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Department of Agronomy

Department of Agronomy
Kansas State University
2004 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center
1712 Claflin Rd.
Manhattan, KS 66506-0110

785-532-6094 fax

Geoffrey Morris

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Assistant Professor | Crop Genetics & Genomics

3004 Throckmorton Ctr.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Phone: 785-532-3397
Fax: 785-532-6094
View Lab Website
View Curriculum Vitae

Biography and 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.

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

Staff and Students

Postdoctoral Research Associates
  • Zhenbin Hu
  • Sandeep Marla
  • Yi Li
  • Jianan Wang
Graduate Students
Research Staff
  • Matt Davis (Assistant Scientist)
  • Rich Brown (Research Technologist)
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


  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)


Diversity, Genetics, and Health Benefits of Sorghum Flavonoids

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



Selected publications:

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. Free full text.

Morris GP, Hu Z, Grabowski PP, Borevitz JO, de Graaff MA, Miller RM, Jastrow J (2015) Genotypic diversity effects on biomass production in native perennial bioenergy cropping systems. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. Free 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. GenomeFull 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, 262:147-154. 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. 1:e1400218. Free 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. 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. Full text.

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