Jenni Santaharju (née Leppänen)

Major interests

  • Human past
  • Language change in time and place, linguistic divergence and convergence
  • Uralic languages, Finnish dialects, and spoken language of Tampere and Helsinki

About me

I am an evolutionary biologist fascinated by linguistic variation in time and space. My interests concern how changes in linguistic variation lead to differentiation of groups, and on the other hand, how interaction of these groups affect their differentiation. I am applying population genetic methods to linguistic data, and focusing on three different levels of variation: languages, dialects, and spoken language in cities.

In my master’s thesis I studied movements of individuals in space. I followed Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in Nuuksio national park, and estimated their home ranges and habitat use. In my PhD thesis I examined population differentiation and phylogeography of Myrmica ants in the Palearctic region. I also used both genetic and behavioral approach to study genetic divergence sympatric queen morphs of Myrmica rubra. Since 2014 I have been working as a post doc in the BEDLAN research group and focusing on Uralic languages, Finnish dialects, and spoken language in cities. Outside office, I am running around with our little boy, with my little dog in agility, or after birds.

List of publications

ORCID iD 0000-0002-7925-2715

Published peer-reviewed articles

Theses

  • Leppänen, J. 2012: Phylogeography and population genetics of social parasitism in Myrmica ants. Doctoral dissertation (article-based), University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Department of Biosciences, 109 pages. https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/37496
  • Leppänen, J. 2005: Oravan elinpiirit ja elinympäristön käyttö. Pro gradu thesis, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biosciences, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, 52 pages.

Book chapters

  • Leppänen, J. 2009: Liito-orava on öisen latvuston huimapää. Luonnossa nisäkkäät 1. Weilin+Göös, p. 96-97.
  • Leppänen, J. 2009: Orava – pihapiirin tuttu pörröhäntä. Luonnossa nisäkkäät 1. Weilin+Göös, p. 44-45.
  • Leppänen, J. 2005: Orava – metsän akrobaatti. Jahtimailla – Riistanisäkkäät. Weilin+Göös. p. 212-25.

Contact Information

University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Organismal and Evolutionary Research Programme

Email: jenni.leppanen(at)helsinki.fi