• PL 65 (Viikinkaari 1)



  • Viikinkaari 1, Biocentre 3

    00790 Helsinki


1986 …2023

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching


Please be aware that information in this database is only for my time as employee of the University of Helsinki. Also be aware that the network of collaborators includes only other researchers in this same database and so is missing all national and international collaborators outside the university. To see my full list of publications please use ORCID http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3385-972X and ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pedro_Aphalo

Please see our lab's website at http://blogs.helsinki.fi/senpep-blog/ for further information on our research, and my personal blog and pages at http://blogs.helsinki.fi/aphalo/ for information on teaching. For details on software I have developed for photobiological calculations see http://www.r4photobiology.info/.

In addition be aware that the dates of affiliation are wrong: I have held my current position as University lecturer in Plant Physiological Ecology since 2006-03-01 without interruption.

Curriculum vitae

I studied agricultural engineering, with specialization in crop breeding, at the Faculty of Agronoy of the University of Buenos Aires. At this time I started doing research and never stopped. My M.Sc. in plant production was also from this faculty. In Buenos Aires I was at the IFEVA in Prof. Rodolfo A. Sánchez's group. I went to the University of Edinburgh for my PhD studies, in Prof. Paul Jarvis' group. Then I moved to Finland, initially to Suonenjoki, to METLA's research station headed by Dr. Heikki Smolander.  Later I worked at the universities of Joensuu and Jyväskylä before moving to Helsinki. Early in my career I worked on whole-plant physiology with both ornamentals and wild native plants, later I shifted the focus to trees and to more ecologically and environmentally oriented questions. More recently we have started using molecular biology tools to study ecophysiological problems. In addition to the research described in these pages, I have taken part in research on other subjects: mineral nutrition (mainly the micronutrient boron and the role of mycorrhizas in its uptake); effects of low soil temperatures on tree growth and gas exchange; and physiology of stomata and the control of transpiration. We still have active research on this Iast subject and on the use by plants of visible and ultraviolet radiation environmental cues and signals as sources of information for anticipated acclimation. We have done both real world experiments and developed simulation models. Our recent work with highest impact has been related to the study of sunlight perception and signalling using state-of-the-art molecular methods such as RNAseq in plants grown or exposed outdoors. The research group I lead is called SenPEP. SenPEP stands for Sensory Photobiology and Ecophysiology of Plants. Please see our web site at http://blogs.helsinki.fi/senpep-blog/ for more information. I am also the communications officer of the UV4Plants scientific association (http://www.uv4plants.org/), and the editor-in-chief of the UV4Plants Bulletin.

I have held university lecturer positions both in Statistics and Environmental Metrics (University of Jyväskylä) and Plant Physiological Ecology (University of Helsinki). I also hold a docentship in Physiological Plant Ecology (University of Eastern Finland). I currently organize and teach four courses at MSc level: Sensory and physiological ecology of plants, Ecosystem ecology, Design and planning of biological experiments, and Using R for reproducible data analysis. I also regularly teach and contribute to the organization of PhD level courses in Plant Photobiology. I have organized and/or taught at European training schools on photobiology methods as well as similar events for research organizations. I have been the coordinator of the work group on UV-research methods and technology of the UV4Growth COST Action, which lead to the publication of a Handbook of Methods. I am currently the editor-in-chief of the UV4Plants Bulletin and the Communications officer for the U4Plants Association. I am the scientific coordinator of RCAFi the network of Argentinian researchers in Finland.

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • Photobiology
  • Physiological ecology
  • Sensory ecology
  • Acclimation
  • Transgenerational acclimation
  • Ecotypes
  • Plants
  • 4111 Agronomy
  • Agroecology
  • Crop physiology
  • Growth lights and LEDs
  • Acclimation
  • 4112 Forestry
  • Forest nurseries
  • Forest ecology

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.


Contributions of cryptochromes and phototropins to stomatal opening through the day

Wang, F., Robson, T. M., Casal, J. J. & Aphalo, P. J., 12 Feb 2020, In : Functional Plant Biology. 47, 3, p. 226-238 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

DLI & spectra app' providing information about variation in DLI and light quality under screens and nets anywhere in the world

Kotilainen, T., Aphalo, P. J., Robson, T. M. & Cerliani, L., 2020, Acta Horticulturae.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The photoreceptor UVR8 mediates the perception of both UV-B and UV-A wavelengths up to 350 nm of sunlight with responsivity moderated by cryptochromes

Rai, N., O'Hara, A., Farkas, D., Safronov, O., Ratanasopa, K., Wang, F., Lindfors, A. V., Jenkins, G. I., Lehto, T., Salojärvi, J., Brosché, M., Strid, Å., Aphalo, P. J. & Morales, L. O., 13 Mar 2020, In : Plant, Cell and Environment.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

A perspective on ecologically relevant plant-UV research and its practical application

Robson, T. M., Aphalo, P. J., Banas, A. K., Barnes, P. W., Brelsford, C. C., Jenkins, G. I., Kotilainen, T. K., Labuz, J., Martinez-Abaigar, J., Morales, L. O., Neugart, S., Pieriste, M., Rai, N., Vandenbussche, F. & Jansen, M. A. K., 1 May 2019, In : Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. 18, 5, p. 970-988 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access



Station alpine Joseph Fourier

T Matthew Robson (Visiting researcher), Pedro Aphalo (Visiting researcher), Santa Neimane (Visiting researcher), Twinkle Solanki (Visiting researcher), Beatriz Fernández-Marín (Visiting researcher), Jose Ignacio Garcia-Plazaola (Visiting researcher)
22 May 201930 May 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

University College Cork

Pedro Aphalo (Visiting researcher)
24 Oct 201827 Oct 2018

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

Making Science Useful to Agriculture

Pedro Aphalo (Member of organizing committee)
26 Nov 201829 Nov 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

UV4Plants network meeting

T Matthew Robson (Member of organizing committee), T Matthew Robson (Scientific Committee Vice Chair), Thomas Matthew Robson (Abstract reviewer), Thomas Matthew Robson (Speaker: Chair), Thomas Matthew Robson (Speaker: Presenter), Thomas Matthew Robson (Poster Presentation), Pedro J. Aphalo (Poster Presentation), Titta Katariina Kotilainen (Speaker: Presenter), Luis Orlando Morales Suarez (Speaker: Presenter), Neha Rai (Speaker: Presenter), Yan Yan (Poster Presentation), Craig Brelsford (Speaker: Presenter), Twinkle Solanki (Poster Presentation), Marta Pieristè (Poster Presentation), Marieke Trasser (Poster Presentation)
15 Apr 201818 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Teaching and Organisation of Training School in UV Plant Photobiology

T Matthew Robson (Teacher), Pedro J. Aphalo (Teacher), Twinkle Solanki (Participant)
13 Apr 201815 Apr 2018

Activity: Other activity typesTypes for other activities - External teaching and subject coordination