Jessica Savage

Jessica Savage

Jessica A. Savage

Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Visiting Scholar of the Arnold Arboretum



PhD Plant Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota
BS Ecological and Evolutionary Biology, University of Rochester

Research Interests

My research explores the physiological-basis of how plants interact with their environment, and how these interactions impact broader patterns in plant ecology.As a graduate student, I conducted a series of experiments on plants in the family Salicaceae, including a large comparative study on how the timing of phenological events and cold acclimation impact species’ range limits. This work sparked my interest in seasonal changes in carbon allocation and led me to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship on carbon transport in the phloem. In the coming years, my primary goal is to build on this work and examine the role of phloem physiology in determining changes in plant phenology. As a Putnam Fellow at the Arboretum, I focused on flowering phenology and examined how plants like dogwoods and magnolias can bloom in the spring before they leaf out, considering the large water and carbon demands of their flowers.

Selected Publications

  • Savage, J.A., Zwieniecki, M. and N.M. Holbrook (2013) Phloem transport velocity varies over time and among vascular bundles during early cucumber seedling development. Plant Physiology 163:1409–1418.
  • Savage, J.A. and J. Cavender-Bares (2013) Phenological cues drive an apparent trade-off between freezing tolerance and growth in the family Salicaceae. Ecology 94(8):1708–1717.
  • Jensen, K. Savage, J.A. and N.M. Holbrook (2013) Optimal concentration for sugar transport in plants. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 10(83).
  • Savage, J.A. and J. Cavender-Bares (2012) Habitat specialization and the role of trait lability in structuring diverse willow (genus: Salix) communities. Ecology 93(8):S138–S150.
  • Savage, J.A. and J. Cavender-Bares (2011) Contrasting drought survival strategies of sympatric willows (genus: Salix): consequences for coexistence and habitat specialization. Tree Physiology 31: 604–614.