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.
Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher
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.
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.
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 am interested in better understanding the positive and negative effects of sexual selection on a population level.
My PhD focuses on whether strong sexual selection, female choosiness and male harassment could increase the extinction risk of wood tiger moth populations.