Group members

Our research team has members working in University of Helsinki and in Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Jarkko Salojärvi, Group Leader

I am a machine learning guy who turned into a biologist. After my PhD in computer science, I did two post-docs, one in plant stress signaling and second one in human gut microbiome analysis. Moving on, I started my group on (plant) genomics in 2014, and currently I have two groups, one in Helsinki from my Academy Research Fellow position, and a second one in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore where I am an Assistant Professor. 

My group uses computational methods to study biological questions related to genome evolution. Over time, the biological scope of the research has widened from studying a single clone (Col-0) to looking at (gut) ecosystem and finally at NTU to the analysis of all plant genomes and (some) populations in an entire patch of rainforest. All this has made me even more intrigued by genome evolution; how it is shaped by the past environmental changes, pathogens and microbial symbionts. Understanding these issues will be crucial for future plant adaptation with the currently ongoing rapid climate change and habitat fragmentation. Genomes contain information from the past, from different climate conditions, and this may help in identifying future “evolutionary winners and losers” and hopefully suggest ways to prevent the impending loss of biodiversity.

Jarkko Salojärvi's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Maja Ilievska, PhD student

I am Maja Ilievska, PhD student in the Doctoral Programme in Plant Sciences (DPPS) at the University of Helsinki. I am in the third year of my doctoral studies, and the topic of my dissertation is "Data integration for network inference and network analysis in Plant Systems Biology”. One of my projects focuses on gene co-expression network analysis and xylan biosynthesis pathway in plants. The other projects are related to method development and data integration for inference of gene regulatory networks. 

Maja Ilievska's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Sitaram Rajaraman, PhD student

I am currently a Research Associate at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and a Doctoral student at the University of Helsinki, Finland. I have seven years of experience in the field of Plant Biology and Bioinformatics. My main interests lie in unravelling the evolutionary history of trees. Current key projects include Biodiversity study of the forest of Bukit Timah (Singapore) and Adaptive Landscape of Silver Birch (Finland). I have also collaborated with fellow researchers studying fungal genomes (Taphrina betulina, Protomyces), other non-model plant genomes (Coffea arabica, Alnus glutinosa, Drosera sp., Nepenthes sp., Stenogyne calaminthoides, Syzygium sp., Fagraea sp.,) and dog genomes. Apart from academics, I have a keen interest in the field of music, doing occasional gigs with my fusion band Sitaram and Friends (Finland).