Evolutionary developmental biology

Jukka Jernvall research group

Our research focus is on the phenotype and factors affecting its evolution. For most projects, we use the mammalian dentition that offers a rich array of interrelated data on development, function, and evolutionary history. We use a combination of genetic mouse models, non-model species, transcriptomics, and organ culture methods to perform quantitative analyses of development. These experiments are used to build computational models to study other species and explain evolutionary patterns.

Currently we are interested in the following questions:

  • How is the final functional tooth shape made?
  • How is the tooth shape scaled during development?
  • Does phenotypic variation reflect genotypic variation?
  • Can population level processes really explain macroevolutionary patterns?
  • What are the links between adaptation, resilience and innovation?



Jukka Jernvall, PhD, Professor

Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences and Geography &

Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE 

Biocenter 2, room 5011

P.O. Box 56 (Viikinkaari 5D)

00014 University of Helsinki


Phone: +350 2 941 59352 

Email: jukka.jernvall@helsinki.fi

Jukka is a Principal Investigator/Group Leader at BI and Professor of Quantitative Evolutionary Phenomics at the Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences and Geography. He holds a position of Academy Professor for the term of 1 September 2021–31 August 2026.