Researchers and Technicians
Professor of Ecology
I have always been curious about how things work in nature, and I really enjoy problem-solving and experimental design.
My main research focus is to understand how prey traits are shaped by their predators, especially with regards to colour.
I often use colourful animals as models of adaptation because colour is deeply connected with biotic and abiotic interactions. Colour mediates so much of communication, from attracting mates to deterring hungry predators. But colour is also a physical property involved with thermoregulation, immunity, and environmental shielding.
Because colours interact with the environment in predictable and specific ways, they provide an excellent opportunity to relate environmental changes with organisms and their capacity to adapt in a variable world.
I am interested in the evolution and genetic basis of colour pattern traits in Lepidoptera.
Here, I study the mechanisms producing colour polymorphism in the wood tiger moth. Specifically, I aim to determine the genes involved in controlling colour patterns, and investigate the differences in regulatory networks between different morphs.
Jimi is an institution unto himself. He is the glue that holds everyone together. Outside of the lab he is a world-class e-sport champion and poker player (but he’ll never tell you).
I study how variation in colour, smell, and taste interact to influence the survival of the wood tiger moth during predation.
My main research revolves around the interactions between invertebrates and their endosymbiotic bacterial communities.
Aside from the moths’ interactions with bacterial communities, I am also interested in their physiological and behavioural immune functions as they resist the effects of pathogens.
I study the costs and fitness trade-offs of pyrrolizidine alkaloid sequestration in a generalist herbivore, the wood tiger moth.
Academy of Finland Research Scientist
My research probes how colours relate to visual perception, and how this may escalate fitness trade-offs in colouration, polymorphism and predator-prey interactions.
I use multispectral imaging, vision modelling and experimental approaches in the wood tiger moth system.
I started working as a Laboratory Coordinator in the Ecology & Evolution of Interactions Group in December 2020 at Viikki.
I’m passionate about larval rearing and keeping good care of the moth stock is my top priority. Entering the world of Arctia plantaginis moths has been a fantastic step in my technician career!
Chiara De Pasqual
My main interest lies in polymorphic colouration, animal behaviour and chemical communication.
My PhD work concerns sexual selection and chemical communication in the wood tiger moth, focusing on the potential differences in genotypes and pheromones in the Finnish population.
I study the genetic underpinnings of sex pheromones in wood tiger moth females, searching for a link between genotype and attractiveness.
This may help us better understand the potential role of sexual selection in maintaining two aposematic colour morphs.
Matleena Hänninen & Liisa Kartano
We are studying mechanisms of sexual selection to find whether higher female attractiveness translates into faster mating.
Nina Immonen & Tuisku Siirilä
One risk of global climate change for animals living in the northern hemisphere are unseasonable cold snaps in spring and early summer, which can be catastrophic for species incapable of adapting to change.
We use the wood tiger moth as a model for high latitude lepidoptera responding to extreme weather events. Together, we are testing the resilience of larvae to different durations of sub-zero temperatures.