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John Syring Professor

John Syring



  • B.S., Resource Ecology and Management, University of Michigan
  • M.S., Forest Ecology, University of Michigan
  • Ph.D., Molecular Plant Systematics, Oregon State University

Murdock 206


Academic Interests:
My research focuses broadly on plant evolution. In particular I am interested in the process of speciation, the phylogeny (evolutionary family trees), and the population genetics of several groups of plants. I currently have research projects focusing on pines (Pinus), strawberries (Fragaria), and a family of parasitic plants (Orobanchaceae). To address these questions I work with a large network of collaborators across the country and employ a dedicated group of undergraduate researchers here at Linfield College.


Kamneva, O.K., J. Syring, A. Liston, and N. Rosenberg. In prep. Evaluating allopolyploid origins in strawberries (Fragaria) using haplotypes generated from next-generation sequencing. BMC Evolutionary Biology, in review. 

Syring, J., J. Tennessen, T.N. Jennings, J. Wegrzyn, C. Scelfo-Dalbey*, and R. Cronn. 2016. Targeted capture sequencing in whitebark pine reveals range-wide demographic and adaptive patterns despite challenges of a large, repetitive genome.

DeGiorgio, M., J. Syring, A. Eckert, A. Liston, R. Cronn, D. Neale, and N. Rosenberg. 2014. An empirical evaluation of species tree inference strategies using a mulitilocus dataset from North American pines. BMC Evolutionary Biology. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14:67. 

Eckert, A., A. Bower, K. Jermstad, J. Wegrzyn, B. Knaus, J. Syring, and D. Neale. Multilocus analyses reveal little evidence for lineage wide adapative evolution within major clades of soft pines (Pinus subgenus Strobus). Molecular Ecology.

Cronn, R., B. Knaus, A. Liston, J. Maughan, M. Parks, J. Syring, and J. Udall. 2011. Targeted enrichment strategies for next-generation plant biology. American Journal of Botany 99:291-311.

Gernandt, D., A. Willyard, J. Syring, R. Cronn, A. Liston. Conifers. 2011. In: Genomics of Industrial Crops. C. Kole, ed. Science Publishers Inc., New Hampshire.

Whittall, J.B., J. Syring, M. Parks, J. Buenrostro, C. Dick, A. Liston, R. Cronn. 2010. Finding a (pine) needle in a haystack: Chloroplast genome sequence divergence in rare and widespread pines. Molecular Ecology 19:100-114. 

Liston, A., M. Parker-deFeniks, J. Syring, A. Willyard, and R. Cronn. 2007. The role of interspecific phylogeny in phylogeography: An example from sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana). Molecular Ecology 16:3926-3937.

Willyard, A., J. Syring, D. Gernandt, A. Liston, and R. Cronn. 2007. Fossil calibration of molecular divergence infers a moderate mutation rate and recent radiations for Pinus. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24:90-101.

Syring, J., R. del Castillo, R. Cronn, A. Liston. 2007. Data from multiple nuclear genes support the species status of the threatened, neotropical Pinus chiapensis. Systematic Botany 32:703-717.

Syring, J., K. Farrell, R. Businsky, A. Liston, R. Cronn. 2007. Widespread genealogical nonmonophyly in species from Pinus subgenus Strobus. Systematic Biology 56:163-181.

Syring, J., A. Willyard, R. Cronn, A. Liston. 2005. Evolutionary relationships among Pinus (Pinaceae) subsections inferred from multiple low-copy nuclear loci. American Journal of Botany 92:2086-2100.


National Science Foundation. Liston A. and. R. Cronn; Syring is a senior personnel on subcontract. 2012. An integrated understanding of how polyploidy generates biodiversity. Dimensions of biodiversity award; Dimensions US-China: Collaborative Research. $931,466 total budget, $12,018 to Linfield.

USDA Forest Service. J. Syring. 2012. Development of microsatellites in whitebark pine. $7,100.

National Science Foundation. Nakhleh, L., T. Warnow, C.R. Linder, N. Rosenberg; Syring is PI on subcontract. 2011. Novel methodologies for genome-scale evolutionary analysis of multilocus data. $467,429 total budget, $56,311 to Linfield over three years. 

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Murdock College Research Program for Life Science. J. Syring. 2010. Population-level phylogenomics and comparison of two massively important subsections of pines (Pinus). $60,163 over three years.

Canadian Studies Program Enhancement Grant, Government of Canada. Nowacki, D, G. Hommel-Ingram, B. Seidman, J. Syring, L. Wadewitz. 2009. $4000. 

National Science Foundation, Research Opportunity Award. Liston, A. and J. Syring. 2009. Gymnosperms on the tree of life: Resolving the phylogeny of seed plants. $25,000.

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Murdock Partners in Science. Syring, J. and L. Syring. 2009. Rangewide genetic diversity of the ecologically important and threatened whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis). $15,000.

Mazamas, Mazamas Research Grant. J. Syring. 2009. Expanding collections of the threatened whitebark pine to assess for population genetic diversity. $2000. 

National Science Foundation. Rosenberg, N; Syring is a consultant on the grant. 2008. Theory of gene trees and species trees. $442,000 total budget, $10,000 to Linfield.