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Kilpisjärvi Biological Station

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Contact information:

Kilpisjärvi Biological Station
Käsivarrentie 14622
FIN-99490 Kilpisjärvi
phone +358-294140340
bio-kilpis (at)

Office in Helsinki:
Kilpisjärvi Biological Station/
Antero Järvinen
P.O. Box 17 (Arkadiankatu 7)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
puh.+ 358-( 0)40-5034473
antero.jarvinen (at)

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Brief history of research activities

In the late 19th century there were several Finnish natural scientists visiting Kilpisjärvi and the Könkämäeno-river area nearby. The scientists travelled by boat because the road to Kilpisjärvi wasn't built until the end of the Second World War. Some of the scientists also travelled by horse from Skibotn village in Norway.

Olavi Kalela, later to be professor in zoology at the University of Helsinki, had just defended his doctoral thesis when he got interested in the mass occurences of the Norwegian lemming and started his pioneering studies on lemmings and other voles at Kilpisjärvi in 1946 in a hired cottage called Hiirimökki (see below). Later he proposed to the University that a biological station should be founded in Kilpisjärvi. In 1963, a desision to found the station was made and official service regulations were determined. The next year (1964) was the first official year of the station's activities.

olavi kalela

Founding-father of the station, professor Olavi Kalela


Hiirimökki, a cabin constructed in the 1940s, served as a base for Kalela and his research group.