Ilkka Hanski receives the Crafoord Prize

Ilkka Hanski, Academy Professor at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, has been awarded the mini Nobel, i.e., the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The SEK 4 million prize is one of the largest scientific prizes in the world. This is the first time the prize is awarded to a researcher from a Nordic country.

– The Crafoord Prize shows the high international level of Finnish research in ecology and environmental science. I hope this recognition will inspire all researchers in Finland and promote the continuous development of both basic and applied research in the field, says Hanski.

The prize was granted for developing approaches, concepts and methods facilitating ecology research. Ecologists throughout the world utilise models developed by Hanski when they study how life forms survive in fragmented habitats.

An extensive career in science

Hanski, with a career of over 30 years, is one of the most prominent ecologists in the world. He has made metapopulation biology a significant field of study in ecology.

– Metapopulation biology focuses on studying species living in fragmented habitats. Our aim is to find the preconditions for the survival of species. We also look for ways with which species could survive under the pressure of human impact.

Hanski has particularly focused on insect populations in many exotic locations. However, he is specifically well-known by his field research dealing with the Glanville fritillary butterfly in Åland. Research based on the Glanville fritillary butterfly has become a renowned classic of model systems.

Articles by Hanski are very frequently referred to in the sector. The scope of his scientific input is exceptionally large. He is the author of over 200 scientific articles and several compilations.

Hanski heads the national Metapopulation Research Group which combines theoretical and experimental population biology. The study results are utilised in international and national conservation area planning, among other things. Through the study results, it is possible to promote the retaining of biological diversity.

The purpose of the Crafoord Prize is to promote basic research in astronomy, mathematics, geosciences, biosciences (with an emphasis on ecology) and polyarthritis.

The Crafoord Prize » »

A list of those who have previously received the prize » »

The Metapopulation Research Group » »

Text: Kirsikka Mattila
Photo: Linda Tammisto
25.1.2011
Translation: AAC Global
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