18 January 2024

Petteri Karisto
Plant Health, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Jokioinen.

I am a researcher at Luke studying horticultural pathogens among other things. I was previously postdoc in Hanna Kokko’s group at University of Zürich. Before that, I finished my doctoral studies in the Plant Pathology Group of ETH Zürich. I have a B.Sc. degree in biology and M.Sc. in biomathematics from the University of Helsinki.

I am interested in theoretical ecology. I am working on the interface of theory and practice e.g. combining mathematical models to experimental studies for improved scientific output. Application of theoretical results into practice really inspires me.

Special skills

  • Learning fast
  • Lots of questions
  • Lots of ideas
  • Open sharing of ideas and plans


  • 2019, Dr. sc., Plant Pathology, ETH Zurich
  • 2016, M.Sc., Biomathematics, University of Helsinki
  • 2014, B.Sc., Eco-Evo, University of Helsinki

Research experience

  • 8_2021 – present: Research scientist, Natural Resources Institute Finland.
  • 8/2019 – 8/2021: Postdoc at University of Zürich. Supervisor: Prof. Hanna Kokko
  • 6/2016 – 7/2019: Doctoral student at ETH Zürich. Supervisors: Dr. Alexey Mikaberidze, Prof. Dr. Bruce McDonald.
  • 6/2015 – 8/2015: Research internship at the University of Helsinki. Supervisor: Dr. Eva Kisdi.

Teaching and supervision experience

  • 2017 – 2018 Supervised six and three months research projects of two master’s students.
  • 2016 – 2018 Teaching in a practical course in plant pathology / microbiology. Three days course, three times. Additionally a one-day course once.
  • 2016 – 2018 Lead a group of research assistants in projects related to the doctoral work. In total nine assistants, at maximum five at a time.
  • 2014 Exercise instructor in an introductory course on linear algebra. Three months, 5h/week.

Peer-reviewd publications (Scholar profile; OA = Open Access;)

Grants & Awards

  • 2024. Horizon Europe grant from EU Mission: Adaptation to Climate Change to demonstrate climate resilience in forestry and agriculture.
  • 2022- present. Research Grant from Maiju and Yrjö Rikala Horticurtural foundation (Maiju ja Yrjö Rikalan Puutarhasäätiö) to study alternative control of Pythium-disease in green houses.
  • 2019. 5000 euros personal grant for supporting successful young scientists. Emil Aaltonen’s foundation.
  • 2018. 5000 euros personal grant for doctoral candidate abroad. Jorma and Märtha Sihvola’s foundation.
  • 2015. Grant of 1000 euros for undergraduate student for good study progress. The Mathematics and Science Fund, University of Helsinki.
  • 2010. Bronze medal in the International Biology Olympiad.
  • 2010. Bronze medal in the International Geography Olympiad.
  • 2010. Stipend of 1000 euros for excellent performance (63–66/66 points) in mathematics in the matriculation examination of Finnish high schools. Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.


  • INVITED: Still images and temporal dynamics in visible and invisible light. 13th Jean Chevaugeon Days, encounters of phytopahtology–mycology. September 12–16, 2022. Centre Paul-Langevin, French Society for Phytopathology.
  • Improved control of Septoria tritici blotch in durum wheat using cultivar mixtures. ISCLB 2019 – International symposium on cereal leaf blights, May 22-24, 2019. University college Dublin.
  • Spatial spread and infection efficiency of asexual spores of Z. tritici. Zymoseptoria tritici community meeting, September 6-7, 2018. ETH Zurich.
  • Two types of resistance against Septoria tritici blotch. Invited talk at Regional Workshop on Current and future research on STB of Wheat, April 20–22, 2018. National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia.
  • Two types of resistance against a major wheat disease Septoria Tritici Blotch. Biology18 – the annual Swiss conference on ecology, evolution, systematics and conservation, February 15–16, 2018. University of Neuchâtel.
  • Epidemics of Zymoseptoria tritici – variation and control. Zymoseptoria tritici community meeting, September 5–6, 2017. Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel.
  • Effects of global and local connectivity on the evolution of dispersal strategies. Biomathematics day, October 21, 2015. Centre of Excellence in Analysis and Dynamics Research, University of Helsinki.


  • Karisto P, Suffer F, Mikaberidze A. Dispersal kernels are steeper than the observed gradients. ICPP2023, 20–25 August 2023, Lyon, France.
  • Karisto P, Kisdi E. Joint evolution of dispersal and connectivity. ESEB2019, August 19–24 2019, Turku, Finland.
  • Controlling a rapidly evolving plant pathogen – How to deal with the pathogen diversity? II Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology, August 19–22, 2018. Montpellier.
  • Measuring resistance to Septoria tritici blotch in elite wheat cultivars using automated image analysis. BSPP – BMS Joint Presidential Meeting 2017 – Fungal Control and Exploitation, September 11–13, 2017. University of Nottingham.
  • Two types of resistance against a major wheat disease. World Food System Center Research Symposium, October 25, 2017. ETH Zurich.
  • Evolution of dispersal under variable connectivity. Mathematics of Life –conference, March 7-10, 2016. University of Helsinki.