Jonna Kulmuni

Dr Jonna Kulmuni Human Frontier Science Program Fellow – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Jonna Kulmuni’s love of nature began at an early age but biology wasn’t her strongest subject. The challenge was what drove her to pursue a biological career and she fell in love with ants during her Masters degree, where she worked with a very supportive group and continued on to a PhD. At the same time, she completed a Masters in Science Communication – an invaluable experience, which has supported her career ever since and seen her become increasingly engaged in public outreach. She came to Sheffield in 2014 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and is always thinking ahead about the next opportunity to apply for funding.

Jonna is now a Principal Investigator at the University of Helsinski. Click here for full staff profile, including research interests, publication list and other activities.

I want to recreate the atmosphere that nurtured me at the beginning of my scientific career and I want to give that back to the scientific community.

Career Timeline

2006

MSc, Biology, University of Oulu, Finland

2007

Visits to primary school and teaching 1st and 2nd graders about ants

2007

Vice President of Science communication Student Organization, Uni of Oulu

2007

Talk on Evolutionary Biology of Communication – workshop, Copenhagen, Denmark

2008

Talk at IUSSI meeting (International Union for Study of Social Insects), Belgia

2009

Talk at Nordic Network in Social Evolution, Reykjavik, Iceland

2009

Interviewed by local news about ants

2009

Invited expert in a public discussion about evolution and religion One of the five panelist at an open debate organized by church

2009

Presentation at Kaamos Symposium, Oulu, Finland (best presentation award)

2010

Researcher (3 months), Science communication, working with Prof. Erkki Karvonen

2010

MSc, Science communication, University of Oulu, Finland

2010

Talk at Conference of Media Studies, Tampere, Finland

2010

Second author paper

Seifert, B Kulmuni J & Pamilo, P. (2010) Independent hybrid populations of Formica polyctena X rufa wood ants (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) abound under conditions of forest fragmentation. Evolutionary Ecology. 24(5):1219-1237.

2010

First author paper

Kulmuni J, Seifert B & Pamilo, P. (2010) Segregation distortion causes large-scale differences between male and female genomes in hybrid ants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107(16): 7371-7376.

2011

On maternity leave for 10 months (1st child)

2011

Presentation at Genetics seminar, Oulu, Finland

2012

Teaching on a course “Principles of Evolutionary Biology”, University of Helsinki, Finland (8h, Topic: Population genetics)

2012

Presentation at IUSSI meeting (International Union for Study of Social Insects) Montecatini Terme, Italy

2013

On maternity leave for 10 months (2nd child)

2013

Foundations post doc pool (grant for post-doctoral research, 30 000 €)

2013

PhD, Biology, University of Oulu, Finland

2013

First author paper

Kulmuni J, Wurm Y & Pamilo P. (2013) Comparative genomics of chemosensory protein genes reveals rapid evolution and positive selection in ant-specific duplicates. Heredity. 110(6):538-47.

2013

First author paper

Kulmuni J & Havukainen H. (2013) Insights into the Evolution of the CSP Gene Family through the Integration of Evolutionary Analysis and Comparative Protein Modeling. PLoS ONE. 8(5):e63688.

2013

Interviewed by Heredity podcast on gene duplications

2013

Main result of my doctoral thesis was reported in local media

2013

Post-Doctoral researcher (1 year), Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions

2014

Lecturer on a course “Evolutionary Biology”, University of Helsinki, Finland (6h, Topic: Molecular Evolution and phylogenetics)

2014

Talk at IUSSI meeting (International Union for Study of Social Insects) Montecatini Terme, Italy

2014

Primary supervisor of a master’s thesis, University of Helsinki, Finland (Topic: Molecular evolution of chemosensory genes in ants)

2014

Human Frontiers Science Program long-term fellowship (3 years, 155 000 €)

2014

Second year “Topics in Evolutionary Genetics”course (guest lecturer)

2014

Talk at Departmental EEE Seminar, Sheffield, UK

2014

Other author paper

Morandin C, Havukainen H, Kulmuni J, Dhaygude K, Trontti K & Helanterä H. (2014) Not only for egg yolk – functional and evolutionary insights from expression, selection and structural analyses of Formica ant vitellogenins. Mol Biol Evol. 2014 Aug;31(8):2181-93.

2014

First author paper

Kulmuni J & Pamilo, P. (2014) Introgression in hybrid ants is favored in females but selected against in males. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1323045111.

2014

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow – Human Frontier Science Program Long-term Fellow, Working with Prof. Roger Butlin, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Sheffield, UK

2014

Invited speaker for “The evolution of Chemosensory proteins in ants”, International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Cairns, Australia, 2014

2014

Speaker at PopUp Science, Cairns, Australia Talking about science on the streets of Cairns.

http://www.popupscience.co.uk/cairns/

2015

Finnish Cultural Foundation (22 000 € for laboratory and traveling expenses)

2015

Presentation at PopGroup meeting, Sheffield, UK

2015

Talk at ESEB meeting, Lausanne, Switzerland

2015

Supervisor for a SURE project (summer project for 2nd year student)

2015

Supervisor for OnCampus Placement project (100 hours lab based project for 3rd year students, UK)

2015

Primary supervisor of a Master’s in research project, University of Sheffield, UK

2015

Speaker at Virtual LifeScience: Over the course of six months pupils from Year 9 will research, design and develop a series of artworks based on the work of eight life science researchers

2015–2016

Organizing the weekly Evolution, Ecology and Environment seminar series at the dept. Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK

2016

Organiser for a symposium titled “Insights from social insects into open questions in adaptation and speciation” at the International Union for the Study of Social Insects meeting, Helsinki, Finland, August 2016

2016

Second year “Topics in Evolutionary Genetics”course

2016

School visit at the Lydgate infant school : Made an interactive demo on ant language and research