Neil Snow

Associate Professor of Botany; Director, T.M. Sperry Herbarium

Discipline/Specialization: Plant systematics, plant identification, herbarium management

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Courses Taught

BIOL 111 General Biology
BIOL 212 Principles of Biology II
BIOL 538 Aquatic Plants
BIOL 548 Taxonomy of Vascular Plants
BIOL 602 Grass Taxonomy
BIOL 602 Medical Botany
BIOL 602 Invasive Species Management
BIOL 730 Evolution


  • Botany
  • Field biology 
  • Ecology

Research Interests

I am a plant systematist with broad interests in plant biodiversity. Our global knowledge of plant biodiversity remains woefully incomplete. This reality is exemplified by the discovery by botanists each year of about 2000 new species worldwide.

My professional interests have focused primarily in four areas. Many opportunities exist for highly motivated and self-driven students in these areas. (

The first includes study of the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae). This relatively large family remains somewhat unstudied compared to comparably-sized families, and several dozen new species are discovered annually across many parts of the world. Current collaborative efforts include studies of plants in New Caledonia and Madagascar. I have described, typically with coauthors, four new genera and over 100 new taxa in the family (See

The second is the Grass Family (Poaceae). Current work with Drs. Paul Peterson (Curator of Grasses at the Smithsonian Institution) and Konstantin Romaschenko (Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine) includes taxonomic revisions of genera formerly included in Leptochloa, including a recent revision of Diplachne (

The third emphasis has been floristic (=plant) inventories. Recent work includes surveying in Cherokee and Crawford counties by graduate student Samantha Young Pryer. River bottomlands near Miami, OK, currently are being surveyed for the Grand River Dam Authority. Our field studies have yielded much higher-than-anticipated state and county records.

The fourth dimension includes duties as Curator of the Theodore M. Sperry Herbarium, an important regional collection of vascular plants and bryophytes. In the past five years, we have updated the collections taxonomically; are making the collections more accessible and more useful to a wider variety of users regionally, nationally and internationally; and are uploading data-based and digitally imaged specimens to the Northern Great Plains Herbarium Consortium data portal ( The Sperry Herbarium is the recent recipient of NSF support (2018-2020) through Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR).

Neil Snow
Dr. Neil Snow
Associate Professor

Phone: (620) 235-4424

Office: 302 Heckert-Wells Hall

E-mail Neil Snow