floral Crops Production and HandlingSpring (Odd Years)On Campus