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Dr. Gary W Saunders (email me)

I have long been fascinated by the marine algae. Growing as a teen on the South Shore of Nova Scotia my life revolved and evolved around the ocean. I have been fortunate to take that love of the marine world and turn it into an exciting and prosperous career as a marine biologist at the University of New Brunswick. I am interested in many aspects of algal evolution and relatedness. In my lab the fields of traditional and molecular systematics are merged to give a more comprehensive picture of algal evolution.

The breadth of this approach has been greatly expanded through collaborations with major names in algal systematics around the world. In addition to my interests in algal systematics around the world. In addition to my interests in algal systematics, I also have a strong interest in algal diversity in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. In my short time back in Canada I have noticed a change in the algal flora in the coastal waters of the Bay of Fundy. Alarmed by this change, we have introduced long term monitoring of algal diversity to our research efforts to set a baseline data set for the future and to understand the dynamics of seaweed diversity in the Bay of Fundy.

Curriculum Vitae of recent accomplishments (2005-present).

Academic Appointments

Canada’s Lead Delegate, iBOL Scientific Steering Committee 2008 - 2012
Chair Dept. of Biology 2005 - 2008
Canadian Barcode of Life Network Protist Diversity Program Leader 2005 - 2009
Research Professor, University of New Brunswick 2003 - present
Coordinator, Centre for Environmental & Molecular Algal Research 2001 - present
Director & Algal Curator, Connell Memorial Herbarium 1999 - present
Canada Research Chair in Molecular Systematics & Biodiversity 2001 - 2011
Society Duties

Executive Council (Member at Large), Northeast Algal Society 2007 - 2009
Executive Council (President), Northeast Algal Society 2004 - 2006
Feldman Fund Committee, Phycological Society of America 2004 - present
Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Botany 1999 - 2008
Editorial Board, European Journal of Phycology

1999 - present

Treasurer, International Society for Evolutionary Protistology

1995 - 2006

Invited presentations (bold = presenter)

Australasian Society for Phycology & Aquatic Botany. Perth, Australia. 2010. Plenary lecture. ALGA – iBOL’s Algal Life Global Audit: muddled morphologies & molecular mayhem in the topsy-turvy world of algal floristics. Saunders, G.W.
Canadian Botanical Association Annual Meeting. Ottawa, ON. 2010. Acquiring DNA sequence data from dried archival (type) red algal collections for the purpose of applying specific epithets to contemporary molecular species: a critical assessment Saunders, G.W. & McDevit, D.C.

Invasive Species Workshop, 3rd International Barcode of Life Conference, Mexico. 2009. DNA barcoding reveals cryptic invasive seaweeds in Canadian coastal waters. Saunders, G.W.

Canadian Botanical Association Annual Meeting. Acadia, NS. 2009. Plenary lecture.  Molecules versus morphologies – a contemporary floristic survey of Canadian seaweeds. Saunders, G.W.

48th Northeast Algal Symposium. Dartmouth, MA. 2009. Special Invited Paper. The promises and pitfalls of molecular-assisted alpha taxonomy. Saunders, G.W.

Hokkaido University Coastal Biodiversity Symposium, Sapporo. 2008. Molecular methods bring order to the morphological mayhem of marine macroalgae. Saunders, G.W.

New Brunswick Invasive Plants Workshop, Fredericton, NB. 2008. Genetic (DNA) barcoding and the identification of invasive algae. Saunders, G.W.

Canadian Barcode of Life Network 2nd Annual Meeting, Toronto. 2008. Macroalgal systematics & biodiversity in the age of DNA barcoding: a biological renaissance.  Saunders, G.W.

Seminar, Saint John Naturalists Society, Saint John, NB. 2007. Seaweed diversity & decline in Canada's oceans with emphases on the Bay of Fundy. Saunders, G.W.

Alumnus Appreciation Seminar, Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser, BC. 2007. Muddled morphologies mask molecular mayhem in the topsy-turvy world of seaweed phylogenetics & floristics. Saunders, G.W.

Joint Phycological Society of America & International Society of Protozoologists Congress, Providence, Rhode Island. 2007. Marine macroalgae as an exemplar of DNA barcoding among protistan lineages challenges widely held perspectives in biodiversity and biogeography.  Saunders, G.W.

4th European Phycological Congress, Oviedo, Spain. 2007. Exposing cryptic diversity in the Canadian macroalgal flora through DNA barcoding.  Saunders, G.W.

International Barcode of Life 1st Organizational Meeting, Guelph. 2007. DNA barcoding of protists: macroalgae as an example.  Saunders, G.W.

Canadian Barcode of Life Network 1st Annual Meeting, Guelph. 2007. Macroalgal systematics & biodiversity in the age of DNA barcoding: a biological renaissance.  Saunders, G.W.

Biodiversity Discovery Corridor Workshop, Department of Fisheries & Oceans, St. Andrews, NB. 2007. A DNA barcoding perspective on the biodiversity & biogeography of marine macroalgae in Canadian waters. Saunders, G.W.

Seminar Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Universita di Messina, Italy. 2007. Molecular tools - the expanding frontier of marine algal biodiversity & biogeography. Saunders, G.W.

Seminar Department of Biology, Mount Allison, NB. 2006. The impact of molecular tools on red algal phylogeny and floristics. Saunders, G.W.

Seminar Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Moncton, NB. 2006. Using DNA barcodes to expose macroalgal diversity in Canadian waters. Saunders, G.W.

Seminar Fredericton Botanical Society, Fredericton, NB. 2005. Algal diversity & decline in the Bay of Fundy. Saunders, G.W.

Seminar UNBSJ Marine Semester Series at Huntsman, St. Andrews, NB. 2005. A red algal perspective on floristics, genetic barcoding and environmental degradation in the Bay of Fundy. Saunders, G.W.

Seminar Series Dept. of Environmental & Plant Biology, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. 2005. Phylogenetics, Floristics and Fundy: a red algal perspective. Saunders, G.W.

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Microbial Biodiversity Workshop, Vancouver, BC. 2005. Confounding species concepts among red algae:  morphology versus molecules.  Saunders, G.W.

NRC-IIT Advanced Networks Day, Wu Centre, Fredericton, NB. 2005. Computer networks and the Canadian Barcode of Life Network. Saunders, G.W.

Barcoding of Life: Scientific Conference, Natural History Museum, London, UK. 2005. Applying coxI-based genetic barcoding to macroalgae of the subkingdom Rhodoplantae (and other under appreciated protists): a preliminary appraisal holds promise for future applications. Saunders, G.W.

Seminar, UNBSJ, Saint John, NB. 2005.  Phylogenetics, Floristics and Fundy: a red algal perspective. Saunders, G.W.

Publications (bold = HQP co-authors)

Hamsher, S.E., Evans, K.M., Mann, D.G. 2011. Poulícková, A. & Saunders, G.W. Barcoding diatoms: exploring alternatives to COI-5P. Protist in press.

Saunders, G.W. & Clayden, S.L. 2010. Providing a valid epithet for the species widely known as Halosacciocolax kjellmanii S. Lund (Palmariales, Rhodophyta) – Rhodophysema kjellmanii sp. nov. Phycologia in press.

Saunders, G.W. & McDonald, B. 2010. DNA barcoding reveals multiple overlooked Australian species of the red algal order Rhodymeniales (Florideophyceae), with resurrection of Halopeltis J. Agardh and description of Pseudohalopeltis gen. nov. Botany 88: 637-665.

Clayden, S.L. & Saunders, G.W. 2010. Recognition of Rubrointrusa membranacea gen. et comb. nov., Rhodonematella subimmersa gen. et comb. nov. (with a re-interpretation of the life history) and the Meiodiscaceae fam. nov. within the Palmariales (Rhodophyta). Phycologia 49: 283-300.

McDevit, D.C.  & Saunders, G.W. 2010. A DNA barcode examination of the Laminariaceae (Phaeophyceae) in Canada reveals novel biogeographical and evolutionary insights. Phycologia 49: 235-248.

Le Gall, L.  & Saunders, G.W. 2010. DNA barcoding is a powerful tool to uncover algal diversity: a case study of the Phyllophoraceae (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) in the Canadian flora. J. Phycol. 46: 374-389.

Clarkston, B.E. & Saunders, G.W. 2010. A comparison of two DNA barcode markers for species discrimination in the red algal family Kallymeniaceae (Gigartinales) with a description of Euthora timburtonii. Botany 88: 119-131.

Verbruggen, H., Maggs, C.A., Saunders, G.W., Le Gall, L., Yoon, H-S. & De Clerck, O. 2010. Red algal tree of life: data mining approach identifies certainties and future research priorities and data requirements. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 16 (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/10/16).

Schneider, C.W., Lane, C.E. & Saunders, G.W. 2010. Notes on the marine algae of the Bermudas. 11. More additions to the benthic flora and a phylogenetic assessment of Halymenia pseudofloresii (Halymeniales, Rhodophyta) from its type locality. Phycologia 49: 154-168. (cover article)

Bates, C.R., Saunders, G.W. & Chopin, T. 2009. Historical versus contemporary measures of seaweed biodiversity in the Bay of Fundy. Botany 87: 1066-1076.

Le Gall, L., Payri, C., Bittner, L. & Saunders, G.W. 2009. Multigene phylogenetic analyses support recognition of the Sporolithales ord. nov. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 54: 302-305.

Pueschel, C.M. & Saunders, G.W. 2009. Ramicrusta textilis  sp. nov. (Peyssonneliaceae, Rhodophyta), an anatomically complex Caribbean alga that overgrows corals. Phycologia 48: 480-491. (cover article)

McDevit, D.C. & Saunders, G.W. 2009. On the utility of DNA barcoding for species differentiation among brown macroalgae (Phaeophyceae) including a novel extraction protocol. Phycol. Res. 57: 131-141.

Saunders, G.W. 2009. Routine DNA barcoding of Canadian Gracilariales (Rhodophyta) reveals the invasive species Gracilaria vermiculophylla in British Columbia. Molec. Ecol. Res. 9 (Suppl. 1): 140-150.

Le Gall, L., Dalen, J.L.  & Saunders, G.W. 2008. Phylogenetic analyses of the red algal order Rhodymeniales supports recognition of the Hymenocladiaceae, fam. nov.,  Fryeellaceae fam. nov., and Neogastroclonium gen. nov. J. Phycol. 44: 1556-1571.

Kucera, H. & Saunders, G.W. 2008. Assigning morphological variants of Fucus (Fucales, Phaeophyceae) in Canadian waters to recognized species using DNA barcoding. Botany 86: 1065-1079.

Choi, H-G., Kraft, G.T., Kim, H-S., Guiry, M.D. & Saunders, G.W. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships among lineages of the Ceramiaceae (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) based on nuclear small subunit rDNA sequence data. J. Phycol. 44: 1033-1048.

Saunders, G.W. 2008. A DNA barcode examination of the red algal family Dumontiaceae in Canadian waters reveals substantial cryptic species diversity. 1. The foliose Dilsea-Neodilsea complex and Weeksia. Botany 86: 773-789. (shared cover article)

Clayden, S. & Saunders, G.W. 2008. Resurrecting the red algal genus Grania within the order Acrochaetiales (Florideophyceae, Rhodophyta). Eur. J. Phycol. 43: 151-160.

West, J.A., Scott J.L., West, K.A., Karsten, U., Clayden, S.L. & Saunders, G.W. 2008. Rhodachlya madagascarensis gen et sp. nov.: a distinct acrochaetioid represents a new order and family (Rhodachlyales ord. nov., Rhodachlyaceae fam. nov.) of the Florideophyceae (Rhodophyta). Phycologia 47: 203-212.

Phillips, N., Burrowes, R., Rousseau, F., de Reviers, B. & Saunders, G.W. 2008. Resolving evolutionary relationships among the brown algae using chloroplast and nuclear genes.  J. Phycol. 44: 394-405.

Randhawa, H.S., Saunders, G.W., Scott, M.E. & Burt, M.D. 2008. Redescription of Pseudanthobothrium hanseni Baer, 1956 and description of P. purtoni n. sp. (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) from different pairs of rajid skate hosts, with comments on the host specificity of the genus in the northwest Atlantic. Systematic Parasitology 70: 41-60.

Ballantine, D.L. Saunders, G.W. & Ruiz, H. 2007. Halichrysis corallinarius sp. nov. (Rhodymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) from Puerto Rico, Caribbean Sea. Phycol. Res. 55: 240-248.

Randhawa, H.S., Saunders, G.W. & Burt, M.D. 2007. Establishing of the onset of host specificity in four phyllobothrid tapeworm species (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) using a molecular approach. Parasitology 134: 1291-1300.

Lane, C.E., Lindstrom, S. & Saunders, G.W. 2007. A molecular assessment of northeast Pacific Alaria species (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae) with reference to the utility of DNA barcoding. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 44: 634-648.

Saunders, G.W., Wilkes, R.J. & Guiry, M.D. 2007. Note. A nuclear small-subunit ribosomal DNA perspective on the taxonomic affinities of Maripelta (Rhodymeniales, Rhodophyta). Cryptogam. Algol. 28: 191-194.

Le Gall, L. & Saunders, G.W. 2007. A nuclear phylogeny of the Florideophyceae (Rhodophyta) inferred from combined EF2, small subunit and large subunit ribosomal DNA: establishing the new red algal subclass Corallinophycidae. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 43: 1118-1130.

Dalen, J.L. & Saunders, G.W. 2007. A review of the red algal genus Leptofauchea (Faucheaceae, Rhodymeniales) including a description of L. chiloensis sp. nov. Phycologia 46: 198-213.

Vis, M.L., Harper, J.T. & Saunders, G.W. 2007. Large subunit rDNA and rbcL gene sequence data place Petrohua bernabei gen. et sp. nov. in the Batrachospermales (Rhodophyta), but do not provide further resolution among taxa in this order.    Phycol. Res. 55: 103-112.

Saunders, G.W., Lane, C.E., Schneider, C.W. & Kraft, G.T. 2006. Unraveling the Asteromenia peltata species complex with clarification of the genera Halichrysis and Drouetia (Rhodymeniaceae, Rhodophyta). Can. J. Bot. 84: 1581-1607. (cover article)

Withall, R.D. & Saunders, G.W. 2006. Combining small and large subunit ribosomal DNA genes to resolve relationships among orders of Rhodymeniophycidae (Rhodophyta): recognition of the Acrosymphytales ord. nov. and Sebdeniales ord. nov. Eur. J. Phycol. 41: 379-394.

Saunders, G.W. & Withall, R.D. 2006. Collections of the invasive species Grateloupia turuturu (Halymeniales, Rhodophyta) from Tasmania, Australia. Phycologia 45: 711-714.

Lane, C.E., Mayes, C., Druehl, L.D. & Saunders, G.W. 2006. A multi-gene molecular investigation of the kelp (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae) supports substantial taxonomic re-organization.  J. Phycol. 42: 493-512. (cover article)

Schneider, C.W., Lane, C.E. & Saunders, G.W. 2006. Crassitegula walsinghamii (Sebdeniaceae, Halymeniales), a new red algal genus and species from Bermuda based on morphology and SSU rDNA sequence analyses. Eur. J. Phycol. 41: 115-124.

Lane, C.E.  & Saunders, G.W. 2005. Molecular investigation reveals epi/endophytic extrageneric kelp (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae) gametophytes colonizing Lessoniopsis littoralis thalli. Bot. Mar. 48: 426-436.

Saunders, G.W. 2005. Applying DNA barcoding to red macroalgae: a preliminary appraisal holds promise for future applications. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 360: 1879-1888.

Saunders, G.W. & Lehmkuhl, K.V. 2005. Molecular divergence and morphological diversity among four cryptic species of Plocamium (Plocamiales, Florideophyceae) in northern Europe. Eur. J. Phycol.  40: 293-312.

Bates, C.R., Saunders, G.W. & Chopin, T. 2005. An assessment of two taxonomic distinctness indices for detecting seaweed assemblage responses to environmental stress. Bot. Mar. 48: 231-243.

Druehl, L.D., Collins, J.D., Lane, C.E. & Saunders, G.W. 2005. A critique of intergeneric kelp hybridization protocol, employing Pacific Laminariales (Phaeophyceae). J. Phycol. 41: 250-262.

Book Chapters

Saunders, G.W. & Andersen, R.A. Heterokontophyta: Pelagophyceae. 2007. In: Algae of Australia, Introduction. (P.M. McCarthy & A.E. Orchard, eds.).  Australian Biological Resource Study, Canberra. pp. 228-234.

Huisman, J.M. & Saunders, G.W.  2007.  Phylogeny and classification of the algae. In: Algae of Australia, Introduction. (P.M. McCarthy & A.E. Orchard, eds.).  Australian Biological Resource Study, Canberra. pp. 66-103.

Huisman, J.M., Saunders, G.W. & Sherwood, A.R. 2006. Titanophycus, in Huisman, J.M., Algae of Australia: Nemaliales. pp. 81-83.  ABRS, Canberra; CSIRO Publishing.

Huisman, J.M., Saunders, G.W. & Sherwood, A.R. 2006. Recognition of Titanophycus, a new genus based on Liagora valida Harv. (Liagoraceae, Nemaliales), in Huisman, J.M., Algae of Australia: Nemaliales. pp. 116-119.  ABRS, Canberra; CSIRO Publishing.

Lane, C.E. & Saunders, G.W. 2005.  Brown algae.  Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Macmillan Reference Limited, Stockton Press, London. Available on the Web, ELS (www.els.net).


PDF of Curriculum Vitae of recent accomplishments