Anton Lavrinienko

PhD Student
Mailing Address: 
Ecology & Genetics Research Unit
P.O. Box 3000
FI-90014 University of Oulu
Street Address: 
Office: B201
Linnanmaa Campus
University of Oulu
Oulu, Finland

Thesis and objectives:

“An integrated ‘omics and field-biology approach to understanding how wildlife copes with exposure to anthropogenic environmental radioactivity”.

During my PhD, I plan to do the first detailed examination of the genomic response shown by wildlife inhabiting areas contaminated by radioactive isotopes. I am also going to increase our knowledge in effect of ionizing radiation on metagenomics microbial community, as well as parasites burden (e.g. ectoparasites, blood parasites) in radioactively contaminated areas. Our study site is the area surrounding the former Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) at Chernobyl (Ukraine), with a small rodent Myodes glareolus as a model organism. Ionizing radiation in Chernobyl is known to be a strong environmental stressor on the wildlife, with detrimental biological impact on molecular, organismal, population and ecosystem level. My integrated research project with combination of ‘omics and field-biology approach will help us to provide a better understanding of the real impact of human-caused radiation on wildlife.

Research and interests:

Population genetics, Genomics, Molecular Ecology, Evolutionary Biology

Profile and background:

During my Master in the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine) I was working with the natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster in the field of Molecular Biology and Genetics. I estimated the mutational rate for a gene in D. melanogaster sampled from natural population of Ukraine, including those derived from Chernobyl exclusion zone. In addition, using bioinformatics methods, I determined the molecular nature of mutations in this gene. Starting from 2014, I am working on the so-called “Chernobyl Project” studying the radiation impact on the wildlife. Today, I was already participating in annual expeditions into Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, in the framework of the multinational Chernobyl and Fukushima Research Initiative (CFRI), led by Dr. Timothy Mousseau of University of South Carolina (USA), Dr. Anders Møller of Université Paris-Sud XI (France), Dr. Tapio Mappes (Finland) and Dr. Phillip Watts (Finland) and expedition into Fukushima area (Japan), with Dr. Mousseau and Dr. Mappes. In 2015, I luckily got the 4-year Open-Research position funded by UniOGS and move to Oulu to continue our projects on Chernobyl with Dr. Phillip Watts (PI), but from slightly other point of view.