Two New Academy Professors to University of Turku
Hannu Salmi is the Professor of Cultural History and the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

​The Academy of Finland selected eight new Academy Professors. Two of the professorships were granted to the University of Turku. A research post as Academy Professor is intended to give cutting-edge scientists and researchers the opportunity to engage in research full-time. Academy Professors are expected to significantly advance research in their field and to develop creative research environments.

Hannu Salmi is interested to research questions of cultural virality in the early nineteenth century, a period of central importance to the birth of modern Europe. The European boundaries were redrawn after the French Revolution, and at the same time cross-border movement gathered momentum in the wake of technological change. The growing influence of the press from the 1820s onwards contributed to advancing the development.  Salmi uses methods of text mining to trace forms of cultural contagion and virality in digital newspaper archives. Ultimately, his aim is to offer a reinterpretation of the whole concept of culture. His research will shed new light on the phenomenon of information and communications by developing a methodologically and conceptually innovative approach to a period that is quite well known in historical research.

Craig Primmer is the Professor of Genetics at the University of Turku.

Craig Primmer is interested in studying the relationship of phenotype to genotype at the molecular level as well as the genetic architecture of age at maturity, a life-history trait with important implications for adaptation in natural populations. This is a globally unique research project that is largely based on a study published in Nature magazine in 2015, in which Primmer and his team reported that a single gene (VGLL3) explained 40 per cent of the variation in sea-age at maturity in the Atlantic salmon. This was a surprising result, since it was previously thought that life-history traits are regulated by several genes. Primmer’s Academy Professor project will involve a pioneering combination of modelling and experimental work in an attempt to predict the impact of environmental change on the life-history traits of salmon. This research will provide important insights and information for fisheries management, and yield fundamental information about how the reduction in age at maturity in response to fishing can be prevented. Reduced age at maturity leads to declining fish sizes, smaller catches and lower catch values. The results are also important for puberty research in that the VGLL3 gene also affects age at maturity in humans. Craig Primmer also served as Academy Professor in 2011–2015.

Photos: University of Turku and PnP Research Group

Published date 6/22/2016 10:15 AM ,  Modified date 6/22/2016 10:33 AM

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