Research - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Photo: Tiina Airamo

The major hosts several active research groups with strong international reputation in population ecology, in particular in spatial ecology (e.g., metapopulation research), and in conservation biology. Research activity is developing fast also in evolutionary biology, evolutionary genetics, molecular ecology and behavioral ecology.
Metapopulation Research Centre

Core Facilities: Molecular Ecology and Systematics Laboratory - MES


Current research groups / projects in alphabetical order according to group leader:

Docent Ulrika Candolin: Adapting to rapid environmental change
I attempt to link conservational work with evolutionary questions to both determine the processes that have resulted in present local adaptations and predict the consequences of environmental change. >> Read more

Senior Lecturer Heikki Hirvonen: Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution Team
Our research focuses on behavioural approaches to various ecological and evolutionary phenomena with applications to conservation biology and sustainable management of natural populations. >> Read more

Assistant Professor Arild Husby: Genetics and genomics of ecologically important traits in natural populations
We use quantitative genetic and genomic tools to understand the genetic basis of complex traits in wild populations. We are specifically interested in how organisms adapt to changing environmental conditions and the mechanisms by which they do so. >> Read more

Professor Veijo Kaitala: Opportunistic pathogens: virulence, disease dynamics and evolution
The goal of the research project is to develop the epidemiological theory of pathogen eco-evolutionary dynamics where the pathogen is embedded within a food web such that the organism face e.g. the predators, parasites, and resource competition. >> Read more

Academy Research Fellow Jouni Laakso: Antagonistic species interactions and the evolution of bacterial virulence
In order to survive, free-living bacteria need to defend against viral and protozoan enemies, which are one of the most common causes of bacterial mortality and strong drivers of bacterial evolution. The evolution of defenses can also have correlated consequences on bacterial virulence. It is however not clear weather the antagonistic interactions generally lead to increase or decrease in bacterial virulence. >> Read more

Academy Professor Juha Merilä: Ecological Genetics Research Unit
The main focus of our research is in studies of ecological, evolutionary and
conservation genetics of wild animal populations using both empirical and
theoretical approaches. >> Read more

Professor Otso Ovaskainen: Metapopulation Research Centre
The unifying theme in our research is the role of space in the biology of individuals, populations, and communities. Our work includes both basic research and applications to conservation and management. >> Read more

Docent Riitta Savolainen: Systematics and Evolutionary Biology of Ants
We study molecular systematics, social parasitism, speciation, phylogeography, and biogeography of several Holarctic ant groups. >> Read more

Professor Lotta Sundström and University lecturer Perttu Seppä: Evolution in Social Insects
The aim of our research is to integrate different levels of organisation from that of the gene, through single genomes, societies and populations to that of the species, with social inscts as model organisms. >> Read more