Principal Investigator

Arild Husby, e-mail: arild.husby[AT]


I have broad interests in the fields of ecological genetics and genomics, but am particularly interested in how changing environmental conditions impact genetic variation. I did my PhD at University of Edinburgh before moving to Uppsala University for a post doc. I then received a fellowship from the Norwegian Research Council to examine the genomic basis of adaptation to environmental change. Since october 2014 I am Assistant Professor at the Department of Biosciences at the University of Helsinki.

For more specific information about my research interests please see publication list in Tuhat.



Post docs


Heidi Viitaniemi


I have a broad interest in evolutionary biology but my main interest is on how the molecular mechanisms and their interplay affect the phenotype we see in the nature. I worked with these topics while doing my PhD in the University of Turku where I examined the threespine stickleback genome


Jostein Gohli

Jostein_Gohli_passfotoI am an evolutionary biologist by training, whose two major research interests are 1) the link between micro- and macroevolution, and 2) the link between ecology and macroevolution. I generally find projects and systems I know little about to be the most exciting – my greatest desire is to learn, my greatest fear is the pigeonhole.

During my stay at the Husby lab, I will work on identifying the molecular basis for adaptive evolution of house sparrow morphometry.

Feel free to contact me at


Petri Kemppainen

I have wide range of experience in evolutionary biology, mainly focusing on understanding adaptive evolution in natural populations through novel approaches to population genomic analyses. I have worked with many different model organisms, including marine periwinkles (Littorina fabalis and L. obtusata) in Europe, malaria mosquitoes (Anopheles baimaii) in SE Asia (NE India and Myanmar), island populations of house sparrows in Northern Norway as well as various vascular plants (Carex spp.) and mosses (Sphagnum magellanicum). Most of these projects have in some way been related to either landscape genomics (understanding how population demographic history affects geographical patterns of genome variation) and/or understanding how selection (natural, as well as artificial) affects genome wide patterns of genetic variation. As both natural and selective forces affect genome variation, one can not be considered independently from the other. In my work I have demonstrated how these two can be considered simultaneously, for instance by jointly considering statistical associations between loci distributed across the whole genome using network analytical tools. I have also demonstrated how family structure within natural or experimental populations can affect statistical associations between genetic loci under selection and traits that being selected for, and how to account for this bias when assessing the significance of these associations. As analytical tools for studying population genomic data sets still considerably lag behind the magnitude of such data that is already available (in particular in natural populations of non-model organisms), I am devoted to further testing and improving existing methods as well as developing novel ways to analyse and make the most use of such data.


Michelle di Leo

Michelle is a population geneticist and works under the supervision of Marjo Saastamoinen and myself on landscape genetics of the Glanville fritillary butterfly.





Abhilash Nair (starting soon)

I am an evolutionary biologist, with a background in population and conservation genetics. My research interest is in understanding the factors that generate and maintain genetic diversity in wild populations and in understanding the genetic basis of adaptation in populations to varying environments. I have been involved in multiple projects some of which are on cryptic diversity of amphibians in south-east Asia, adaptation in sticklebacks in Baltic sea and spatial genetic structure of parasitoids of Glanville fritillary butterfly in Aland islands. In Husby’s lab, I will be working on the population structure and plasticity of wing-polymorphism in water-striders.




PhD students

I currently co-supervise two PhD students at NTNU, Norway.

Sarah Lundregan, NTNU.

Dilan Saatoğlu, NTNU.



Master students


Tanya Troitsky

I am a master’s student majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Helsinki, with a background in environmental sciences. I will be writing my master’s thesis on the heritability of gut microbiota in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) under the supervision of Aura Raulo and Arild Husby this coming fall.






Catarina Silva, post doc, 2015-2017. Current position: post doc at James Cook University, Australia

Eryn McFarlane, PhD student (co-supervisor), 2013-2017. Current position: post doc at Uppsala University, Sweden

Helge Bjerck, NTNU, MSc student (co-supervisor), 2014-2016.