Our research interests currently branch into three directions: study of the viruses from structural perspective, airborne virus transmission, dispersion pathways and mechanisms of different bioaerosols, and microbial ice nucleation.

Bioaerosols are e.g. bacteria, fungi, pollen, and viruses that are aerosolized by different natural processes, such as winds, breaking of ocean waves, or by various human activities, such as coughing. We study experimental aerosolization of model viruses and different properties of airborne virus transmission. We develop air sampling techniques and perform simulations of bioaerosol formation and dispersion. Our research aim is to gain knowledge on the various roles microorganisms have in the atmosphere. Our research is conducted at University of Helsinki and Finnish Meteorological Institute. See more about our collaboration network.

Ice nucleation

Ice nucleating particles affect cloud dynamics and are important for the planet's radiative balance and our prediction of future changes in climate. Biological ice nucleation occurs at significantly higher temperatures compared to e.g. mineral dust, but to date, very little is known about biological ice nucleating particles. We search for new ice nucleation active microorganisms from different types of atmospheric environmental samples and aim to investigate the significance and role they may have in the formation of ice clouds.

Structure-based virus evolution

We hypothesize that viruses can be classified into different structural lineages based on common architectural principles. Strict constrains in structure space limit the possibilities of protein folds that are capable of making an infective virion. We study mainly prokaryotic viruses that are used as non-pathogenic model organisms in understanding structure, assembly and function of biological macromolecular complexes. These studies have also shed light on the evolution and origin of viruses. We propose that seemingly unrelated viruses infecting hosts in all three domains of life may have a common origin.