Academy Professor

University of Helsinki

Understanding life history variation is a central theme in biology because various biological questions ultimately revolve around the causes and consequences of variation in reproduction and survival, i.e. fitness. Traditionally, a major tool in life-history research has been quantitative genetics because it provides an important statistical link between phenotype and genotype. However, the mechanisms by which evolution occurs may remain unclear unless such traditional approaches are combined with molecular investigations. Another complicating factor is that the fitness of male vs female life histories do not always align, and hence life history traits may be shaped by sexual conflict. This is why life-history approaches focusing on both quantifying the conflict and understanding its resolution at the genetic level are needed. My research currently addresses these themes using several salmonid fish species (Atlantic salmon and European grayling) as models.

Contact: craig.primmer@helsinki.fi

Masters student

University of Helsinki

Evolutionary ecology of salmonid fishes

Contact: nico.lorenzen@helsinki.fi

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

University of Helsinki

My research covers a broad spectrum of topics in evolutionary biology and aims to understand the complex relationship between behavior, ecology and the genetic architecture of organisms.

I am currently working on parasite-mediated behavioral evolution and the evolution of major histocompatibility gene complex (MHC) signalling used in mate choice in different species of stickleback.

My interests also include sexual selection and mating systems, ecological speciation, the genetics of biological invasions, parental care, alternative reproductive tactics (i.e. sneaking), and post-copulatory sexual selection.

Fishes are my favorite model organisms and I've worked with pipefishes, gobies, stickleback and salmonids extensively.

Contact: kenyon.mobley@helsinki.fi

Project Coordinator, PhD, Docent

University of Helsinki

I am an evolutionary developmental biologist.  My research synthesizes ideas from evolutionary systematic biology and molecular and cellular biology to understand the evolution of development and morphology.  In my developmental work, I use non-model organisms and ask how differences in the vertebrate body plan evolved.

Contact: Jacqueline.Moustakas@helsinki.fi

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

University of Helsinki

I investigate how gene regulatory mechanisms evolve between species, populations, and sexes with the overarching goal to link regulatory evolution with adaptation.  My research at the Primmer lab aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying sex-dependent dominance in age at maturity of Atlantic salmon, a central adaptive trait with wide evolutionary, ecological, and conservation relevance.  Many of the approaches that I use are based on systems genetics - the study of how interacting levels of gene regulation (such as epigenetic marks and gene transcription) combine and translate genetic information to produce variation in forms and functions. In addition to basic research, I raise awareness of species at risk and translate genetics research for the public.

Contact: jukka-pekka.verta@helsinki.fi

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

University of Turku

Molecular basis of rapid thermal adaptation in European grayling

I study genomes from a functional viewpoint to understand the molecular mechanisms of adaptation.  Focusing on rapid evolutionary adaptations, I further investiagate potential eco-evolutionary feedbacks to key ecosystem functions, trying to understand the entire chain of causation from genes to ecosystems.  Part of my research also includes work on molecular systematics and on speciation genomics.  My work lies on the bioinformatic analysis of data from high throughput sequencing platforms and from high resolution mass spectrometry.  Typical experimental set-ups include common garden and experimental evolution experiments.  Research is typically interdisciplinary, linking network biology, molecular biology, ecology, morphometrics etc.  I currently work in close collaboration with Prof. Craig. R. Primmer at the University of Turku in Finland.

Contact: spiros.papakostas@utu.fi