Yoland Savriama

Ph.D., Post-doctoral Researcher

yoland.savriama -at- helsinki.fi Publications Yoland

My research is at the interface between the concepts of evo-devo and analytical biology. I combine geometric morphometric methods (GMMs) and developmental genetic approaches to determine the developmental bases of morphological variation and to understand the effects of developmental stability, canalization and plasticity on the evolution of evolvability. The mechanisms that are involved in these processes are studied through the analysis of symmetry in different organisms with respect to biotic constraints (e.g., competition, developmental stress) and abiotic ones (e.g. chemical pollution).

I recently established a general method for the analysis of shape and size in any complex symmetric organism (e.g. radial symmetry in flowers and serial homology in arthropods). This new approach used fluctuating asymmetry to estimate developmental stability in biological entities with any type of symmetry and also to explore the underlying mechanisms of morphological integration and developmental modularity.

As part of the Saimaa Ringed Seal Genome Project, I use three-dimensional GMMs to address hypotheses of modularity, environmentally induced developmental instability, ontogenetic allometry, and sexual shape dimorphism in seals’ skulls and teeth. Also, I will explore the connection between candidate genes found in the currently sequenced seal genome and the specific morphological features that are precisely quantified with GMMs.