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Department of Agronomy

Department of Agronomy
Kansas State University
2004 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506-0110

Ph: +1-785-532-6101
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

Dr. Geoffrey Morris

Dr. Geoffrey Morris

Assistant Professor

Crop Genetics and Genomics
Email Dr. Morris

Kansas State University
3004 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-3397
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

Biography & Education


My group at K-State is focused on the genomics of environmental adaptation in sorghum and its relatives. Our goal is to develop genomics knowledge and tools that accelerate the development of climate-resilient crops.

I am originally from Canada and received my undergraduate training in Biology at University of Ottawa. My doctoral work at University of Chicago was focused on analysis of genomic variation, particularly to identify the factors responsible for differences in gene expression patterns across environments.I turned my focus to crop genomics during my postdoctoral research, first to the emerging bioenergy crop switchgrass at University of Chicago, then to sorghum starting at the University of South Carolina as a Research Assistant Professor. I've been an Assistant Professor of Sorghum Genetics at K-State since 2013.

  • Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, 2007
  • B.S. Biology, University of Ottawa, 2002


Selected Publications
  • Brenton ZW, Cooper EA, Myers MT, Boyles RE, Shakoor N, Zielinski KJ, Rauh BL, Bridges WC, Morris GP, Kresovich S (2016) A Genomic Resource for the Development, Improvement, and Exploitation of Sorghum for Bioenergy. Genetics. View full text.
  • Adkins J, Jastrow JD, Morris GP, Six J, de Graaff MA (2016) Effects of switchgrass cultivars and intraspecific differences in root structure on soil carbon inputs and accumulation. Geoderma. View full text.
  • Morris GP, Hu Z, Grabowski PP, Borevitz JO, de Graaff MA, Miller RM, Jastrow J (2016) Genotypic diversity effects on biomass production in native perennial bioenergy cropping systems.Global Change Biology Bioenergy. View full text.
  • Hu ZB, Mbacké B, Perumal R, Guèye MC, Sy O, Bouchet S, Prasad PV, Morris GP. (2015) Population genomics of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.): comparative analysis of global accessions and Senegalese landraces. BMC Genomics. View full text.
  • Lasky JR, Upadhyaya HD, Ramu P, Deshpande S, Hash CT, Bonnette J, Juenger TE, Hyma K, Acharya C, Mitchell SE, Buckler ES, Brenton Z, Kresovich S, Morris GP (2015) Genome-environment associations in sorghum landraces predict adaptive traits. Science Advances. View full text.
  • Upadhyaya HD, Wang YH, Dintyala SV, Dwivedi SL, Prasad PVV, Burrell AM, Klein R, Morris GP, Klein PE (2015). Association mapping of germinability and seedling vigor in sorghum under controlled low temperature conditions. Genome. View full text.
  • Rhodes DH, Hoffmann L, Rooney WL, Ramu P, Morris GP, Kresovich S (2014) Genome-wide association study of grain polyphenol concentrations in global sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] germplasm. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. View full text.
  • Morris GP, Ramu P, Deshpande SP, Hash CT, Shah T, Upadhyaya HD, Riera-Lizarazu O, Brown PJ, Acharya CB, Mitchell SE, Harriman J, Glaubitz JC, Buckler ES, Kresovich S (2013) Population genomic and genome-wide association studies of agroclimatic traits in sorghum. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. View full text.

View a complete listing of publications.

Staff & Students

Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Zhenbin Hu
  • Sandeep Marla
  • Jianan Wang
  • Kebede Muleta
Graduate Students
  • Marcus Olatoye (Ph.D. student)
  • Fanna Maina (Ph.D. student)
  • Jacques Faye (Ph.D. student)
Research Staff
  • Matt Davis (Assistant Scientist)
  • Rich Brown (Research Technologist)
  • Terry Felderhoff (Postdoc Associate Scientist)
  • Sridevi Nakka (Heart Plant Innovations postdoc)
Undergraduate Researchers / Research Assistants
  • Katherine Smith
  • Shayna Braun
  • Spencer Navrude


Areas of Interest
  • Sorghum Genetics and Genomics
  • Population and Quantitative Genomics
  • Crop Diversity and Adaptation
Grant Funded Projects
Active Projects

Sorghum Genomics Toolbox: TERRA Partnership

  • Supported by: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Institutional PI. Project PI: T. Mockler (Danforth);  Co-PIs: V Vadez, N Cisse, J Schmutz, R Pless, et al.

TERRA-REF: A reference phenotyping system for energy sorghum

  • Supported by:Dept. of Energy ARPA-E TERRA
  • Institutional PI. Project PI: T. Mockler (Danforth); Co-PIs: J Schmutz, J White, P Andrade-Sanchez, W Rooney, S Kresovich, J Poland, et al.

Improving sorghum adaptation in West Africa with genomics-enabled breeding

  • Supported by: USAID Feed the Future, Sorghum Millet Innovation Lab
  • Project PI. Co-PIs: N Cisse (CERAAS-Senegal); A Mamadou (INRAN-Niger); D Fonceka, JF Rami (CIRAD-France); E Weltzien (ICRISAT-Mali); R Perumal, T Tesso (KSU)

Improved Genomic Mapping and Marker-Assisted Selection for Cold Tolerance in Grain Sorghum

  • Supported by: Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission
  • Project PI.Co-PIs: Perumal, Tesso, Prasad (KSU)
Completed Projects

Discovery of new genes for enhancing grain and forage quality traits through association mapping in pearl millet

  • Supported by: USDA-FAS Borlaug Fellowship
  • With: R. Perumal, Bass Mbacke (ENSA-Senegal

Diversity, Genetics, and Health Benefits of Sorghum Flavonoids

  • Supported by: United Sorghum Checkoff Program
  • D Rhodes, S Kresovich (Clemson); WL Rooney (TAMU)

Using genetic variation in root traits to maximize soil carbon sequestration and biomass yields

  • Supported by: USDA-AFRI Sustainable Bioenergy
  • Project co-PI. PI: M-A De Graaff (PI, Boise St.); Co-PIs: J Jastrow (Argonne); J. Six (ETH)