Marja Heikkinen

Postdoctoral researcher
Mailing Address: 
Ecology & Genetics Research Unit
P.O. Box 3000
FI-90014 University of Oulu

Tel: +358 294481503


Thesis and objectives:

I started my PhD in 2010 after graduating from University of Jyväskylä. The title of my thesis is “The Domestication History of European Goose”. The knowledge about the subject is scarce and comes from archaeological findings and literature. I’m aiming to fill this gap with modern population and molecular genetic methods. My main research questions are to find out where and when goose was domesticated. I also want to gain understanding about the changes in the goose genome caused by domestication and what genes were involved in the process.

I have defended my thesis in 2017. My supervisors were Tanja Pyhäjärvi and Jouni Aspi from University of Oulu and Jeremy B. Searle from Cornell University.   

Research and interests:

As a lifelong animal lover I’m interested in the relationship between human and animal, which, in my opinion, is what animal domestication is essentially about. I find the domestication of goose a fascinating subject because it combines genetics with human history. The multidisciplinary subject is a real treat for a curious minded person.     

In my spare time I’m an avid reader, a tea addict, wannabe photographer, a yogi, a live music fan, a movie watcher and always dreaming about travelling (and every now and then making those dreams come true).


Personal website

Research Gate