1.1. 2013–31.12. 2017
Ecology, evolutionary biology and ecophysiology, genetics, developmental biology and physiology systems biology, bioinformatics
University of Helsinki
Juha Merilä is Professor of Population Genetics at the University of Helsinki. His research fields are ecology, evolutionary biology and ecophysiology, genetics, developmental biology and physiology, systems biology and bioinformatics. He has previously worked as Academy Professor in 2006–2011, when his team was also part of the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in Evolutionary Genetics and Physiology.
With his new breakthroughs, Professor Merilä has inspired both research and thinking in a number of subfields of evolutionary biology and has developed genetic approaches to several generally interesting questions. Merilä’s studies on phenotypic genetics and genotype-environment interaction in natural populations have been trailblazing and highly topical. During his term as Academy Professor, he will investigate cryptic adaptation and convergent evolution by applying modern genomic and statistical methods. As a model organism, Merilä uses ninespine sticklebacks, whose isolated northern small-lake populations are very suitable for model systems in gene mapping. The research results will be significant to gain a better understanding of the evolution and preservation of biological biodiversity but also of climate change adaptation and the evolution of fisheries.