Timo is a leader of the Strawberry Research Group that was established in 2009. He works as an Assistant Professor in molecular and translational plant biology at the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Contact information:
Latokartanonkaari 7, P.O.Box 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Mobile: +358405782866


Tuomas works as a post doc in the group. He is studying the genetic basis of climate adaptation in the perennial model woodland strawberry. He is an expert on population genomics, and he is using whole-genome data to explore signatures of natural selection in latitudinal populations. In addition, he is carrying out genome wide association studies to identify key regulators of perennial life cycle with potential roles on climate adaptation. Tuomas did his PhD thesis entitled "Genetic consequences of directional selection in Arabidopsis lyrata" in Prof. Outi Savolainen's group at the University of Oulu and joined the group in early 2015.

Elli carried out her PhD project in the group on "Genetic and environmental control of flowering in wild and cultivated strawberries", and she is continuing her work as a post doc. In her PhD thesis, she carried out map-based cloning of the key floral repressor FvTFL1 in the woodland strawberry and uncovered the functional role of this repressor in cultivated strawberry and in woodland strawberry accessions with contrasting life cycles. Currently, Elli is studying the function of other regulators in the control of flowering and axillary bud differentiation in woodland strawberry.

Samia is currently working on her PhD thesis with the title "Genetic control of vegetative and generative reproduction in woodland strawberry". She is using several transgenic tools to uncover how photoperiodic and temperature signals control the balance between flowering and axillary bud differentiation to runners and axillary leaf rosettes called branch crowns. In addition, she is using QTL mapping and genome wide association studies to identify new regulators of these traits.

Javier is a MSc student who is studying the role of two previously uncharacterized FT/TFL1 like genes in the control of flowering and dormancy in woodland strawberry. He is using transgenic lines to study the function of these regulators and their effects on the expression of other key genes.

Dr. Takeshi Kurokura (lecturer at the Utsunomiya University, Japan)

Dr. Katriina Mouhu (postdoc in the Gerbera Laboratory, University of Helsinki)

MSc Marja Rantanen (researcher at LUKE -Natural Resources Institute Finland)


David Posé, University of Malaga, Spain

Takeshi Kurokura, Utsunomiya University, Japan

Zhongchi Liu, University of Maryland, USA

Patrick Edger, Michican State University, USA

Daniel Sargent, Driscoll's, UK

Laura Jaakola, University of Tromso, Norway

Anita Sønsteby, NIBIO - Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Norway

Petri Auvinen and Lars Paulin, Insitute of Biotechnology, Finland