Dr. Jade Savage completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1998 and her PhD in Entomology in 2004 at McGill University. She joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Bishop’s University in July 2004. She has travelled extensively, throughout North America and abroad, to take part in conferences and research field expeditions in Canada, the United States, Costa Rica, Australia, and Sweden. Dr. Savage was recently awarded four grants from NSERC and FQRNT totalling $108,485 to pursue her work on the systematics and biodiversity of Diptera (true flies).
She is an adjunct professor at the University of Manitoba and an emeritus curator at the Lyman Museum of McGill University and is currently co-supervising two M.Sc. projects through these institutions. The first, by Amy Moores, investigates the impact of patch size on the Diptera fauna of peat bogs of southern Quebec and northern Vermont. The second project, by Anais Renaud, is looking at changes in the distribution and composition of the Diptera fauna of Churchill (Manitoba) over the last century.
The last few decades have seen a rapid increase of interest in conservation biology. While scientists now realize the pressing need to address the rapid loss of biological diversity, they are not always equipped with the proper tools to do so. Vascular plants and vertebrates have generally received most of the attention in terms of conservation efforts, while other species-rich taxa such as the insects have been largely ignored. The main reason for this exclusion is that insects are still lagging much behind most other groups in terms of taxonomic expertise. In an age where total species richness is often the reference measure driving conservation and management efforts, it is quite ironic that the most speciose group of animals should be excluded from a majority of biodiversity studies. In an attempt to remedy this taxonomic impediment, Dr. Savage carries out research on the systematics and biodiversity of the order Diptera.
Her research program aims at documenting the systematics and biodiversity of muscoid Diptera (house flies and relatives) in different target habitats, using a variety of analytical and conceptual approach. Field collections in south eastern Quebec and Ontario and in the arctic regions of North America and Eurasia will allow Dr. Savage to fill some gaps in the distribution record of many species, yield large numbers of species including some new to science, and document biological diversity in some of the most understudied ecosystems of the northern hemisphere. The main contribution of her research program will be to increase knowledge of muscoid Diptera systematics through phylogenetic analyses and the description of new species; produce identification keys allowing non-specialists to identify specimens; and compile data on the ecology and biodiversity of Diptera.