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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I'm an ecologist and evolutionary biologist who loves to do field work whether it is a tropical montane rainforest, alpine meadows or backalleys in city centers. Parasites and pathogens are my main interest and I like to work in the interface of human societies and synanthropic animals. I'm an active science communicator with a blog Kaiken takana on loinen and book Loputtomat loiset based on my blog.


My main interest is within-host symbiontic communities. I have mainly worked with parasites, such as helminths or tick-borne pathogens, but also studied non-pathogenic companions, such as gut microbiota. I have also worked on biology education research, where my interest is citizen science and conceptual change.

At the moment, I run Helsinki Urban Rat Project which is an interdisciplinary research program broadly aiming to understand the dynamics of urban rats in Helsinki and how human activities impact their lives and vice versa. My focus on this is rat population ecology, rat parasite community ecology and participatory methods on urban ecology.


I teach Introduction to Biology Education course to second-year students in biology to orientate them towards a teaching profession. In addition, I teach disease ecology, evolutionary parasitology, urban ecology, mammalogy and science communication. I also supervise MSc theses close to my research interests.

I have been a coauthor for several biology textbooks for upper secondary schools, I am involved in Finnish participation in International Biology Olympiad and a part of international committee for Tutki-Kokeile-Kehitä science competition.

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • 516 Educational sciences

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.