Dr. Jessica A. Savage

Jessica Savage Photo

Professional title

Assistant Professor



  • Ph.D. 2010, University of Minnesota
  • B.S. 2002, University of Rochester

Curriculum Vitae

Website: https://sites.google.com/d.umn.edu/jsavage/home

Google Scholar Page 


My research explores the physiological-basis of how plants interact with their environment, and how these interactions impact broader patterns in plant ecology. I have conducted research examining many aspects of plant stress tolerance and more recently investigated the role of the plant vascular system, specifically the phloem, in determining patterns of plant growth and reproduction. My research spans the fields of plant physiology and ecology, and I have studied a variety of plant species from willows (Salix) to giant pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima). I am currently examining how seasonal changes in the vascular system impact the timing of flowering and leaf out in the spring. This work will help us better understand the physiological basis of plant phenology and seasonality, two factors that are critical in understanding species current and future geographic distributions.

You can see my recent work highlighted by BBC and the Smithsonian.

Selected Publications

  • Savage, J.A., Beecher, S.D. †, Clerx, L. †, Gersony, J.T. †, Knoblauch, J. †, Losada, J.M., Jensen, K.H., Knoblauch, M. and N.M. Holbrook (2017) Maintenance of carbohydrate transport in tall trees. Nature Plants. 3: 965–972.
  • Savage, J.A., Haines, D.F. and N.M. Holbrook (2016) The making of giant pumpkins: How selective breeding changed the phloem of Cucurbita maxima from source to sink. Plant, Cell and Environment. 38(8): 1543-1554.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For more publications, see my Google Scholar page.


  • BIOL 2802 - Ecology Laboratory 
  • BIOL 4604 - Plant Physiology

  • IBS 8011/8013 - Integrated Biological Systems

Current Graduate Student Projects

  • Danielle Lake Diver, (M.S., Integrated Biosciences)

Recently Completed Graduate Student

  • Natalie McMann, (M.S., Integrated Biosciences)
  • Erin O'Connell, (M.S., Integrated Biosciences)


I enjoy long distance biking and any activity that lets me explore nature like hiking, camping, botanizing, canoeing and gardening. I also love dance, literature and art.