While doing my Master’s at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), I thought it would be fun to try and do my fieldwork in my native Canada. I made a few phone calls to the Yukon Territory Department of Environment and asked: “What do you want me to research? Is there a chance you might pay me to do that?”. The outcome of those calls is my work with thinhorn sheep behaviour and genetics. My Master’s work focussed on the effect of human disturbance on sheep behaviour and then in the PhD I moved on to investigate the role of colour polymorphisms in the thinhorn system, a trade-off between growth and longevity, and a phylogeography of North American mountain sheep.
After graduating at the end of 2006, I took some paternity leave and then started into my postdoc with Juha Merilä's group (EGRU) in Helsinki in the fall of 2007. Juha's group is an incredibly stimulating place to be for an evolutionary biologist and I very much enjoyed my time there. In EGRU I started into investigating the heritability of fluctuating asymmetry in lateral plates in threespine sticklebacks, as well as habitat differences in asymmetry of wild populations. In the fall of 2008, I started to get really keen on investigating human behaviour, morphology and evolution. With a bit of digging, I came across some amazing historical datasets, and I had a great opportunity to gather data in behavioural experiments in the fall of 2009 in Jyväskylä.
In April 2010 I was hired on as the research and education co-ordinator at the University of Helsinki's Lammi biological station. The station is an wonderful facility for research and I'm very happy to be a part of the team. My research still continues on it's past themes, and I'm eagerly planning more.
Publication: Contribution to journal › A1 Refereed journal article
Merilä, J., Kuparinen, A., Cano Arias, J. M., Gienapp, P., Herczeg, G., McCairns, S., Shikano, T., Shimada, Y., Teacher, A., Trokovic, N., Ab Ghani, N. I., De Faveri, J., Gonda, M. A., Nair, A., Panda, B., Turtiainen, M. T., Välimäki, K. S., Loehr, J., Leinonen, T., Jaatinen, K., Knopp, T., Mäkinen, H. S., Piha, H. E., Söderman, F., Haataja, M., Li, M., Matsuba, C. & Jaari, S.
02.03.11 → …
Project: Research Evaluation 2011