Vice-President, Research and Collections

Jeffery Saarela.

Contact Information

Email: jsaarela@nature.ca
Tel: 613.364.4080
Fax: 613.364.4027

Twitter: @jmsaarela

Jeff studies how plant species are related to each other, where they are found, and how their appearances and DNA distinguish them.

Specialties

  • Plant systematics: taxonomy, phylogenetics and evolution.
  • Grasses (Poaceae), sedges (Cyperaceae) and other monocots.
  • Arctic plants.
  • Botanical nomenclature.

Education

  • Ph.D., Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2007.
  • B.Sc. (Hons.), Botany, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 2000.

Profile

Jeffrey M. Saarela © Canadian Museum of Nature

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Field work in Oaxaca, Mexico, September 2008.

Jeff Saarela studies plants to understand how species are related to each other, where they are found in the world, and how their appearances and DNA distinguish them. In particular, his research focuses on grasses, sedges and their relatives. Some of his work involves the plants from the Canadian Arctic, a place that is undergoing great environmental change.

Jeff studies the collection of over 600 000 vascular plants in the National Herbarium of Canada (CAN) and regularly adds specimens to it, which he collects on field trips to areas of Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia. In the herbarium, his specimens become part of the permanent record that documents where plant species are found. He also collaborates with botanists from other natural history museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and universities across the country.

Main Research Projects

Professional Services

Jeffrey M. Saarela © Canadian Museum of Nature

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Calamagrostis sesquiflora at the summit of Slatechuck Mountain, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, July 2007.

Links

ORCID iD
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1790-4332

Research Gate Profile
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jeffery_Saarela

Google Scholar Profile
https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=dAZcP_EAAAAJ&hl=en

Publications

Roger Bull © Canadian Museum of Nature

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Field camp on Victoria Island, Nunavut, July 2008.

Refereed Journal Papers

Saarela, J.M., P.C. Sokoloff, L.J. Gillespie, R.D. Bull, B.A. Bennett and S. Ponomarenko. 2020. Vascular plants of Victoria Island (Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada): a specimen-based study of an Arctic flora. Phytokeys 141: 1–330. https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.141.48810

Da Silva, L.N., J.M. Saarela, P.C. Sokoloff, L. Essi and T.T. De Souza-Chies. 2020. Chascolytrum serranum (Poaceae: Pooideae: Poeae: Calothecinae), a new microendemic species from Campos de Cima da Serra, southern Brazil. Phytotaxa 435: 41–49. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.435.1.5

Wasowicz, P., A.N. Sennikov, K.B. Westergaard, K. Spellman, M. Carlson, L.J. Gillespie, J.M. Saarela, S.S. Seefeldt, B. Bennett, C. Bay, S. Ickert-Bond and H. Vare. 2020. Non-native vascular flora of the Arctic: Taxonomic richness, distribution and pathways. Ambio 49: 693–703. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-019-01296-6

Saarela, J.M., S.V. Burke, W.P. Wysocki, M.D. Barrett, L.G. Clark, J.M. Craine, P.M. Peterson, R.J. Soreng, M.S. Vorontsova and M.R. Duvall. 2018. A 250 plastome phylogeny of the grass family (Poaceae): topological support under different data partitions. PeerJ 6: e4299. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4299

Givnish, T.J., A. Zuluaga, D. Spalink, M. Soto Gomez, V.K.Y. Lam, J.M. Saarela, C. Sass, W.J.D. Iles, D.J.L. de Sousa, J. Leebens-Mack, J. Chris Pires, W.B. Zomlefer, M.A. Gandolfo, J.I. Davis, D.W. Stevenson, C. dePamphilis, C.D. Specht, S.W. Graham, C.F. Barrett and C. Ane. 2018. Monocot plastid phylogenomics, timeline, net rates of species diversification, the power of multi-gene analyses, and a functional model for the origin of monocots. American Journal of Botany 105: 1888–1910. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1178

Saarela, J.M., P.C. Sokoloff and R.D. Bull. 2017. Vascular plant biodiversity of the lower Coppermine River valley and vicinity (Nunavut, Canada): an annotated checklist of an Arctic flora. PeerJ 5: e2835. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2835

Kuzmina, M.L., T.W.A. Braukmann, A.J. Fazekas, S.W. Graham, S.L. Dewaard, A. Rodrigues, B.A. Bennett, T.A. Dickinson, J.M. Saarela, P.M. Catling, S.G. Newmaster, D.M. Percy, E. Fenneman, A. Lauron-Moreau, B. Ford, L. Gillespie, R. Subramanyam, J. Whitton, L. Jennings, D. Metsger, C.P. Warne, A. Brown, E. Sears, J.R. Dewaard, E.V. Zakharov and P.D.N. Hebert. 2017. Using herbarium-derived DNAs to assemble a large-scale DNA barcode library for the vascular plants of Canada. Applications in Plant Sciences 5: 1700079. https://doi.org/10.3732/apps.1700079

Saarela, J.M., R.D. Bull, M.J. Paradis, S.N. Ebata, P.M. Peterson, R.J. Soreng and B. Paszko. 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. https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.87.12774

Peterson, P.M., K. Romaschenko, Y. Herrera Arrieta and J.M. Saarela. 2017. Molecular phylogeny of the subtribe Sporobolinae and a classification of the subfamily Chloridoideae (Poaceae). Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 118: 127–151. https://doi.org/10.21135/893275341.003

Sokoloff, P.C., C.E. Freebury, P.B. Hamilton and J.M. Saarela. 2016. The "Martian" flora: new collections of vascular plants, lichens, fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria from the Mars Desert Research Station, Utah. Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e8176. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e8176

Saarela, J.M., W.P. Wysocki, C.F. Barrett, R.J. Soreng, J.I. Davis, L.G. Clark, S.A. Kelchner, J.C. Pires, P.P. Edger, D.R. Mayfield and M.R. Duvall. 2015. Plastid phylogenomics of the cool-season grass subfamily: clarification of relationships among early-diverging tribes. AoB Plants 7: plv046. https://doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plv046

Gillespie, L.J., J.M. Saarela, P.C. Sokoloff and R.D. Bull. 2015. New vascular plant records for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Phytokeys 52: 23–79. https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.52.8721

Peterson, P.M., J.M. Saarela and K. Romaschenko. 2015. Two new combinations in Sporobolus (Poaceae: Chloridoideae). Phytoneuron 2015-20: 1–2.

Peterson, P.M., K. Romaschenko, Y.H. Arrieta and J.M. Saarela. 2014. A molecular phylogeny and new subgeneric classification of Sporobolus (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Sporobolinae). Taxon 63: 1212–1243. https://doi.org/10.12705/636.19

Peterson, P.M., K. Romaschenko, Y.H. Arrieta and J.M. Saarela. 2014. (2332) Proposal to conserve the name Sporobolus against Spartina, Crypsis, Ponceletia, and Heleochloa (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Sporobolinae). Taxon 63: 1373–1374. https://doi.org/10.12705/636.23

Saarela, J.M., P.M. Peterson and J. Valdés-Reyna. 2014. A taxonomic revision of Bromus (Poaceae: Pooideae: Bromeae) in México and Central America. Phytotaxa 185: 1–147. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.185.1.1

Saarela, J.M., P.C. Sokoloff, L.J. Gillespie, L.L. Consaul and R.D. Bull. 2013. DNA barcoding the Canadian Arctic flora: core plastid barcodes (rbcL + matK) for 490 vascular plant species. PLOS ONE 8: e77982. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077982

Saarela, J.M., L.J. Gillespie, L.L. Consaul and R.D. Bull. 2013. Annotated checklist to the vascular plant flora of Tuktut Nogait National Park and the Melville Hills region (Canadian Low Arctic). Phytotaxa 102: 1–177. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.102.1.1

Saarela, J.M. 2012. Taxonomic synopsis of invasive and native Spartina (Poaceae: Chloridoideae) in the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Washington and Oregon), including the first report of Spartina ×townsendii for British Columbia, Canada. Phytokeys 10: 25–82. https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.10.2734

Saarela, J.M., L.J. Gillespie, L.L. Consaul and R.D. Bull. 2012. Balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera; Salicaceae) beyond the treeline in the western Canadian mainland Arctic (Northwest Territories). Arctic 65: 1–12. https://doi.org/10.14430/arctic4161

Saarela, J.M., P.M. Peterson, M.S. Gonzalez Elizondo and D.J. Rosen. 2010. Eleocharis cryptica (Cyperaceae), a dwarf new species from Durango, Mexico. Brittonia 62: 233–238. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12228-009-9111-y

Le Clerc-Blain, J., J.R. Starr, R.D. Bull and J.M. Saarela. 2010. A regional approach to plant DNA barcoding provides high species resolution of sedges (Carex and Kobresia, Cyperaceae) in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Molecular Ecology Resources 10: 69–91. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-0998.2009.02725.x

Edwards, E.J., C.P. Osborne, C.A.E. Stromberg, S.A. Smith and C4 Grasses Consortium (W.J. Bond, C. Pascal-Antoine, A.B. Cousins, M.R. Duvall, D.L. Fox, R.P. Freckleton, O. Ghannoum, J. Hartwell, Y. Huang, C.M. Janis, J.E. Keelye, E.A. Kellogg, A.K. Knapp, A.D.B. Leaky, D.M. Nelson, J.M. Saarela, R.F. Sage, O.E. Sala, N. Salamin, C.J. Still and B.J. Tipple). 2010. The origins of C4 grasslands: integrating evolutionary and ecosystem science. Science 328: 587–591. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1177216

Saarela, J.M. and S.W. Graham. 2010. Inference of phylogenetic relationships among the subfamilies of grasses (Poaceae: Poales) using meso-scale exemplar-based sampling of the plastid genome. Botany 88: 65–84. https://doi.org/10.1139/B09-093

Howard, T.G., J.M. Saarela, B. Paszko, P.M. Peterson and D. Werier. 2009. New Records and a taxonomic review of Calamagrostis perplexa (Poaceae: Poeae: Agrostidinae), a New York State endemic grass. Rhodora 111: 155–170. https://doi.org/doi:10.3119/08-5.1

Saarela, J.M. 2008. Taxonomy of Bromus (Poaceae: Pooideae: Bromeae) sections Bromopsis, Bromus, and Genea in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 2: 323–372.

Saarela, J.M., P.J. Prentis, H.S. Rai and S.W. Graham. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships in the monocot order Commelinales, with a focus on Philydraceae. Botany-Botanique 86: 719–731. https://doi.org/10.1139/b08-063

Saarela, J.M. 2007. The North American flowering of the cultivated fountain bamboo, Fargesia nitida (Poaceae: Bambusoideae), in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Davidsonia 18: 43–55. http://www.davidsonia.org/files/fargesia.pdf

Saarela, J.M., L. Lipsen, C.M. Sayre and J. Whitton. 2007. Catalogue of the vascular plant type specimens in the University of British Columbia Herbarium (UBC). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 1: 437–448. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/107090#page/445/mode/1up

Saarela, J.M., H.S. Rai, J.A. Doyle, P.K. Endress, S. Mathews, A.D. Marchant, B.G Briggs and S.W. Graham. 2007. Hydatellaceae identified as a new branch near the base of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree. Nature 446: 312–315. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05612

Saarela, J.M., P.M. Peterson, R.M. Keane, J. Cayouette and S.W. Graham. 2007. Molecular phylogenetics of the genus Bromus (Poaceae: Pooideae) based on nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequence data. In J.T. Columbus, E.A. Friar, J.M. Porter, L.M. Prince and M.G. Simpson (Eds.). Monocots: Comparative Biology and Evolution (Poales). Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California. Aliso 23: 450–467. https://doi.org/10.5642/aliso.20072301.35

Saarela, J.M., P.M. Peterson and N.F. Refulio Rodriguez. 2006. Bromus ayacuchensis (Poaceae: Pooideae: Bromeae), a new species from Peru, with a key to Bromus in Peru. Sida 22: 915–26.

Graham, S.W., J.M. Zgurski, M.A. McPherson, D.M. Cherniawsky, J.M. Saarela, E.F.C. Horne, S.Y. Smith, W.A. Wong, H.E. O'Brien, V.L. Biron, J.C. Pires, R.G. Olmstead, M.W. Chase and H.S. Rai. 2006. Robust inference of monocot deep phylogeny using an expanded multigene plastid data set. Aliso 22: 3–21.

Saarela, J.M., P.M. Peterson and J. Cayouette. 2005. Bromus hallii (Poaceae), a new combination for California, U.S.A., and taxonomic notes on Bromus orcuttianus and Bromus grandis. Sida 21: 1997–2013.

Saarela, J.M., P.M. Peterson, R.J. Soreng and R.E. Chapman. 2003. A taxonomic revision of the eastern North American and eastern Asian disjunct genus Brachyelytrum (Poaceae): Evidence from morphology, phytogeography and AFLPs. Systematic Botany 28: 674–692.

Saarela, J.M. and B.A. Ford. 2001. Taxonomy of the Carex backii complex (section Phyllostachyae, Cyperaceae). Systematic Botany 26: 704–721.

Refereed Book Chapters

Saarela, J.M. and S.W. Graham. 2020. Poineae. In K. de Queiroz, P.D. Cantino and J.A. Gauthier (Eds.). Phylonyms: a companion to the PhyloCode. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, pp. 1672–1674.

Graham, S.W., W.S. Judd and J.M. Saarela. 2020. Commelinidae. In K. de Queiroz, P.D. Cantino and J.A. Gauthier (Eds.). Phylonyms: a companion to the PhyloCode. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, pp. 1669–1671.

Saarela, J.M. and P.M. Peterson. 2012. Bromus. In B.G. Baldwin, S. Boyd, B.J. Ertter, R.W. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti and D.H. Wilken (Eds.). The second edition of the Jepson Manual. University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, pp. 1426–1431, 1435.

Peterson, P.M. and J.M. Saarela. 2012. Calamagrostis. In B.G. Baldwin, S. Boyd, B.J. Ertter, R.W. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti and D.H. Wilken (Eds.). The second edition of the Jepson Manual. University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, pp. 1431–1433, 1435.

Saarela, J.M., Q. Liu, P.M. Peterson, R.J. Soreng and B. Paszko. 2010. Phylogenetics of the grass 'Aveneae-type plastid DNA clade' (Poaceae: Pooideae, Poeae) based on plastid and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequence data. In O. Seberg, G. Petersen, A. Barfod and J.I. Davis (Eds.). Diversity, phylogeny, and evolution in the monocotyledons. Aarhus University Press, Aarhus, pp. 557–587.

Saarela, J.M. 2008. Hydatellaceae. In McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 167–169.

Stephenson, S.N. and J.M. Saarela 2007. Brachyelytrum. In M.E. Barkworth, L.K. Anderton, K.M. Capels, S. Long and M.B. Piep (Eds.). Manual of Grasses for North America. Intermountain Herbarium and Utah State University Press, Logan, p. 18.

Stephenson, S.N. and J.M. Saarela 2007. Brachyelytrum. In M.E. Barkworth, K.M. Capels, S. Long, L.K. Anderton and M.B. Piep (eds.). Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, Part 1. Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 24. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 59–61.

Other Contributions

Saarela, J.M., R. Anderson and S. Tudor. 2020. Canadian Museum of Nature science review 2019. Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, 33 pp.

Anderson, R. and J.M. Saarela. 2019. Canadian Museum of Nature research review 2018. Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, 32 pp.

Saarela, J.M. and P.M. Peterson. 2015. A new revision of the grass genus Bromus in Mexico and Central America. The Plant Press 18: 10–11. http://nmnh.typepad.com/the_plant_press/2015/02/a-new-revision-of-the-grass-genus-bromus-in-mexico-and-central-america.html

Saarela, J.M. 2009. Taxonomy of Bromus sections Bromus, Bromopsis and Genea (Poaceae) in British Columbia: A summary, a key, new records, specimen citations, and miscellaneous notes. Botanical Electronic News 415. http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/ben415.html#1 (published online October 6, 2009; website consulted December 1, 2009).

Saarela, J.M. 2008. Collecting reed-grasses (Calamagrostis) in Appalachia: Stories from the field. Trail & Landscape, 42(2):61–73.

Saarela, J.M. (2008). Collecting reed-grasses (Calamagrostis) in Appalachia. The Plant Press, 11(1):6–8. Newsletter of the Department of Botany and U.S. National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/pubs/plantpress/vol11no1.pdf

Gillet, J. Revised by J.M. Saarela. 2008. Buttercup; Locoweed; Lupine; Nightshade; Poison ivy; Poisonous plants; Sumac. Canadian Encyclopedia http://www.canadianencyclopedia.ca (website consulted December 22, 2008).

Saarela, J.M. and C.J. Sears. 2006. A new record of Zizania (wild rice) in British Columbia. Botanical Electronic News, 363. http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/ben363.html#3 (website consulted November 19, 2008).

Saarela, J.M. 2005. Trisetum (Poaceae) in British Columbia. Botanical Electronic News, 351. http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/ben351.html#2 (website consulted November 19, 2008).

Saarela, J.M. 2005. Book review of J. Dawson and R. Lucas. 2005. The Nature of Plants: Habitats, Challenges, and Adaptations. The Canadian Botanical Association Bulletin, 38(3):42–43.

Saarela, J.M. 2004. North to Alaska: Grass collecting in northwestern North America. Menziesia 9(4): 9–13. (2005. Modified version reprinted in The Plant Press, 8(2):1, 9–11. Newsletter of the Department of Botany and U.S. National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution). http://botany.si.edu/pubs/plantpress/vol8no2.pdf

Saarela, J.M. 2003. Documenting biodiversity: The importance of natural history collections. University of Alberta Environmental Research and Studies Centre Environmental News, 3(3):5–6.

Saarela, J.M. 2003. Our unknown planet: Biological discovery in the 21st century. Environmental News, 3(1):5–6. University of Alberta Environmental Research and Studies Centre.