Dr. Vincent Savolainen

Molecular Systematics Section

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


Surrey TW9 3DS



Tel: (+44)20 8332 5366

Fax : (+44)20 8332 5310

Email : v.savolainen@kew.org


Professional Experience

Visiting professor, Institute of Ecology, University of Lausanne, CH, 1998-99

Curator (50%), Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Geneva Bot. Garden, CH, 1997-99              

First-Assistant (50%), University of Lausanne, CH, 1996-99

Biologist, Geneva Botanical Garden, CH, 1996-97         

Post-doctorate fellow, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, 1995-96

Research Assistant, University of Geneva, CH, 1991-95



The European Commission, Outgoing International Marie Curie Fellowship to N. Ronsted, 2005-2007, €155,375

The Leverhulme Trust, Academic Interchange Network Grant (coPI, w/ J. Hawkins PI), 2004-2007,  £107,020

Enterprise Ireland, Research Grant (w/T. Hodkinson [PI] & J. Sexton), 2003- 177,000 euros

The Darwin Initiative (PI, w/G. Reeves), 2003-2006, £116,187

The Leverhulme Trust, Research Grant (PI, w/W. Baker & F. Balloux), 2003-2004,  £59,989

Roche Research Foundation, 1999, CHF 30,000

Swiss National Science Foundation (PI, w/A. Chautems & R. Spichiger), 1998-2001, CHF



Professional Service

Associate Editor of Systematic Biology and Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2004-)


Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

1.        Spichiger R., Savolainen V., Manen J.-F. 1993. Systematic affinities of Aquifoliaceae and Icacinaceae from molecular data analysis. Candollea 48: 459-464.

2.        Manen J.-F., Savolainen V., Simon P. 1994. The atpB and rbcL promoters in plastid DNAs of a wide dicot range. J. Mol. Evol. 38: 577-582.

3.        Savolainen V., Manen J.-F., Douzery E., Spichiger R. 1994. Molecular phylogeny of families related to Celastrales based on rbcL 5' flanking sequences. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 3: 27-37.

4.        Manen J.-F., Savolainen V., De Marchi S., Riou B. 1995. Chloroplast DNA sequences from a Miocene diatomite deposit in Ardèche (France). C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 318: 971-975.

5.        Savolainen V., Corbaz R., Moncousin C., Spichiger R., J.-F. Manen. 1995. Chloroplast DNA variation and parentages analysis in 55 apples. Theor. Appl. Genet. 90: 1138-1141.

6.        Savolainen V., Cuénoud P., Spichiger R., Martinez M. D. P., Crèvecoeur M., Manen J.-F. 1995. The use of herbarium specimens in DNA phylogenetics: evaluation and improvement. Pl. Syst. Evol. 197: 87-98.

7.        Savolainen V., Wuest J., Lafont R., Connat J.-L. 1995. Effects of ingested phytoecdysteroids in the female soft tick Ornithodoros moubata. Experientia 51: 596-600.

8.        Savolainen V., Spichiger R., Manen J.-F. 1997. Polyphyletism of Celastrales deduced from a noncoding chloroplast DNA region. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 7: 145-157.

9.        Spichiger R., Vuattoux R., Savolainen V. 1997. Notes on African Lepidoptera - foodplant relationships as phyletic clues. Candollea 52: 113-117.

10.     Spichiger R., Savolainen V. 1997. Present state of Angiospermae phylogeny. Candollea 52:435-455.

11.     Soltis D. E., Soltis P. M., Mort M. E., Chase M. W., Savolainen V., Hoot S. B., Morton C. M. 1998. Inferring Complex Phylogenies Using Parsimony: An Empirical Approach Using Three Large DNA Data Sets for Angiosperms. Syst. Biol. 47: 32-47

12.     Savolainen V., Goudet J. 1998. Rate of gene sequence evolution and species diversification in flowering plants: a re-evaluation. Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 265: 603-607.

13.     Ruedi M., Auberson M., Savolainen V. 1998. Biogeography of Sulawesian shrews: testing for their origin with a parametric bootstrap on molecular data. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 9: 567-571.

14.     Bakker F. T., Vassiliades D. D., Morton C. M., Savolainen V. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships of Biebersteinia Stephan (Geraniaceae) inferred from rbcL and atpB sequence comparisons. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 127: 149-158.

15.     Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG): Bremer, K., Chase, M. W., Stevens, P. F., Anderberg, A. A., Backlund, A., Bremer, B., Briggs, B. G., Endress, P., Fay, M. F., Goldblatt, P., Gustafsson, M. H. G., Hoot, S. B., Judd, W. S., Källersjö, M., Kellogg, E. A., Kron, K. A., Les, D. H., Morton, C. M., Nickrent, D. L., Olmstead, R. G., Price, R. A., Quinn, C. J., Rodman, J. E., Rudall, P. J., Savolainen, V., Soltis, D. E., Soltis, P. S., Sytsma, K. J. and Thulin, M. 1998. An ordinal classification for the families of flowering plants. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85: 531-553.

16.     Bayer C., Fay M. F.,Bruijn A. Y. de, Savolainen V., Morton C. M., Kubitzki K., Chase M.W. 1999. Support for an expanded family concept of Malvaceae within a recircumbscribed order Malvales: a combined analysis of plastid atpB and rbcL sequences. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 129: 267-303.

17.     Qiu, Y.-L. J. Lee, F. Bernasconi-Quadroni, D. E. Soltis, P. S. Soltis, M. Zanis, Z. Chen, V. Savolainen, and M. W. Chase.  1999. The earliest angiosperms: evidence from mitochondrial, plastid and nuclear genomes. Nature 402: 404-406.

18.     Savolainen V., Chase M. W., Hoot S. B., Morton C. M., Soltis D. E., Bayer C., Fay M. F., De Bruijn A., Sullivan S., Qiu Y.-L. 2000. Phylogenetics of flowering plants based upon a combined analysis of plastid atpB and rbcL gene sequences. Syst. Biol. 49: 306-362.

19.     Soltis, D. E., P. S. Soltis, M. W. Chase, M. E., Mort, D. C. Albach, M..Zanis, V. Savolainen, W. H. Hahn, S. B. Hoot, M. F. Fay, M. Axtell, S. M. Swensen, K. C. Nixon, and J. S. Farris. 2000. Angiosperm phylogeny inferred from a combined data set of 18S rDNA, rbcL, and atpB sequences. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 133: 381-461.

20.     Savolainen, V., M. F. Fay, D. C. Albach, A. Backlund, M. van der Bank, K. M. Cameron, S. A. Johnson, M. D. Lledó, J.-C. Pintaud, M. Powell, M. C. Sheahan, D. E. Soltis, P. S. Soltis, P. Weston, W. M. Whitten, K. J. Wurdack, and M. W. Chase.  2000.  Phylogeny of the eudicots: a nearly complete familial analysis based on rbcL gene sequences. Kew Bulletin 55:257-309.

21.     Powell M., Savolainen V., Cuenoud P., Manen J.F., Andrews S. The mountain holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus) revisited with molecular data. Kew Bull. 55: 341-347.

22.     Qiu, Y.-L. J. Lee, F. Bernasconi-Quadroni, D. E. Soltis, P. S. Soltis, M. Zanis, Z. Chen, V. Savolainen, and M. W. Chase. 2000. Phylogeny of basal angiosperms: analysis of five genes from three genomes. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 161: S3-S7

23.     Chase M. W., Fay M. F., Savolainen V. 2000. Higher-level classification in the angiosperms: new insights from the perspective of DNA sequence data. Taxon 49: 685-704.

24.     Simmons M. P., Clevinger C. C., Savolainen V., Archer R. H., Mathews S., Doyle J. J. 2001. Phylogeny of the Celastraceae inferred from phytochrome B and morphology. Amer. J. Bot. 88: 313-325

25.     Perret M., Chautems A., Peixoto M., Spichiger R., Savolainen V. 2001. Nectar Sugar Composition related to Pollination Syndromes in Sinningieae (Gesneriaceae). Ann. Bot. 87: 267-273.

26.     Barraclough T. G. & Savolainen V. 2001. Evolutionary rates and species diversity in flowering plants. Evolution 55: 677-683.

27.     M. P. Simmons, V. Savolainen, C. Clevinger, R. H. Archer, .J. I. Davis. Phylogeny of the Celastraceae inferred from 26S nuclear ribosomal DNA, phytochrome B, rbcL, atpB, and morphology. 2001. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 19: 353-366.

28.     Berry P. E., Savolainen V., Sytsma K. J., Hall J. C., Chase M. W. 2001. Lissocarpa is sister to Diospyros (Ebenaceae). Kew Bull. 56: 725-729.

29.     Wikström N., Savolainen V., Chase M. W. 2001. Evolution of the angiosperms: calibrating the family tree. Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 268: 2211-2220.

30.     Cuénoud P., Savolainen V., Powell M., Chatrou L. W., Grayer R. J., Chase M. W. 2002. Molecular phylogeny of Caryophyllales based on 18S rDNA, rbcL, atpB, and matK. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 132-134.

31.     Salamin N., Hodkinson T. R., Savolainen V. 2002. Building supertrees: an empirical assessment using the grass family (Poaceae). Syst. Biol. 51: 136-150.

32.     Soltis P. S., Soltis D. S., Savolainen V., Crane P. R., Barraclough T. G. 2002. Rate hetrogeneity among lineages of tracheophytes: integration of molecular and fossil data and evidence for molecular living fossils. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 99: 4430-4435.

33.     Savolainen V., Chase M. W., Salamin N., Soltis D. E., Soltis P. S., Lopez A., Fedrigo O., Naylor G. J. P. 2002. Phylogeny reconstruction and functional constraints in organellar genomes: plastid atpB and rbcL sequences versus animal mitochondrion. Syst Biol. 51: 638-647.

34.     Goldblatt P., Savolainen V., Porteous O., Sostaric I., Powell M., Reeves G., Manning J. C., Barraclough T. G., Chase M. W. Radiation in the Cape flora and the phylogeny of peacock irises Moraea (Iridaceae) based on four plastid DNA regions. 2002. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 25: 341-360

35.     Savolainen V., Heard S. B., Powell M., Davies T. J., Mooers A. O. Is cladogenesis heritable? 2002. Syst. Biol. 51: 835-843

36.     Perret M., Chautems A., Spichiger R., Kite G., Savolainen V. 2003. Systematics and evolution of tribe Sinningieae (Gesneriaceae): evidence from phylogenetic analyses of six plastid DNA regions and nuclear ncpGS. Amer. J. Bot. 90: 445-460

37.     Salamin N., Chase M. W., Hodkinson T. R., Savolainen V. 2003. Assessing internal support with large phylogenetic DNA matrices. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 27: 528-539.

38.     Chase M. W., Knapp S., Cox A. V., Clarkson J. J., Butsko Y., Joseph J., Savolainen V., Parokonny A. S. 2003. Molecular systematics, GISH and the origin of hybrid taxa in Nicotiana (Solanaceae). Ann. Bot. 92: 107-127.

39.     Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG). 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 141: 399-436

40.     Savolainen V., Chase M. W. A decade of progress in plant molecular phylogenetics. Trends in Genetics 19: 717-724.

41.     Khidir W. Hilu, Thomas Borsch, Kai Muller, Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, Vincent Savolainen, Mark W. Chase, Martyn P. Powell, Lawrence A. Alice, Rodger Evans, Herve Sauquet, Christoph Neinhuis, Tracey A. B. Slotta, Jens G. Rohwer, Christopher S. Campbell, and Lars W. Chatrou. 2003. Angiosperm phylogeny based on matK sequence information. Am. J. Bot. 90: 1758-1776

42.     Savolainen V., Chase MW. 2003. Europe's fight for the Tree of Life. Science 302: 1894.

43.     Davies, T. J., T. G. Barraclough, M. W. Chase, P. S. Soltis, D. E. Soltis, and V. Savolainen.  2004. Darwin's abominable mystery: insights from a supertree of the angiosperms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 101: 1904-1909

44.     Paton A., Springate D., Suddee S., Otieno D., Grayer R. J., Harley M. M., Willis F., Simmonds M. S. J., Powell M. P., Savolainen V. Phylogeny and evolution of basils and allies (Ocimeae, Labiatae) based on three plastid DNA regions. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 31: 277-299

45.     Savolainen, V. Reeves. G. 2004. A plea for DNA banking. Science 304: 1445

46.     Goldblatt, P., Manning, J. C., Davies, J., Savolainen, V., and S. Rezai. 2004. Cyanixia, a new genus for the Socotran endemic Babiana socotrana (Iridaceae-Crocoideae). Edinburgh J. Bot. 60: 517-532.

47.     Davies, T. J., V. Savolainen,  M. W. Chase, J. Moat and T. G. Barraclough.  2004. Environmental energy and evolutionary rates in flowering plants. Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 271: 2195-2200.

48.     Soltis, D. E., V. A. Albert, V. Savolainen,  K. Hilu,Y.-L. Qiu, M. W. Chase, J. S. Farris, J. D. Palmer, and P. S. Soltis. Angiosperm relationships, genome-scale data, and 'ending incongruence': a cautionary tale in phylogenetics. Trends Pl. Sci. 9: 477-483.

49.     Davies, T. J., V. Savolainen, M. W. Chase, and T. G. Barraclough.  2004. Environmental energy and species richness in flowering plants. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B.: in press.

50.     Savolainen, V., M. W. Chase. Taxonomists are their own worst enemies. Trends. Ecol. Evol.: in press