backResearcher Profile

Dr. Gary W. Saunders

Job Title: Associate Professor/Director & Algal Curator Connell Memorial Herbarium
Employer: University of New Brunswick
Place of Birth: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
High School attended: Parkview Education Centre
Further Education: Acadia University (B.Sc., M.Sc.), Simon Fraser University (Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: New Brunswick, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Australia, Chile

Brief synopsis of current research:
I am interested in the biological diversity and systematics of most algal lineages. Much of my work focuses on the red and brown algae. Traditional microscopic observation is linked with the more recent innovations in molecular systematics to establish a holistic understanding of organismal evolution and diversity. In addition to systematics, I am interested in long-term monitory of algal biodiversity in the Bay of Fundy, and often trek to Australia and Chile to join international peers on exciting adventures to collect new species.

Mailing address:
Associate Professor, Biology, Director & Algal Curator, Connell Memorial Herbarium, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 6E1
Fax: (506)453-3583

Recent Publications:

Saunders, G.W., Strachan, I. & Kraft, G.T. 1999. The families of the order Rhodymeniales (Rhodophyta): a molecular-systematic investigation with a description of Faucheaceae fam nov. Phycologia 38: 23-40.

Saunders, G.W. & Bailey, J.C. 1997. Phylogenesis of pit-plug associated features in the Rhodophyta: inferences from molecular systematic data. Can. J. Bot. 75: 1436-1447.

Potter, D., LaJeunesse, T., C., Saunders, G.W. & Andersen, R.A. 1997. Convergent evolution masks extensive biodiversity among marine coccoid picoplankton. Biodiversity & Conservation. 6: 99-107.

Saunders, G.W. & Kraft, G.T. 1996. Small-subunit rRNA gene sequences from representatives of selected families of the Gigartinales and Rhodymeniales (Rhodophyta). 2. Recognition of the Halymeniales ord. nov. Can. J. Bot. 74: 694-707.

Saunders, G.W., Bird, C.J., Ragan, M.A. & Rice, E.L. 1995. Phylogenetic relationships of species of uncertain taxonomic position within the Acrochaetiales/Palmariales complex (Rhodophyta): inferences from phenotypic and 18S rDNA sequence data. J. Phycol. 31: 601-611.

Comments:
I was raised near the ocean and always had a fascination for things marine. Coupled with my strong desire to engage in SCUBA diving, it was inevitable that I would be a marine biologist. Initially I had planned to be a marine vet, or some such thing, but my experience at Acadia opened my eyes to the true biological diversity of aquatic systems. A world of possibilities was realized and I eventually leaned towards the botanical aspects of the aquatic systems. Each day brings new and exciting research questions and I remain pleased with my decision.