Stefanovic, Sasa

Associate ProfessorBiology

Contact Information

Phone: 
(905) 569-4305
Fax: 
(905) 828-3792
Room: 
DV 3039
Sasa Stefanovic

Research | Courses Taught | Publications | People | NEW Positions Available


Research

Venn diagram showing Dr. Stefanovic's research interests and how they relate to each otherMy research employs molecular and traditional tools addressing plant systematics questions at both higher and lower taxonomic level as well as molecular mechanisms underlying organellar genome evolution in plants. The bulk of my research is centered on the systematics and molecular evolution of Convolvulaceae (morning-glory family) in general and, more particularly, on a parasitic genus Cuscuta (dodders) found within that family. Convolvulaceae are one of the very few flowering plant families showing substantial structural differences in otherwise highly conserved plastid genome. The comparative approach on a broad taxon sampling within this family and in conjunction with a robust phylogenetic framework will help to address a series of testable hypotheses regarding the pattern and process of chloroplast genome evolution and their correlates at the organismal level.

More broadly, I am interested in a number of other related plant evolution topics, centered around the reliable inference of the plant tree of life at various phylogenetic levels, and the application of these phylogenies to evolutionary problems that stretch from genes and genomes to plant sexual systems and phylogeography. From the systematics point of view I am mostly interested in a species-level phylogeny. It is usually at this level that the most interesting biological questions regarding speciation, biogeography, character evolution, genome evolution, etc., can be tackled successfully. In molecular evolution field, I am particularly interested in changes that have shaped the plastid genome evolution in heterotrophic plants in general (both parasitic and mycotrophic), the shared and unique features characterizing different phylogenetic, ecological, and physiological groups of heterotrophs, as well as the extent of involvement of these very unusual plants in evolutionary phenomena such as horizontal gene transfer. I am also interested in patterns of mitochondrial evolution in land plants, especially in ferns and conifers.

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Courses Taught

  • BIO215 - Laboratory in Molecular Biology and Genetics (2005)
  • BIO314 - Laboratory in Cell and Molecular Biology (2006-2012)
  • BIO339 - Plant Identification and Systematics (2013-present)
  • BIO443 - Phylogenetic Principles (2005-present)
  • EEB1443 - Phylogenetic Principles (graduate course; 2010-present)
  • Experiential learning - BIO399, BIO481, JCB487

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Publications

Google Scholar Citations

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

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2007

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1998

1997

  • Stefanović, S., F. Rakotondrainibe, and F. Badre. 1997. Famille 14, Selaginellaceae, Flore de Madagascar et des Comores, Museum National d'Histoire Natirelle, Paris. 68 pp.
  • Stefanović, S. and F. Rakotondrainibe. 1997. Contribution to the study of the Selaginellaceae of Madagascar. Adansonia, ser. 3, 19: 165-168.

1996

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People

Current Lab Members:

  • Roula Farag, BIO481 thesis project (2016/2017)
  • Geevithan Krishnapillai, ROP399 student (2016/2017)
  • Arjan Banerjee, PhD student
  • Michael Wright, PhD student
  • Dahlia Kasimer, Laboratory Technician

Former Lab Members:

  • Miguel García, PDF; 2013-2016
  • Thomas Braukmann, PhD; 2007-2014
  • Anuar Rodrigues, PhD; 2007-2013
  • Jennifer Coughlan, MSc (co-supervised with T.A. Dickinson, ROM); 2010-2012
  • Eugenia Lo, PhD (co-supervised with T.A. Dickinson, ROM); 2004-2008
  • Mehdi Zarrei, PDF (co-supervised with T.A. Dickinson, ROM); 2010-2012
  • Kathleen Buck, Herbarium Technician; 2011- 2012
  • Tara Nicholls, Herbarium Technician; 2010-2011
  • Maria Kuzmina, Laboratory Technician;  2005-2008

Undergraduates:

  • Research Opportunity Program:
    • Monalaisa Elmoussa (2015/20106)
    • Taylor Davie (2015/2016)
    • Muzzammil Abdur-Razak (2014)
    • Qasim Muhammad (2013/2014)
    • Milena Kosic (2013/2014)
    • Michael Adamczyk (2012/2013)
    • Norsyuhada Mohktar (2012/2013)
    • Bibi Mohungoo (2012/2013)
    • Chin-Jui Huang (2010/2011)
  • Biology Research Project:
    • Muzzammil Abdur-Razak (2014/2015)
    • Anuar Rodrigues (2006/2007)
    • Nataliya Zhukova (2006/2007)
    • Christopher Doan (2007/2008)
    • Sayed Jibran Shah (2008/2009)
    • Hernando Garcia Burgos (2009/2010)
    • Shana Shaya (2011/2012)
    • Nazar Mlynko (2012/2013)
    • Gustav Wulf (2013/2014)
  • Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Lab:
    • Huma Inayat (2013/2014)
    • Daniel Junik (2013/2014)
    • Mark Levy (2013/2014)
    • Samia Mirza (2013/2014)
    • Norsyuhada Mohktar (2013/2014)
    • Daniel Nino (2013/2014)
    • Buddhisha Udugama (2012/2013)
    • Wendy Otieno (2012/2013)
    • Roger Bialy (2012/2013)
    • Miki Gams (2012/2013)
  • NSERC – USRA:
    • Simo Becarevic (2015)
    • Michael Adamczyk (2013)
    • Meet Zandawala (2008)

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