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Savolainen, Vincent

Job title: 

Professor of Organismic Biology

Jodrell Laboratory (and Imperial College London)
Keeper's Group
Joined Kew: 

1999 (Imperial College London - 2007)

Foreign languages: 

French (mother tongue).

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Univ. Geneva, 1989
  • MSc, Univ. Geneva, 1991
  • PhD, Univ. Geneva, 1995
  • Panel Evaluator, European Research Council (Starting Grants 2007-2013)
  • Chair, Royal Society Research Grants Board H (2008-2012)
  • Panel Member, NERC Peer Review College (2008-)
  • Panel Member, Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Grants
  • Steering Committee Member, NERC Biomolecular Facilities
  • The Society of Systematic Biologists, Member
  • Links with Other Academic Bodies
  • Guest Editor, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Biological Sciences (2005)
  • Associate Editor, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2004-2006)
  • Associate Editor, Systematic Biology (2004-present)  


  • Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS), 2006
  • Bicentenary Medal of the Linnean Society, 2006
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Royal Society European Exchange Programme, 1995
  • Fellow of the Institute of Biology (FIBiol), 2009
  • ERC Advanced Grant, European Research Council, 2008
  • Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, 2009 

Evolution, Ecology, Conservation.

I combine field ecology, molecular phylogenetics, population genetics and genomic approaches to help explain the origin of biodiversity and, where possible, find solutions for its preservation in a rapidly changing world. Current areas of particular interest include: Global and regional patterns of biodiversity; Evolutionary radiations; Speciation genomics; Conservation genetics.

Selected publications: 

Davies, T.J., Smith, G.F., Bellstedt, D.U., Boatwright ,J.S., Bytebier, B., Cowling, R.M., Forest, F., Harmon, L.J., Muasya, A.M., Schrire, B.D., Steenkamp, Y., van der Bank, M. & Savolainen V. (2011). Extinction risk and diversification are linked in a plant biodiversity hotspot. PLoS Biol. 9(5): e1000620.

Papadopulos, A.S.T, Baker, W.J., Crayn, D., Butlin, R.K., Kynast, R.G., Hutton, I. & Savolainen, V. (2011). Speciation with gene flow on Lord Howe Island. PNAS 108: 13188-13193,

Arnold, S.E., Faruq, S., Savolainen, V., McOwan, P.W. & Chittka, L. (2010). FReD: The Floral Reflectance Database — A Web Portal for Analyses of Flower Colour. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14287.

Hollingsworth, P.M., Forrest, L.L., Spouge, J.L., Hajibabaei, M., Ratnasingham, S., van der Bank, M., Chase, M.W., Cowan, R.S., Erickson, D.L., Fazekas, A.J., Graham, S.W., James, K.E., Kim, K.J., Kress, W.J., Schneider, H., van AlphenStahl, J., Barrett, S.C.H., van den Berg, C., Bogarin, D., Burgess, K.S., Cameron, K.M., Carine, M., Chacon, J., Clark, A., Clarkson, J.J., Conrad, F., Devey, D.S., Ford, C.S., Hedderson, T.A.J., Hollingsworth, M.L., Husband, B.C., Kelly, L.J., Kesanakurti, P.R., Kim, J.S., Kim, Y.D., Lahaye, R., Lee, H.L., Long, D.G., Madrinan, S., Maurin, O., Meusnier, I., Newmaster, S.G., Park, C.W., Percy, D.M., Petersen, G., Richardson, J.E., Salazar, G.A., Savolainen, V., Seberg, O., Wilkinson, M.J., Yi, D.K., Little, D.P. (CBOL Plant Working Grp) (2009).  A DNA barcode for land plants. PNAS 106: 12794-1279.

Sauquet, H., Weston, P.H., Anderson, C.J., Barker, N.P., Cantrill, D.L., Mast, A.R. & Savolainen, V. (2009). Contrasted patterns of hyperdiversification in Mediterranean hotspots. PNAS 106: 221-225.