Sohns, Ernest Reeves

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Biographical History

Ernest Reeves Sohns was a biologist who worked in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian Institution. Sohns was born October 3, 1917, in Flemingsburg, Kentucky. His childhood was spent in southern Ohio near Cincinnati. He attended Miami University, Ohio, in 1940 earning his A.B. degree. He went on to graduate with his Master’s from Iowa State College in 1941. Afterwards, Sohns joined in the military and served five years in the United States Army. Following his discharge from active duty, he enrolled at Indiana University where in 1949 he received his Ph.D. in botany. Following his doctorate, Sohns was hired as assistant professor of biology at the College of William and Mary. In 1951, he joined the Department of Botany at the US National Museum, as an associate curator of grasses. During 1951 to 1956, he conducted a series of field explorations in various parts of Mexico collecting, cataloging, and describing new species of grasses. Following the year 1956, Sohns served in a number of governmental agencies including: Department of the Army in biological and chemical warfare, 1956-63; National Science Foundation in science information and international scientific programs, 1963-73; and Department of State, Scientific Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Stockholm, Sweden, 1973-79. Sohns retired in 1979 and lived on a tree farm near Charlottesville, Virginia where he died in 2001.


Perry, M. C, C. S. Bond, and E. J .R. Lohnes. 2007. Washington Biologists' Field Club, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD.

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United States National Museum: He worked in the Botany department of the US National Museum.

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