Contact information

Faculty office:
P.O. Box 56 (Viikinkaari 9)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)294 1911

Faculty office open
Mon-Thu 12-14
Fri closed

International affairs, undergraduate studies and admission, Master's degree programmes:
bio-sci (at) helsinki.fi

PhD studies and admission:
biojatko-neuvonta (at) helsinki.fi

Diplomas:
bio-diploma (at) helsinki.fi

Personnel affairs:
bio-hallinto (at) helsinki.fi

Departments

Welcome to the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences!

Biocenter

The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences with its neighbouring units forms the largest and most prominent scientific and educational unit for life sciences in Finland.

The significance of biological and environmental knowledge for the entire society is increasing. Applications of biosciences play significant role in health care and medical sciences. They also are extremely important in answering to environmental questions such as conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources.

See also our departments:
Department of Biosciences
Department of Environmental Sciences

 

News

sequence

Sequence databases are growing fast – new methods needed for operating (18.8 2014)

More and more sequences are submitted to public databases, so faster and computationally lighter methods are needed for sequence retrieval. Patrik Koskinen presents in his doctoral thesis a computationally more efficient tool a hundred times faster than the most commonly used BLAST. He also introduces new methods for the calculation of information content value so that it is possible to separate informative and uninformative annotations.

lake scene

Turbulence affects food webs in lakes(31.7. 2014)

Turbulence caused by climate change-induced wind and storm activities together with varying visibility conditions can have crucial effects for planktivorous predation in lakes, shows MSc Laura Härkönen in her doctoral thesis. Iintermediate turbulence together with contemporaneous increases in water color may also result in cascading effects on primary producers.

../images/nostokuvat/Podosphaera plantaginis heinäratamon lehdellä photo Ayco Tack.jpg

Habitat fragmentation increases vulnerability to disease in wild plants(13.6.2014)

Proximity to other meadows increases disease resistance in wild meadow plants, according to a study led by Academy Research Fellow Anna-Liisa Laine.

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Four doctoral dissertations to be presented in early June (10.6.2014)

There's practically no summer break with presenting the doctoral dissertations in public. Come and see for yourself – the events are open to all!

Molotkov Dmitry, 12 June: Role of actin-mediated motility of peripheral astrocytic processes in synaptic function »»

Lindström Riitta, 13 June: Modelling the evolutionarily conserved MANF/CDNF protein family in Drosophila melanogaster »»

Yang Ying, 13 June: Differential functions of mammalian Cdk7 and CCRK kinases in regulating transcription and ciliogenesis »»

Mäntylahti Sampo, 13 June: Development of NMR methods to study disordered proteins »»

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

First kinase cascade used by tumor cells to disrupt cell cilia found (23.5.2014)

Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) are involved in critical cellular processes such as cell cycle and transcription. Ying Yang's thesis shows that Cdk7 and CCRK, both members of the Cdk family, do not have overlapping functions in mammals as suggested by orthologs in yeast. CCRK is part of a kinase cascade used by tumor cells to disrupt primary cilium, cell's sensory organelle.

Ilkka Hanski

Academy Professor Ilkka Hanski is a new member of EMBO (2.5.2014)

European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) has newly elected 106 outstanding researchers in the life sciences to its membership. Amongst the new members are two Academy Professors from Campus Viikki: Ilkka Hanski from the Department of Biociences and Jukka Jernvall from the Institute of Biotechnology.

Arabidopsis

3D measuring system to revolutionise research into the effects of plant genes (2.5.2014)

An extensive measuring system is being constructed in Finland to allow researchers to measure the properties of plants effectively.

brain photo:123rf

Novel resuscitation strategy for babies with birth asphyxia (3.4.2014)

A newborn baby suffering from birth asphyxia has lower oxygen levels and higher carbon dioxide levels in umbilical blood compared to a baby born without complications. Birth asphyxia is associated with seizures and possible problems later in life. Mohamed Helmy'son a rat model of birth asphyxia shows that gradually decreasing carbon dioxide during resuscitation after birth asphyxia significantly decreases seizures and improves outcome in later life.

omptin

Loop structure of omptins important for their proteolytic activity (26.3.2014)

Omptins are a family of conserved, integral outer membrane proteases widely distributed within Gram-negative bacterial species. The omptins of Yersinia pestis, Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli differ in substrate specificity.
Marjo Suomalainen's thesis demonstrates that the omptin proteolytic activity depends on specific interaction with lipopolysaccharide and the structure of their surface-exposed loops.

Päivi Tikka

Aiming for an electronical application process for doctoral education (12.3.2014)

Päivi Tikka began her work as coordinator for the Doctoral School in Biological, Environmental and Food Sciences in mid-January. Adapting fully to the new system will take its time, but the intention is to simplify the work of doctoral students at the University.

WRKY transcription factors

Two transcription factors crucial in Arabidopsis stress response and pathogen defense (6.3.2014)

Environmentally induced alterations in gene expression are mediated by transcription factors. According to the doctoral dissertation of Jing Li, two members of the plant-specific WRKY group III in Arabidopsis thaliana are the key components in cooperative regulation of developmental senescence, osmotic stress response and specific pathogen defenses.

rivulet

The quality of the dissolved organic matter in river changes in the estuary (6.3.2014)

Biodegradation and flocculation remove riverine dissolved organic matter (DOM) in estuaries, and transform the remaining DOM pool that reaches the open sea. DOM quality has a pivotal role in the functioning of both of these essential mechanisms, says Eero Asmala in his doctoral dissertation.

Count Imre Festetics

Count Festetics – grandfather of genetics(28.2.2014)

Most of us have learned at school that Gregor Mendel was the founder of genetics. Count Imre Festetics, a renowned sheep breeder that preceded Mendel by half a century, remains, however, mostly forgotten.

Faculty of Philosophy

Artist M.A. Numminen and Professor Per-Edvin Persson to receive honorary doctorates (27.2.2014)

At its conferment ceremony to be held in May 2014, the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, will confer honorary doctorates on 13 prominent figures from academia, culture and various sectors of society. The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences is one of the four Faculties belonging to the Faculty of Philosophy.

mathematical biology group

Digital ears listen in the rainforest (27.2.2014)

A Finnish-Brazilian project is constructing a system that could estimate the dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings, statistics and scientific computing.

UV-A acclimatises the plants to the solar radiation (12.2.2014)

Solar UV-A radiation makes an important contribution to acclimation of plants to sunlight, independently and interacting with UV-B, says Luis Morales in his doctoral thesis. He used outdoor experiments to find out what kind of molecular level responses to solar ultraviolet radiation ( 280-400 nm) silver birch and Arabidopsis have.

Phenotypic differences in nine-spined stickleback populations mainly due to genetical divergence (7.2.2014)

Observed phenotypic differences among marine and pond populations of nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) are likely to be based on genetic differentiation.

– Although environmental and maternal effects were shown to be important modulators of phenotypic variation, their role in explaining population differentiation appears to be secondary, says Nurul Izza Ab Ghani in her doctoral dissertation.

Precision drugs sought for anxiety disorders (31.1.2014)

University of Helsinki researchers are striving to find out how cell communication regulating kainate receptors contribute to the susceptibility towards anxiety disorders.The intention is to also develop drugs that would be effective against prolonged anxiety.

Symposium about ecological basis os risk analysis for marine ecosystems in Porvoo, Finland in June (22.1.2014)

The international ICES/PICES Symposium explores methods that can be used to analyse risk factors in marine ecosystems. Better risk assessment leads to improved decision-making.