Virpi Ahola


Description of research and teaching


My background is in statistics and bioinformatics. I joined the MRG group in 2009. Before that I have been working in various research projects starting from medical and pharmaceutical research in the University of Turku, and continuing to genomics research in the Agrifood Research Finland MTT. I have defended my PhD thesis in the University of Turku. My PhD thesis dealt with biological sequence analysis, more specially, conservation of protein sequence alignments and alignment quality.


I have broad interests in bioinformatics and statistical genomics. Currently, I am interested in the use of next generation sequencing to study natural populations, especially in studying natural selection and adaptive evolution of Glanville fritillary butterfly.

In the MRG group, I participate in the large genome project of the Glanville fritillary butterfly. The aim of this project is to sequence, assemble and annotate the whole genome of the Glanville fritillary, and to make a genetic map. Genomic sequence will be used, for instance, for studying influence of genomic variation to various life-history traits. The other projects include studying differences in variation among different Glanville fritillary populations using next generation transcriptome sequencing. These projects aim at identifying genomic regions responsible to selection in the Glanville fritillary butterfly.


Latest publications

  1. Sheep and cattle population dynamics based on ancient and modern DNA reflects key events in the human history of the North-East Baltic Sea Region

    Niemi, M., Sajantila, A., Ahola, V. & Vilkki, J., 2018, In : Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 18, p. 169-173 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  2. Karyotypes versus genomes: the nymphalid butterflies Melitaea cinxia, Danaus plexippus and D. chrysippus

    Traut, W., Ahola, V. M., Smith, D., Gordon, I. & ffrench-Constant, R., 2 Nov 2017, In : Cytogenetic and Genome Research. 153, 1, p. 46-53

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  3. Butterfly genomics: insights from the genome of Melitaea cinxia

    Ahola, V., Wahlberg, N. & Frilander, M. J., Apr 2017, In : Annales Zoologici Fennici. 54, 1-4, p. 275-291 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

View all (35) »

Latest activities

  1. 16th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

    Virpi Ahola (Speaker)
    20 Aug 201725 Aug 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  2. MRC Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) Meeting

    Virpi Ahola (Attendee)
    14 Aug 201716 Aug 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. Butterflies as Genomic Models in Ecology and Evolution

    Virpi Ahola (Speaker)
    27 Jul 201728 Jul 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

View all (42) »

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