For the most part of my academic career, I have been studying and working at the Molecular Plant Biology unit in the University of Turku, Finland. It was there that I finished my bachelor’s degree in physiology and genetics in 2014. My bachelor’s thesis, a literature review titled “Kleptoplastic sea slug Elysia chlorotica” was also my first contact with the fascinating topic of photosynthetic sea slugs. During my studies (2011-2014) I worked as a research assistant and instrument technician in the group of docent Esa Tyystjärvi at the University of Turku, and this allowed me to gain expertise in the biophysical tools used in photosynthesis research. I became very familiar in estimating the functionality of photosynthesis via measuring chlorophyll fluorescence (e.g. with PAM fluorometers), specific absorbance changes (P700 oxidation and electrochromic shift) and oxygen evolution/consumption (oxygen electrodes and optodes) in plants, algae and cyanobacteria. Some of the more specific biophysical methods I applied during my work include thermoluminescence, flash oxygen evolution with a Joliot-type bare platinum oxygen electrode, EPR spectroscopy and chlorophyll fluorescence at cryogenic temperatures. I finished both my master’s degree and PhD under the supervision of Esa Tyystjärvi. My master’s thesis focused on studying what effect some of the photosynthetic pigments of diatoms, like fucoxanthin and chlorophyll c, have on the action spectrum of photoinhibition of PSII in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. After I completed my master’s in the degree programme of molecular plant biology and bioenergetics in 2015, I was successful in securing funding for the first year of my PhD from Finnish Cultural Foundation, and I decided to enroll to the University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS). Initially, I was supposed to study the mysterious and possibly artefactual decrease in photosynthetic electron transfer rate that is particularly noticeable in microalgal assemblages under strong light, when photosynthesis is estimated with standard chlorophyll fluorescence analyses. This research line did eventually lead to a publication in 2018, but instead of focusing purely on the technical details of fluorescence measurements for the entire PhD, I decided to completely change the direction of my research to accommodate one my earlier academic interests: photosynthetic sea slugs. This was a risky proposition, but luckily I was able to find collaborators, most notably Prof. Dr. Sven B. Gould from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, and funding from multiple sources (Finnish Cultural Foundation, UTUGS, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Kone Foundation) to carry out my research. My PhD thesis, titled “Photoprotection and genetic autonomy of plastids in photosynthetic sea slugs”, included three first author publications that revealed new mechanisms how photosynthetic sea slugs are able to avoid excessive amounts of light/reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced damage to their chloroplasts, and I defended my thesis in 2022. During my PhD, I was involved in multiple other projects in the group of Esa Tyystjärvi that allowed me to diversify my research portfolio to also plants, algae and cyanobacteria, and not just sea slugs. This is showcased by my diverse list of 13 publications in peer-reviewed journals (Web of Science h-index 8, 238 citations). In 2022 I started as a post-doctoral researcher in the research group of Dr. Sónia Cruz in her ERC funded project (Kleptoslug ERC-2020-STG/949880), where I am delving deeper into the topic of photosynthetic sea slugs. My main focus is in understanding what light acclimation mechanisms still persist in the isolated chloroplasts inside the slugs, and how the slugs are able to suppress excessive ROS formation and repairing the damage caused by light and ROS.

Identificação pessoal

Nome completo
Vesa Tapio Havurinne
Data de nascimento

Nomes de citação

  • Havurinne, Vesa

Identificadores de autor

Ciência ID


  • DEPARTAMENTO DE BIOLOGIA, UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO. Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193, Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal (Profissional)


  • https://mplab-kleptoslug.com/vesa-havurinne/ (Profissional)

Domínios de atuação

  • Ciências Naturais - Ciências Biológicas - Biofísica
  • Ciências Naturais - Ciências Biológicas - Fitologia
  • Ciências Naturais - Ciências Biológicas - Biologia Molecular


Idioma Conversação Leitura Escrita Compreensão Peer-review
Finlandês (Idioma materno)
Inglês Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2)
Grau Classificação
2015/06/01 - 2022/03/31
Molecular plant biology (Postgraduate Certificate)
Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia
" Photoprotection and Genetic Autonomy of Plastids in Photosynthetic Sea Slugs" (TESE/DISSERTAÇÃO)
Molecular plant biology and bioenergetics (Maisteri)
Especialização em Molecular plant biology
Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia
"Photoinhibition in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum" (TESE/DISSERTAÇÃO)
Biology (Bachelor)
Especialização em Physiology and genetics
Turun yliopisto Biologian laitos, Finlândia
"Kleptoplastic sea slug Elysia chlorotica" (TESE/DISSERTAÇÃO)
Percurso profissional


Categoria Profissional
Instituição de acolhimento
2022/08/01 - Atual Pós-doutorado (Investigação) Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Universidade de Aveiro Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, Portugal
2015/06/18 - 2022/03/31 Estagiário de Investigação (Investigação) Turun yliopisto, Finlândia
Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia
2011/05/01 - 2014/12/31 Assistente de Investigação (carreira) (Investigação) Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia


Designação Financiadores
2016 - 2022/03/31 Factors underpinning the longevity of chloroplasts in photosynthetic sea slugs
Bolseiro de Doutoramento
Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia
Turun yliopisto

Suomen Kulttuurirahasto

Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia

Turun Yliopistosäätiö

Koneen Säätiö
2015 - 2016/05/31 Elucidating the mechanisms of dynamic photoinhibition
Bolseiro de Doutoramento
Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia
Suomen Kulttuurirahasto


Designação Financiadores
2022 - Atual KleptoSlug - Kleptoplasty: The sea slug that got away with stolen chloroplasts
Investigador Pós-doutorado
Universidade de Aveiro Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, Portugal
European Research Council
Em curso


Artigo em revista
  1. MATTILA, H.; HAVURINNE, V.; ANTAL, T.; TYYSTJÄRVI, E.. "Evaluation of visible-light wavelengths that reduce or oxidize the plastoquinone pool in green algae with the activated F0 rise method". Photosynthetica 60 4 (2022): 529-538. http://dx.doi.org/10.32615/ps.2022.049.
  2. MATTILA, H.; VALEV, D.; MISHRA, K.B.; HAVURINNE, V.; VIRTANEN, O.; ANTINLUOMA, M.; TYYSTJÄRVI, E.. "Differences in susceptibility to photoinhibition do not determine growth rate under moderate light in batch or turbidostat - a study with five green algae". Photosynthetica 60 SPECIAL IS (2022): 10-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.32615/ps.2021.054.
  3. Vesa Havurinne; Riina Aitokari; Heta Mattila; Ville Käpylä; Esa Tyystjärvi. "Ultraviolet screening by slug tissue and tight packing of plastids protect photosynthetic sea slugs from photoinhibition". Photosynthesis Research 152 3 (2021): 373-387. https://doi.org/10.1007%2Fs11120-021-00883-7.
  4. Vesa Havurinne; Maria Handrich; Mikko Antinluoma; Sergey Khorobrykh; Sven B Gould; Esa Tyystjärvi; Nick Smirnoff. "Genetic autonomy and low singlet oxygen yield support kleptoplast functionality in photosynthetic sea slugs". Journal of Experimental Botany 72 15 (2021): 5553-5568. https://doi.org/10.1093%2Fjxb%2Ferab216.
  5. Vesa Havurinne; Esa Tyystjärvi. "Photosynthetic sea slugs induce protective changes to the light reactions of the chloroplasts they steal from algae". eLife 9 (2020): https://doi.org/10.7554%2Felife.57389.
  6. Mattila H; Khorobrykh S; Hakala-Yatkin M; Havurinne V; Kuusisto I; Antal T; Tyystjärvi T; Tyystjärvi E. "Action spectrum of the redox state of the plastoquinone pool defines its function in plant acclimation.". The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology (2020): http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/32889743.
  7. Sergey Khorobrykh; Vesa Havurinne; Heta Mattila; Esa Tyystjärvi. "Oxygen and ROS in Photosynthesis". Plants 9 1 (2020): 91-91. https://doi.org/10.3390%2Fplants9010091.
  8. Havurinne, V.; Mattila, H.; Antinluoma, M.; Tyystjärvi, E.. "Unresolved quenching mechanisms of chlorophyll fluorescence may invalidate MT saturating pulse analyses of photosynthetic electron transfer in microalgae". Physiologia Plantarum 166 1 (2019): 365-379. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85054195313&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  9. Antonacci, A.; Lambreva, M.D.; Margonelli, A.; Sobolev, A.P.; Pastorelli, S.; Bertalan, I.; Johanningmeier, U.; et al. "Photosystem-II D1 protein mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in relation to metabolic rewiring and remodelling of H-bond network at QB site". Scientific Reports 8 1 (2018): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85054294312&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  10. Mattila, H.; Valev, D.; Havurinne, V.; Khorobrykh, S.; Virtanen, O.; Antinluoma, M.; Mishra, K.B.; Tyystjärvi, E.. "Degradation of chlorophyll and synthesis of flavonols during autumn senescence-the story told by individual leaves". AoB PLANTS 10 3 (2018): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85055542117&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  11. Havurinne, V.; Tyystjärvi, E.. "Action spectrum of photoinhibition in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum". Plant and Cell Physiology 58 12 (2017): 2217-2225. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85044339182&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  12. Soitamo, A.; Havurinne, V.; Tyystjärvi, E.. "Photoinhibition in marine picocyanobacteria". Physiologia Plantarum 161 1 (2017): 97-108. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85019954111&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  13. Mattila, H.; Khorobrykh, S.; Havurinne, V.; Tyystjärvi, E.. "Reactive oxygen species: Reactions and detection from photosynthetic tissues". Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 152 (2015): 176-214. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84947750909&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
Tese / Dissertação
  1. "Photoprotection and genetic autonomy of plastids in photosynthetic sea slugs". Doutoramento, Turun yliopisto, 2022. https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-8798-6.

Apresentação oral de trabalho

Título da apresentação Nome do evento
Anfitrião (Local do evento)
2019/05/22 Photosynthetic sea slugs: insights from P700 oxidation kinetics in Elysia timida The 14th Nordic Photosynthesis Congress (NPC-14)
(Turku, Finlândia)
2018/06/24 Intrinsic traits of the chloroplasts of photosynthetic sea slugs 1st European Congress on Photosynthesis Research (ePS-1) and ePS-1 Young
(Uppsala, Suécia)
2017/10/18 Presentation about photosynthetic sea slugs and the life of a researcher to high school students in Parainen, Finland
(Parainen, Finlândia)
2017/08/23 Photosynthetic sea slugs Erasmus summer school “Deep history of everything”
(Piikkiö, Finlândia)
2017/08/16 Intrinsic traits of the chloroplasts of photosynthetic sea slugs Nordic Plant Biology days 2017, 27th SPPS congress
(Naantali, Finlândia)
2015/04/24 Action spectrum of photoinhibition in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Aquafeed workshop - Metabolic Innovations and Novel Materials for Biofuels
(Uppsala, Suécia)


Título / Tema
Papel desempenhado
Curso (Tipo)
Instituição / Organização
2018/01/01 - 2018/09/21 Light-induced oxidative damage in yellow-green algae Vaucheria litorea
Molecular plant biology (Mestrado)
Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia

Participação em evento

Descrição da atividade
Tipo de evento
Nome do evento
Instituição / Organização
2019/11/06 - 2019/11/08 Poster presentation; title "Fast kinetics of PSI and PSII in the photosynthetic sea slug Elysia timida"
Plants in a Changing World – Integration of Photosynthesis, Adaptation and Development
2016/08/07 - 2016/08/12 Poster presentation; title "Action spectrum of photoinhibition in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum"
17th International Congress on Photosynthesis Research
2016/05/25 - 2016/05/26 Poster presentation; title "Action spectrum of photoinhibition in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum"
Kasvitieteen päivät
2015/10/07 - 2015/10/09 Poster presentation; title "Photoinhibition of Photosystem II: From cyanobacteria to photosynthetic sea slugs"
Phototech 2015 Towards a photosynthesis-biobased economy

Curso / Disciplina lecionado

Disciplina Curso (Tipo) Instituição / Organização
2018/03/01 - 2018/05/31 Biophysics of photosynthesis course. Preparing and teaching the practical work on flash O2 evolution and EPR Biophysics of photosynthesis (Master) Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia
2016/01/01 - 2016/12/31 Plant biotechnology course. Preparing and teaching the practical lab work on biolistic transformation (Bachelor) Turun yliopisto Biokemian laitos, Finlândia

Entrevista (jornal / revista)

Descrição da atividade Jornal / Forum
2022/03/11 Viherhiukkasia varastava merietana yhteyttää kuin kasvi - lajien tutkimus voi vastata jopa elämän kehityksen suuriin kysymyksiin YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company)

Entrevista / Programa (rádio / tv)

Programa Tema
2020/12/01 - 2020/12/01 eLife podcast The secrets of photosynthetic sea slugs

Revisão ad hoc de artigos em revista

Nome da revista (ISSN) Editora
2021/12/20 - 2022/03/28 Journal of Experimental Botany (1460-2431) Oxford University Press
2020/10/23 - 2020/11/20 Plants (2223-7747) MDPI
2020/02/18 - 2020/05/18 Plants (2223-7747) MDPI


Tópico Nome do aluno
2020/06/01 - 2021/08/31 Measuring the action spectrum of photoinhibition in the sea slug Elysia timida and its prey alga Riina Aitokari
2019/08/01 - 2019/09/09 Measuring the light response of photoinhibition in the sea slug Elysia timida and its prey alga Ville Käpylä


2017 Best poster award in Plant Biology Scandinavia 2017 - 27th SPPS Congress
2016 Best poster award in Kasvitieteen päivät conference