ABOUT MY RESEARCH
Salmonids have always fascinated me enormously, and I now continue to pursue salmon research at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) as senior scientist. In 2022-2027, I lead a project on thermal performance of juvenile salmon as an Academy Research Fellow. With two postdoctoral researchers, Lucy Cotgrove and Zara Cowan, and other collaborators at Luke and elsewhere, we test whether the genetic tendency for early vs. late maturation affects the ability of juvenile salmon to maintain growth at high temperatures, which are increasingly prevalent due to climate change.
I completed my PhD in the group of prof Mikko Nikinmaa at the University of Turku in 2016. I then worked at Bucknell University, Pennsylvania, where we (the projects of Profs Ken Field and DeeAnn Reeder) studied the responses of North American bats to the deadly fungal disease White Nose Syndrome. I then joined the group of Anssi Vainikka as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Eastern Finland in 2017, where I studied human-induced evolution and evolutionarily sustainable restoration in brown trout. After this I left Finland again with funding from the Finnish Cultural Foundation as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Liverpool, studying oxygen supply in zebrafish that lacked an important oxygen binding protein, myoglobin. After returning to Finland in 2019, I joined Katja Anttila's group at the University of Turku, before starting a new position with Dr. Tutku Aykanat at the University of Helsinki, where I studied the underpinnings of life-history trait variation in Atlantic salmon.
If you're interested in a postdoctoral, PhD candidate or Master's student position, or an internship under my supervision, please get in touch by email and we can discuss suitable projects.
Baltic salmon ecology and evolution
The rivers descending to Bothnian bay, including Tornionjoki and Simojoki in Finland, hold some of the largest Atlantic salmon populations (the same species lives in the Atlantic and Baltic Sea). I coordinate the monitoring efforts of Simojoki salmon together with numerous colleagues, producing data that is essential for fisheries management that is adviced by ICES, and collecting samples that are invaluable for salmon research.
Ecological and evolutionary physiology of fish
Physiological processes can appear infinitely complex, but it is crucial to understand this puzzle, as physiological change ultimately drives the changes at the population and species level, whether it is an increase in abundance or extinction. With a better understanding of physiology, we could also better understand disease, aging and many issues challenging wildlife management -and the society. I wish to understand what makes fish what they are, and how are they challenged by human impacts, such as fishing and climate change.
Evolutionary and ecological genomics
I am fascinated by understanding how the information encoded in the DNA leads to all the phenotypic richness we see in nature. I have employed both single-gene oriented and genome-wide approached to understand how do genomes produce phenotypic variation. Currently my project focusses on variation in a specific region in the genome of salmon, called the vgll3. Variation in this region leads to variation in age at maturity of salmon, but also in other traits relevant to surviving and reproducing.
ADADEMIC SOCIETY MEMBERSHIPS AND POSITIONS
Jan 2020 - Aug 2022
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Helsinki, Finland
As a postdoc for the Academy of Finland-funded project of Dr. Tutku Aykanat, in collaboration with the Evolution, Conservation, Genomics group of Prof. Craig Primmer, I study the physiology of life-history variation in salmon (Salmo salar). We study the genotype-phenotype relationship of vgll3 and six6 loci, which are associated with sexual maturation.
Jan 2018 - Dec 2019
Postdoctoral fellow, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, I studied the role of myoglobin, an oxygen-binding protein which is also responsible for much more than that, in the responses of fish to increasing oxygen demand. Collaborators: Prof Andrew Cossins and Dr. Michael Berenbrink.
September - December 2019
Research visit, Katja Anttila lab, University of Turku
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Eastern Finland
Physiology, behavior and genetics of freshwater populations of brown trout, developing strategies for evolutionary restoration of natural populations.
Research associate / Post doctoral researcher, Bucknell University
Resistance and resilience to White Nose Syndrome in North American bats.