Steven Newmaster

Steve Newmaster
Professor, Director NHP Research Alliance
BIO 208

Dr. Newmaster is a botany professor specializing in plant diversity, medicinal plants and DNA identification systems. He has more than 100 publications including numerous scientific journal articles, floristic treatments and books. He has supervised over 220 HQP including visiting scientists from around the globe and he lectures to over 2000 university students every year. His research program has generated over $7 million dollars in research, funded by NSERC, SSHRC, CIDA, Genome Canada, OMAFRA, CFI, OCE, CIDA-IDRC, MEDI, NRC and more. His research lab is situated within the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Currently he is conducting leading international research on biodiversity, genomic diversity and the development of molecular diagnostic tools for plant identification. His R&D has impacted Canadian policy on biodiversity, and international trade of herbal products including product authentication and certification standards within the food and natural product industry within Canada, USA, E.U. and Asia.

  • PDF Multidimensional Matrix Mathematics & Multivariate analysis, CSIRO & OFRI, 2000-2002
  • Ph.D. Botany, Systematics and Taxonomy, University of Alberta, Canada, 1999
  • B.Sc. Botany, University of Guelph, Canada, 1992

My research program explores biodiversity; the variety of life across landscapes, and communities at both the organismal and molecular levels. I am particularly intrigued by new molecular techniques for exploring cryptic diversity in plants and for commercial use in medicinal product authentication.

  • Ragupathy, S., Dhivya, S., Patel, K., Sritharan, A., Sambandan, K., Gartaula, H., … Newmaster, S. G. (2016). DNA record of some traditional small millet landraces in India and Nepal. 3 Biotech, 6(2), 133. DOI: 10.1007/s13205-016-0450-6
  • Berg, K. J., Icyeh, L., Lin, Y., Janz, A. & Newmaster, S. (2016). Multiple-factor classification of a human-modified forest landscape in the Hsuehshan Mountain Range, Taiwan. AMBIO A Journal of the Human Environment. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-016-0794-5
  • Newmaster, S. (2016). Impact of air pollution and population density on lichen biodiversity in the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. The Lichenologist.
  • Newmaster, S. (2016). Soil inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi promote the growth of boreal plant communities in gold mine overburden. Ecological Restoration.
  • Newmaster, S. (2016). DNA record of some Traditional Small Millet Landraces in India and Nepal. 3Biotech.
  • McMullin, R., Lendemer, J., Braid, H. & Newmaster, S. (2016). Molecular insights into the lichen genus Alectoria (Parmeliaceae) in North America. Botany, 94(3): 165-175. DOI: 10.1139/cjb-2015-0186.
  • Mcgreer, M., Mallon, E., Vander Vennen, L., Wiebe, P., Baker, J., Brown, G., ... Fryxell, J. (2015). Selection for forage and avoidance of risk by woodland caribou ( Rangifer tarandus caribou ) at coarse and local scales. Ecosphere, 6(12): art288. DOI: 10.1890/ES15-00174.1.
  • Santhosh, J., Krishna, V., Seethapathy, G., Ragupathy, S., Newmaster, S., Ravikanth, G. & Shaanker, R. (2015). Estimating the extent of adulteration in highly traded medicinal plants in herbal raw drugs market in South India. Genome, 58(5).
  • Ramanujam, S., Santhosh, J., Seethapathy, G., Ragupathy, S., Newmaster, S., Ganeshaias, K., ... Ravikanth, G. (2015). Species admixtures in herbal trade: causes, consequences and mitigation. Genome, 58(5).
  • Kathirvelu, S., Newmaster, S., Ragupathy, S., Dhatchanamoorthy, N., Saravanan, R. & Ramalingam, S. (2015). Ethnobotany genomics—use of DNA barcoding to explore cryptic diversity in medicinally important plants in the Indian subcontinent. Genome, 58(5).
  • BIOL*1070 Discovering Biodiversity
  • IBIO*3100/4100 Interpreting Biodiversity

I am engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and have published peer-reviewed pedagogical research. My past research has investigated the mechanisms of engagement in student centred learning. My recent SoTL research investigates 1) learning objects as mechanisms of engagement, 2) active learning within large first year biology classes, and 3) ancient pedagogies from some of the most remote cultures on the planet. This later objective bridges some of our ethnobiological research with basic theory on how different cultures assemble and share knowledge. This research underpins and builds on experiential constructivism theory stating that effective learning is entrenched in experiences between the learner and educational objectives, which assemble knowledge in an iterative process. This also supports some of our current research in the ancient pedagogy of ayurvedic medicine where the repeated use of experiential learning objects is at the core of sustaining traditional knowledge systems since 4500BC.