Current members

Dr. Anne Duplouy- Group Leader

I am fascinated by the interactions between eukaryotic hosts and their microbial symbionts, particularly their evolution in changing environments. I completed my PhD at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia, and then moved to Helsinki for my first research fellowship, where I worked on population genetics and adaptation in the Glanville fritillary butterfly. After a couple of years at the University of Lund on a Marie Curie Fellowship, I am now back in Helsinki as the leader of the Insect Symbiosis Ecology and Evolution research group

Federica Valerio - Postdoctoral researcher

I have a PhD in Genetic and Molecular Biology from the University of Pavia, Italy (2021).
I am now working on a comparative genomics project aiming at characterizing the genomic diversity of Wolbachia in various insects, their phylogenetic relationship and evolutionary history.

Camila S. Beraldo - PhD student

I joined the ISEE lab as a graduate student in December 2019. I am fascinated by symbiotic relationships and how they affect the evolution of the species involved in the interaction. Currently, I am working on the diversity, transmission, and evolution of bacterial symbionts in the insect community associated with the ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata). To address my questions, I am combining fieldwork across the Åland archipelago, Finland, experiments in the laboratory, molecular work, and phylogenetic analyses.  I am funded by LUOVA, and co-supervised by Dr. Saskya van Nouhuys from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India.

Uxue R. Rodriguez - Research assistant / Master student

I am interested in plant symbiosis, evolution and adaptation. I graduated in genetics in Barcelona and joined a Master program in plant biology at the University of Helsinki. I first joined the ISEE lab as a research assistant in the lab and now study the quadripartite interaction between insect, their symbionts, their host plant, and plant viral pathogens. Project co-supervised by Dr. Hanna Susi from the University of Helsinki.

Jenny Malmberg - Master student

I wrote my bachelor thesis on mosquito ecology and strategies to combat malaria. I am intrigued by insect ecology. My Master studies investigates the effect of male-male competition and sex-ratio distortion on females’ reproductive organs in butterflies.
Project co-supervised by Dr. Pasi Sihvonen from LUOMUS natural history museum, the University of Helsinki.

Susanna Linna - Master student

I have a BSc in Molecular Biosciences. I am now a student in the Genetics and Molecular Biosciences MSc programme at the University of Helsinki. I have a special interest in health and disease, and thus chose Molecular and Analytical Health Biosciences as my major. I joined the ISEE lab in 2021 to conduct research on the microbiota of caterpillars from natural habitats with different degrees of anthropogenic degradation.

Elina Hanhimaki - Technical assistant

I am a microbiologist enthusiast with an interest in the versatile connections between animals and their associated microbiota. I have a BSc degree in Biology (2018) and a MSc degree in Genetics (2021) from the University of Oulu, Finland. I completed both degrees by studying gut microbiota diversity. I am now a Technical assistant in the ISEE lab, investigating variation in microbiota and metagenomic data.

Ruby Kaiser - Visiting student

I am interested in environmental microbiology and the intersection between microbes and ecology/evolution. I have received my BS from Sonoma State University in molecular and cellular biology (2021). My capstone project involved using antibiotics to better understand microbial symbiont's interactions with their insect host, the willow leaf beetle (Chrysomela aeneicollis). I appreciate the intersection between laboratory work, field work, and data analysis in scientific research. I am currently analyzing microbial and genomic data of the willow leaf beetle (Chrysomela aeneicollis) and their symbionts.

Past members

  • Arttu Saarinen - Bachelor student
  • Mikael Englund - Summership
  • Cornelia Martel - Master student
  • Aude Giraud - Intern
  • Meri Lahteenaro - Summership
  • Zana Sinko - Professional school lab trainee
  • Shravya Kadali - Master student
  • Szabolcs Péterfi  - Professional school lab trainee
  • Junchen Deng - Master student
  • Daniel Blande - postdoc
  • Olivera Stojilovic - Intern
  • Isa Bengzon - Bachelor thesis
  • Carolina Sánchez Carpena - ERASMUS
  • Ekaterina Pylsy - Professional school lab trainee
  • Minna Kohonen - Summership


  • Dr. Oskar Brattstrom - Butterfly taxonomy and evolution - University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Dr. Sylvain Charlat - Dynamics of host/parasite associations - CNRS, University of Lyon 1, France.
  • Dr. Michelle Di Leo - Population genetics and genomics - The University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • Ilkka Hanski - Metapopulation, population/community ecology and evolution. Founder of the Metapopulation Research Centre - The University of Helsinki, Finland. Prof.
  • Prof. Greogory Hurst - Eco-evolution of host-parasite interactions - University of Liverpool, UK.
  • Dr. Inaki Iturbe-Ormaetxe - Eco-evolutionary biology of wolbachia-host interactions - Monash University, Melbourne Australia.
  • Dr. Jean-Yves Meyer - Botanist and conservation biologist - Tahiti, French Polynesia.
  • Prof. Nathan Rank - Plant/herbivore/pathogen interactions - Sonoma State University, USA.
  • Dr. Ayco Tack - Interactions plants/microbes/insects - Stockholm University, Sweden.
  • Scott O'Neill - Evolution of Wolbachia and its effect on its host, and developing a new biocontrol strategy to reduc transmission of mosquito-borne diseases - Monash University, Melbourne Australia. Prof.
  • Dr. Amy Truitt - Symbionts, conservation biology - Portland State University, Oregon, USA.  
  • Prof. Niklas Wahlberg - Systematics, evolutionary history of Lepidoptera - Lund University, Sweden.
  • Prof. Scott Beatson - Genomics of infectious diseases - University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Dr. Neil Davies - Executive director of the Moorea Gump Research Station, University of Berkeley (French Polynesia).
  • Dr. Jan Engelstadter - Mathematical modelling of the evolution of reproductive parasite.
  • Dr. Emily A. Hornett - Ecology and evolution of symbiotic bacteria in butterflies - University of Liverpool, UK.
  • Dr. Rainer Lehtonen - Genomics and genetics - The University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • Dr. Wolfgang J. Miller - Functional and evolutionary dynamics of symbiotic systems - University of Vienna, Austria.
  • Dr. Marjo Saastamoinen - Environmental stress in natural populations - The University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Dr. Vicencio Oostra - Evolution in changing environments - University of Liverpool, UK.
  • Dr. Saskya van Nouhuys - Community ecology and evolution - Cornell University, USA.
  • Dr. Fabrice Vavre- Host/symbionts interactions - CNRS, University of Lyon 1, France.
  • Dr. Megan Woolfit- Bioinformatics, genetics and genomics - Monash University, Melbourne Australia.