Current and former members of our group
Anne Vatén

Anne studied Biology at University of Eastern Finland before joining Prof. Ykä Helariutta’s research group (University of Helsinki) as PhD student. There, she studied symplastic signaling regulated vascular development. Anne then joined to Prof. Dominique Bergmann’s research group at Stanford University (USA) as a postdoctoral fellow funded by EMBO LTF. Anne studied regulation of asymmetric stomatal lineage divisions and cell fate transitions. Her group studies mechanisms fine-tuning stomatal numbers during leaf development and aims to compare these mechanisms between angiosperms and gymnosperms.

Kaotar Elhazzime

Kaotar Elhazzime is particularly interested in the molecular regulatory networks governing the development and morphogenesis of biological structures. After pursuing her undergraduate studies on Pant Biology at the university of cadi Ayyad in Morocco, she interned with Genomics and Biotechnology of the Fruit Laboratory in France, conducting research on fruit-set regulation and development in Tomato plants. Currently, she is pursuing her doctoral research at Dr. Anne Vaten's research group, her work focuses on Arabidopsis early stomatal lineage progression, aiming to decipher how stomatal development is regulated upon environmental changes.

Sara Forlani

Sara attended the faculty of Biotechnology at the University of Milan (Milan, Italy). Then, she did her PhD in Environmental Sciences, in the laboratory of Prof. Simona Masiero (University of Milan). There, she deepened the role of NAC transcription factors in the regulation of leaf and fruit senescence in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana and Solanum lycopersicum. She is currently working as a postdoc in the laboratory of Dr. Anne Vaten (University of Helsinki, Finland), focusing on the regulation of stomatal lineage during leaf development in response to environmental changes. She is interested in developmental processes as adaptive answer to a constantly changing environment.

Miki Iida

Miki studied Biology at Osaka University, Japan. There, she studied vascular development in Arabidopsis thaliana. She studies to characterize stomatal development in Norway spruce needle in terms of morphological and molecular level.

Aleksia Vaattovaara

Aleksia has studied in University of Oulu and University of Helsinki. In her PhD thesis, she studied gene family evolution in plants. She has also worked with genomics and transcriptomics of woodland strawberry and trees. Her current aim is to study stomatal development in trees utilizing Norway spruce and silver birch as model species.


Miinastiina Issakainen

Miinastiina is providing technical assistance 

Meeri Mäkelä

Technical assistant

Hanna-Leena Simola

Master student, undergraduate researcher

Hanna-Leena investigates effect of osmotic stress on stomatal development

Group photos and activities

Dayla Woller Technical assistant - MSc student, University of Helsinki

Leila Ferrari Intern - MSc student, University of Helsinki

Louise De Clerck Visiting student from Odisee university of applied sciences, Belgium

Bruno De Lima Visiting student from Politécnico de Lisboa, Portugal