Tuomas Aivelo


I am gay and I am a disease ecologist and evolutionary biologist, and biology education researcher and teacher educator. //

I’ve had a fascination for life and nature all my life, and I knew quite early on that biology was going to be what I wanted to do. Now I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, studying parasites and pathogens. Previously, I worked with mouse lemur helminths in Madagascar and tick-borne pathogens in Switzerland, but now I am running a project practically in my backyard. I have just started a project on urban rats in Helsinki, which combines a range of approaches from citizen science to understand rat population dynamics and sequencing to identify their pathogens to social science and educational studies to understand the importance of rats in an urban setting. I am also doing quite a lot research in biology education, where my burgeoning interest lies in genetics and developmental biology education: “How I became me” is a very relevant question for teenagers, and biology definitely holds some of the answers. I am hoping to pass on my enthusiasm by educating the next generation of biology teachers. Add a healthy dose of science outreach and communication, and my free time pretty much involves just me lying down on the couch with my husband.

Twitter: @aivelo