Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Website Search Box
Robert J. Soreng

Robert J. Soreng

Research Associate

Phone: 202-633-0981, 301-986-1916
Fax: 202-786-2563
E-mail Address:

Postal Address
(Mail and Packages):

Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Courier Address:
National Museum of Natural History
West Loading Dock
10th and Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20560-0166

     BS, Oregon State University, 1978.`
     MS, New Mexico State Universtity, 1980.`
     PhD, New Mexico State University, 1986.

Areas of Specialty
     I am principally interested in grasses (fam. Poaceae), and specialize in the taxonomy of cool season grasses (Pooideae), particularly the genus Poa (ca. 500 species world-wide). Having spent 8 years conducting molecular research on relationships among grasses at family, subfamily, tribal and genus levels, I now am able to devote my time to the study these plants in the herbarium and the field, while continuing to collaborate with colleagues on molecular studies. Poa possibly has the most variation in breeding systems of any genus of plants, and I study this variation to better assess the nature of species in this genus. I also specialize in grass nomenclature and help to maintain and update the grass data in TROPICOS (Missouri Bot. Gards. taxonomic database).

Recent Publications - (All Publications)

Finot, Victor L., Soreng, Robert J., Giussani, Liliana M. and Muñoz, Romina G. 2018. A multivariate morphometric delimitation of species boundaries in the South American genus Nicoraepoa (Poaceae: Pooideae: Poeae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 304(5): 679-697. doi:10.1007/s00606-018-1499-y

Hardion, L., Peterson, Paul M. and Soreng, Robert J. 2018. Validation of Pratochloa (Poaceae: Arundinoideae) and a new combination, P. walteri based on Eragrostis walteri. Phytoneuron, 2018-31: 1-3.

Peterson, Paul M. and Soreng, Robert J. 2018. Poa laegaardiana, a new species from Ecuador (Poaceae, Pooideae, Poeae, Poinae). PhytoKeys, 100: 141-147. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.100.25387

Peterson, Paul M., Soreng, Robert J., Phillips, Sylvia M. and Wiersema, John H. 2018. (2620) Proposal to reject the name Poa amabilis (Eragrostis amabilis) (Poaceae). Taxon, 67(3): 644 doi:10.12705/673.25

Peterson, Paul M., Soreng, Robert J. and Romaschenko, K. 2018. Festuca floribunda, a new combination for Dielsiochloa (Poaceae: Pooideae: Poeae: Loliodinae: Loliinae). Phytoneuron, 2018-32: 1-4.

Saarela, Jeffery M., Burke, Sean V., Wysocki, William P., Barrett, Matthew D., Clark, Lynn G., Craine, Joseph M., Peterson, Paul M., Soreng, Robert J., Vorontsova, Maria S. and Duvall, Melvin R. 2018. A 250 plastome phylogeny of the grass family (Poaceae): topological support under different data partitions. Peerj, 6: e4299 doi:10.7717/peerj.4299

Soreng, Robert J. and Simmons, Roderick H. 2018. Noteworthy Collections: Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina [Poa iconia newly reported from North America]. Castanea: The Journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, 83(2): 270-271. doi:10.2179/18-171

Cabi, Evren, Soreng, Robert John and Gillespie, Lynn Judith 2017. Taxonomy of Poa jubata and a new section of the genus (Poaceae). Turkish Journal of Botany, 41: 404-415. doi:10.3906/bot-1611-28

Cabi, Evren, Soreng, Robert John, Gillespie, Lynn Judith and Boudko, Ekaterina 2017. Alopecurus goekyigitiana (Poaceae, subtribe Alopecurinae sensu stricto),a new species from Turkey based on morphological and molecular investigation. Turkish Journal of Botany, 41: 189-199. doi:10.3906/bot-1606-51

Saarela, Jeffery M., Bull, Roger D., Paradis, Michel J., Ebata, Sharon N., Peterson, Paul M., Soreng, Robert John and Paszko, Beata 2017. Molecular phylogenetics of cool-season grasses in the subtribes Agrostidinae, Anthoxanthinae, Aveninae, Brizinae, Calothecinae, Koeleriinae and Phalaridinae (Poaceae, Pooideae, Poeae, Poeae chloroplast group 1). PhytoKeys, 87: 1-139. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.87.12774

Soreng, Robert John, Gillespie, L. J. and Consaul, L. L. 2017. Taxonomy of the Poa laxa group, including two new taxa from Arctic Canada and Greenland, and Oregon, and a re-examination of P . sect. Oreinos (Poaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany, 35(5): 513-538. doi:10.1111/njb.01507

Soreng, Robert John, Peterson, Paul M., Romaschenko, Konstantin, Davidse, Gerrit, Teisher, Jordan K., Clark, Lynn G., Barberá, Patricia, Gillespie, Lynn J. and Zuloaga, Fernando O. 2017. A worldwide phylogenetic classification of the Poaceae (Gramineae) II: An update and a comparison of two 2015 classifications. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 55(4): 259-290. doi:10.1111/jse.12262

Cabi, Evren and Soreng, Robert John 2016. Two new records and one confirmation of the genus Poa L. (Poaceae) for the Flora of Turkey. Turkish Journal of Botany, 40(4): 439-445. doi:10.3906/bot-1509-27

Cabi, Evren, Soreng, Robert John, Gillespie, Lynn and Amiri, Neda 2016. Poa densa (Poaceae), an overlooked Turkish steppe grass, and the evolution of bulbs in Poa. Willdenowia, 46(2): 201-211. doi:10.3372/wi.46.46201

Giussani, Liliana M., Gillespie, Lynn J., Scataglini, M. A., Negritto, María A., Anton, Ana M. and Soreng, Robert John 2016. Breeding system diversification and evolution in American Poa supersect. Homalopoa (Poaceae: Poeae: Poinae). Annals of Botany, 118(2): 281-303. doi:10.1093/aob/mcw108

Peterson, Paul M. and Soreng, Robert John 2016. A revision of Poa subsection Aphanelytrum (Poaceae, Pooideae, Poaeae, Poinae); and a new species, Poa auriculata. PhytoKeys, 63: 107-125. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.63.8198

Sylvester, Steven P., Soreng, Robert John, Peterson, Paul M. and Sylvester, Mitsy D. P. V. 2016. An updated checklist and key to the open-panicled species of Poa L. (Poaceae) in Peru including three new species, Poa ramoniana, Poa tayacajaensis, and Poa urubambensis. PhytoKeys, 65: 57-90. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.65.7024

Cabi, Evren, Soreng, Robert John, Ç?ngay, Burçin and Karabacak, Ersin 2015. A new species of Bellardiochloa , B. doganiana (Poaceae), from the Taurus Mountains of Turkey. Phytotaxa, 205(2): 123-128. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.205.2.6

Saarela, Jeffery M., Wysocki, William P., Barrett, Craig F., Soreng, Robert John, Davis, Jerrold I., Clark, Lynn G., Kelchner, Scot A., Pires, J. C., Edger, Patrick P., Mayfield, Dustin R. and Duvall, Melvin R. 2015. Plastid phylogenomics of the cool-season grass subfamily: Clarification of relationships among early-diverging tribes. AoB Plants, 7: 1-72. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plv046

Soreng, Robert John, Gillespie, Lynn J., Koba, Hidehisa, Boudko, Ekaterina and Bull, Roger D. 2015. Molecular and morphological evidence for a new grass genus, Dupontiopsis (Poaceae tribe Poeae subtribe Poinae s.l.), endemic to alpine Japan, and implications for the reticulate origin of Dupontia and Arctophila within Poinae s.l. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 53(2): 138-162. doi:10.1111/jse.12146

Soreng, Robert John, Peterson, Paul M., Romaschenko, Konstantin, Davidse, Gerrit, Zuloaga, Fernando O., Judziewicz, Emmet J., Filgueiras, Tarciso S., Davis, Jerrold I. and Morrone, Osvaldo 2015. A worldwide phylogenetic classification of the Poaceae (Gramineae). Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 53(2): 117-137. doi:10.1111/jse.12150

Cialdella, Ana M., Sede, Silvana M., Romaschenko, Konstantin, Peterson, Paul M., Soreng, Robert John, Zuloaga, Fernando O. and Morrone, O. 2014. Phylogeny of Nassella (Stipeae, Pooideae, Poaceae) based on analyses of chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA and morphology. Systematic Botany, 39(3): 814-828. doi:10.1600/036364414X681419

Peterson, Paul M., Romaschenko, Konstantin and Soreng, Robert John 2014. A laboratory guide for generating DNA barcodes in grasses: a case study of Leptochloa s.l. (Poaceae: Chloridoideae). Webbia, 69(1): 1-12. doi:10.1080/00837792.2014.927555

Romaschenko, Konstantin, Garcia-Jacas, Nuria, Peterson, Paul M., Soreng, Robert John, Vilatersana, Roser and Susanna, Alfonso 2014. Miocene–Pliocene speciation, introgression, and migration of Patis and Ptilagrostis (Poaceae: Stipeae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 70: 244-259. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.09.018

[ TOP ]