Jonna Kulmuni, Docent

  • PL 65 (Viikinkaari 1)



  • Viikinkaari 1, Biocentre 3

    00790 Helsinki



Forskningsoutput per år

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Personlig profil


CV, Jonna Katharina Kulmuni (former Saapunki), ORCID: 0000-0002-8852-0793, Born: 31.7.1982 Finspång Sweden, Citizenship: Finnish, Website:


I am interested in understanding evolution from molecular level to processes acting in natural populations. Currently I am six years post PhD and have published 12 papers including two in PNAS and one in TREE. Five of my papers have been cited more than 25 times. Altogether I have raised over 1,7 Million € for my research and have been the main supervisor in over ten projects.

1. Degrees awarded

Sept. 2018       Title of Docent, Evolutionary Biology,University of Helsinki, Finland

Sept. 2013       PhD, Genetics, University of Oulu, Finland, PhD thesis “Genetic differences between species and their implications for speciation and adaptation in ants” supervised by Prof. Pekka Pamilo

Oct. 2010         MSc, Science communication, University of Oulu, Finland, MSc thesis: “Public understanding of evolution”

Dec. 2006        MSc, Biology, University of Oulu, Finland, Master’s thesis: “Genetic differences between sexes and population structure in Formica aquilonia” supervised by Prof. Pekka Pamilo

2. Employment history

2019-               Academy of Finland research fellow, University of Helsinki, (team of 6 people)

2017- 19          Principal Investigator, Group leader (team of 5 people), funded as HiLIFE fellow and Marie Curiefellow

2017-18           Independent Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Helsinki, CoE Biological Interactions,

                        Academy of Finland post-doctoral fellowship to Dr. Kulmuni

2017                Independent Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Helsinki, CoE Biological Interactions

                        Human Frontiers Science Program Long-term Fellowship to Dr. Kulmuni

2014-16           Independent Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK, working with Prof. Butlin

                        Human Frontiers Science Program Long-term Fellowship to Dr. Kulmuni, Cultural foundation grant to Dr. Kulmuni

2013-14           Post-Doctoral researcher, University of Helsinki, working with Prof. Sundström

                                    Funded by Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions and Post doc pool grant to Dr. Kulmuni

2007-2013       PhD student, Supervisor Prof. Pekka Pamilo, University of Oulu, Biocenter graduate school grant to Kulmuni

3. Career breaks

2013                On maternity leave for 10 months during  (2nd child)

2011                On maternity leave for 10 months (1st child)

4. Research funding


2019-               Academy of Finland fellow (5-years), , PI Dr. Kulmuni, Project: “Evolution through time and space in hybrid populations” (900 000 €)

2017-               HiLIFE fellowship, PI Dr. Kulmuni, Project: “Speciation in Ants” (180 000€)


2018                HiLIFE Grand Challenge “Understanding Biological Resilience”, Helsinki Institute of Life Science, co-investigator, original idea was developed by Prof. Thorogood, Prof. Primmer and me (180 000€)

2017                Marie Curie fellow, PI Dr. Kulmuni, project “SpecIAnt” (Speciation In Ants) (190 000 €)

2017                Academy of Finland post-doctoral fellowship, PI Dr. Kulmuni, Project: “Solving Darwin’s mystery: The origin of species and its genetic and epigenetic basis” (300 000 €)

2015                Grant from University of Sheffield to Dr. Kulmuni to hire a student for summer project

2015                Grant from University of Sheffield to Dr. Kulmuni to hire a student for On CampUS Placement project

2015                Finnish Cultural Foundation grant, PI Dr. Kulmuni, 22 000 € for laboratory & traveling expenses

2014                Human Frontiers Science Program Long-term fellowship, PI Dr. Kulmuni, Project: “The role of methylation and gene expression in hybrid incompatibilities and speciation” (3 years, 155 000 €)

2013                Foundations post doc pool grant, PI Dr. Kulmuni, Project: The genetic and epigenetic basis of speciation in mound-building wood ants” (2 year grant for post-doctoral research, of which 6 months / 30 000 € used)

2009-2013       Biocenter Oulu Graduate School position to J Kulmuni, four-year grant for PhD studies

5. Leadership and supervision

Current            Leading a team consisting of 3 PhD students, 1 post doc and 2 MSc students in 2019

2019-               Primary supervisor for MSc student (Elisa Nygård, Univ. Helsinki) Secondary supervisor for Beatriz Portinha, Lisbon University, Portugal) 

2018-               Primary supervisor of Postdoctoral researcher Pierre Nouhaud, Univ. of Helsinki

2019-               Primary supervisor of PhD student Raphael Martin-Roy, Univ. of Helsinki

2018-               Primary supervisor of PhD student Ina Satokangas, Univ. of Helsinki

2016-               Primary supervisor of PhD student Jack Beresford, Univ. of Helsinki

Past                 Primary supervisor of 9 student projects (2 MSc & 6 interns) (Univ. Helsinki & Sheffield 2014-2018)

6. Teaching

2017-19           Planned and Co-organized a new MSc course in Evolutionary Biology, Helsinki (Topic: Detecting natural selection from DNA sequences, Genetics of speciation and adaptation) contact teaching hours: 28 h/year

2015, 2016      Teaching on BSc course “Topics in Evolutionary Genetics”, Sheffield, UK (contact teaching hours 20, Topic: Genetics of speciation)

2014, 2015      Guest lecturer on BSc course “Evolutionary Biology”, Sheffield, UK (2h/year, Topic: Social Evolution)

2014, 2017-18 Lecturer on a BSc course “Evolutionary Biology”, Helsinki (6h/ year, Topic: Genome evolution, Molecular Evolution and phylogenomics)

2012                Teaching on BSc course “Principles of Evolutionary Biology”, Helsinki (8h, Topic: Population genetics)

7. Awards & Other Academic Merits

2020                Invited opponent for PhD thesis, University of Innsbruck

2018                Invited mentor for Gordon Research Seminar in Speciation, Ventura CA

2018                Co-organizing the weekly Organismal and Evolutionary Biology seminar, University of Helsinki

2017                Selected junior talk at the Gordon Research Conference in Speciation (Italy)

2017                Referee for BBSRC grant application

2015-2016       Organizing the weekly Evolution, Ecology and Environment seminar, University of Sheffield, UK

2014                Second best talk in National Molecular Ecology Meeting (Turku, Finland)

2008-2014       Organizer in 3 scientific meetings in Finland (e.g. Biocenter Day Oulu, Nordforsk meeting)

Scientific output

Total scientific publications: 12  (+ 2 in Biorxiv) out of which 8 without my PhD supervisor

h-index: 7, citations: 236 (51 citation in year 2018), two papers in PNAS (IF 9.5), one in MBE (IF 10.2) and one in TREE (IF 15.2). I have presented at 21 conferences and given a talk in three previous international evolutionary biology, ESEB meetings (1400-1700 participants). Organized symposium at scientific meetings ESEB (France) and IUSSI (Helsinki). Lead guest Editor in Special Issue in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.

Refereed for

TREE, Evolution letters, Insectes Sociaux, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Ecology, Zoologica Scripta, BMC Evolutionary Biology, Ecological Entomology, Heredity, Myrmecological News, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, PeerJ

Invited speaker

2014-2020 Univ. of Edinburgh, Univ. of Sheffield, Univ. of Innsbruck, SMBE workshop in Speciation Genomics (Sweden), University of Cambridge, University of Turku, Eawag (Switzerland), University of Oulu, Gullbeckian Institute Lisbon, University of Regensburg, Invited talk at International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) meeting, Cairns, Australia

Utbildning / akademisk kvalifikation

Biology, population genetics, PhD, University of Oulu, Oulu

… → 2013

Science communication, Msc, University of Oulu, Oulu

… → 2010

Biology, Msc, University of Oulu, Oulu

… → 2006


  • 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete

Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.
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