The Academy of Finland Recognition Award goes to Tomas Roslin

The Academy of Finland recognises the open-minded recruitment of young employees.

Tomas Roslin The Academy of Finland has presented its annual award to Academy Fellow Tomas Roslin. The Academy declares that Roslin has shown commendable progressiveness in recruiting young people for the collection of research data.

The Academy of Finland presents an award annually to a researcher who has excelled in research and making the researcher’s work known to the general public, has attracted public interest in science through his or her work, and has taken part in public debate in a researcher’s capacity.

Tomas Roslin, who works at the Metapopulation Research Group of the Faculty of Biosciences, studies the insects and pathogenic fungi living on oak trees. Roslin gathered the data on the oak populations in the Finnish south-western archipelago required for his research with the aid of schoolchildren from Nagu, Korpo and Pargas.

“I visited the schools and gave the pupils maps, on which I asked them to mark the oak trees growing in their gardens or nearby forests. That’s how we gathered the material. Doing it any other way would have meant a lot more work,” says Roslin. To activate and commit the children to the project, Roslin gave lessons in each school on biological research and the work of a scientist.

Roslin also has had earlier experience of collaborating with young data collectors. “When working on my doctorate, I had similar collaboration with the 4H organisation, and received dung beetle specimens from 135 farms from different parts of Finland. Altogether, 200 young sample collectors contributed to my study,” says Roslin.

Roslin’s research aims at explaining how the structure of local insect and fungi populations living on oaks varies with time and space. The study helps in the understanding of how human action affects the make-up of local populations, and which of the species’ characteristics make it vulnerable to the fragmentation and change in the environment.

Text: Satu Himanen
Photo: Tapio Vanhatalo
21.11.2005
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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