James R. Kemp

BSc, PhD
Associate Professor
(902) 628-4343
Duffy Science Centre, 438

Dr. James Kemp’s research involves pollination and floral morphology. He initiated and co-led a project involving wild roses as an alternative crop for bioactive compounds in Atlantic Canada. His work also involves pesticides and the decline of honey bees in Atlantic Canada.

Says Dr. Kemp, "I have been a member of the Biology Department at the University of Prince Edward Island since September 1993. Prior to coming to UPEI, I obtained my BSc and PhD from the University of Guelph where I completed my thesis on the floral biology and pollination biology of Rosa setigera Mich. My main areas of interest are floral morphology and pollination biology. I have taught a broad range of biology courses, and presently I am teaching courses related to human biology, botany, and microscopy.  

Some Current Projects

  1. Determinating the mechanisms governing floral initiation, pollination, and fruit-set of lowbush blueberry. This work is a collaborative effort with Dr. Dave Percival (Nova Scotia Agricultural College). It includes investigating the foliar application of the micro-nutrient boron, and its effect on pollination efficiency. The work is sponsored both by industry and Agriculture Canada.
  2. The effect of foliar application of boron on the efficiency of pollination in Canola flowers. This is a preliminary investigation to investigate the effect of a foliar application of boron on floral initiation, seed number and seed size.
  3. Adaptive nature of floral traits and pollination in Rhus radicans (poison ivy), and Rhus typhina (sumac), on Prince Edward Island. The primary purpose of this research is to document floral initiation, and the pollination biology of these two dioecious species. It involves determining to what extent floral form, and inflorescence size has on pollination efficiency. The study will also determine what species of insect visitors are involved in the pollination of the species, and the behavior interaction between the pollinators and the floral species.
  4. Floral development and pollination biology of Rosa setigera, Rosa carolina, and Rosa virginiana. This is a continuation of research initiated during my Ph.D. at the University of Guelph. The work primarily investigates the floral morphology, pollination efficiency, and pollen-stigmatic interactions. Along with Dr. Peter Kevan (University of Guelph), the research also is investigating pollinator behavior, visitation rates, and factors that influence the determination of pollinator preferences.
  • Biology 101 - Environmental Biology
  • Biology 102 - Human Biology
  • Biology 120 - Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biology 202 - Plant Diversity
  • Biology 331 - Microbiology
  • Biology 372 - Microtechniques
  • Biology 452 - Plant Physiology
  • Biology 441 - Special Studies in Biology
  • Biology 490 - Honours Research and Thesis

My specific field of study is floral development and pollination biology. My research interests are focused on the evolution of dioecy and factors that influence the efficiency of plant breeding systems. Comparative studies of the structure and development of floral shoots in seed plants provides valuable information on developmental processes involved in the establishment of the floral organs, and resource allocation of resources involved in the evolution of breeding systems. Morphological concepts are basic to a number of disciplines in plant science, and the developmental studies can be applied to the study of problems in morphology, taxonomy, ecology, physiology, and genetics. By comparing the studies of floral biology with pollinator efficiency, my work allows me to examine the factors involved in a successful plant breeding system. This work may also be combined with physiological studies that investigate the effect of nutrients on pollination, and how the nutrients influence pollination success of commercial crops.

  • ​GALLANT, J.B., KEMP, J.R. and LACROIX, C.R. (1997) Floral Development of Dioecious Staghorn Sumac, Rhus hirta (Anacardiaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 159(4): 539-549.
  • LACROIX, C.R. and KEMP, J.R. (1997) Developmental morphology of the androecium and gynoecium in Ruppia maritima L.: Considerations for pollination. Aquatic Botany 59: 253-262.
  • *KEMP, J.R., KEVAN, P.G. and POSLUSZNY, U. (1993a). Morphological differences and changes of the gynoecium in short-lived flowers of Rosa setigera (Michaux) and their relationship in regard to dioecy. International Journal of Plant Sciences 154: 550-556.
  • *KEMP, J.R., POSLUSZNY, U., GERRATH, J.M. and KEVAN, P.G. (1993b). Floral development of Rosa setigera Michaux. Can. J. Bot. 71: 74-86.
  • *KEVAN, P.G., AMBROSE, J.D., and KEMP, J.R. (1991). Pollination in an understory vine, Smilax rotundifolia, a threatened plant of the Carolinian forests in Canada. Can. J. Bot. 69: 2555-2559.
  • *KEVAN, P.G., EISIKOWITCH, D., AMBROSE, J.D. and KEMP, J.R. (1990). Cryptic dioecy and insect pollination in Rosa setigera Michx. (Rosaceae), a rare plant of Carolinian Canada. Biol. J. of the Linn. Society 40: 229-243.
  • KEVAN, P.G., MOHR, N.A., OFFER, M.D. and KEMP, J.R. (1989). The squash and gourd bee, Peponapis pruinosa (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae) in Ontario, Canada. Proc. of the Ent. Soc. of Ontario 119: 9-15.

Papers presented at conferences

  • KEMP, J.R., and LACROIX, C.L. (1994). Developmental morphology of the androecium and gynoecium in Ruppia maritima. Canadian Botanical Association. Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • KEMP, J.R., KEVAN, P.G. EISIKOWITCH, D., AND AMBROSE, J.D. (1992). Cryptic dioecy and insect pollination in Rosa setigera Michaux (Rosaceae), a rare plant of Carolinian Canada. North American Prairie Conference. Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
  • KEMP, J.R., POSLUSZNY, U., and KEVAN, P.G. (1992). Floral development of Rosa setigera (Michaux). Insitute de recherche en biologie végétale. Jardin botanique de Montreal, Plant Development Workshop.
  • KEMP, J.R., POSLUSZNY, U. and KEVAN, P.G. (1990). Development of the hypanthium and androecium of Rosa setigera - An example of continuity. Canadian Botanical Association, Windsor , Ontario, Canada.
  • KEMP, J.R., KEVAN, P.G. and POSLUSZNY, U. (1989). Morphological differences and similarities in the gynoecial structure of Rosa setigera as related to dioecy. American Institute of Biological Sciences and the Canadian Botanical Association. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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