Spring Symposium 4th-6th OF MARCH 2019
Infocenter, Auditorium 2

The Programme of the Spring Symposium 2019

The programme of Spring Symposium consists of daily sessions related to ecology, evolution, systematics, and nature conservation.

Tuesday daily sessions are followed by the Poster Session , an informal event with some wine and snacks (and, of course, posters). After the poster session, you are welcome to participate in a dinner with the evaluators (restaurant charges apply). And finally, on Wednesday, the Symposium culminates into the Grande Finale at the Finnish Museum of Natural History. More info about these events below!


Evaluators are inspiring and successful scientists in their respective fields and have been invited to Spring Symposium as keynote speakers but also to induce and participate in discussion. The three evaluators will also give constructive feedback to all speakers.

Philine Feulner

Philine Feulner

Dr Philine Feulner is a researcher at the Center for Ecology, Evolution and Biogeochemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland.

My research focuses on identifying the evolutionary processes relevant for shaping genetic diversity and on understanding how evolutionary processes constrain or facilitate adaptive evolution and speciation. To do so, I build new genomic resources and generate and analyse large-scale genomic data sets. Ultimately, I aim to understand which evolutionary processes drive molecular change that occurs rapid enough to allow a feedback between ecology and evolution and how ecological and evolutionary processes influence the rate of molecular adaptive change at a genome-wide scale. Largely, I work on freshwater fish, recently with a major focus on the adaptive radiation of Alpine whitefish, but I also study the dynamics of genomic change in an experimental algae virus system attractive due to the short generation times and the ability for experimental manipulations.

More information: Personal page

Dan Warren

Dan Warren

Dr Dan Warren is a researcher of evolutionary ecology at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center in Frankfurt, Germany.

I have broad interests in evolution, ecology, conservation, and animal behavior. My primary research program focuses on the evolution of species' environmental tolerances and spatial distributions, with frequent applications to conservation-oriented empirical studies. My work includes both basic and applied research, with a particular focus on developing novel quantitative methods. I also maintain active research programs in phylogenetic methods and theory, as well as the neuroecology of marine fishes.

More information: Personal page

Roosa Laitinen

Roosa Laitinen

Dr Roosa Laitinen is a researcher from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany.

My research focus is to investigate mechanisms of hybrid incompatibility in plants using Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) as model system. Knowledge of this process will further our understanding of the first steps towards reproductive isolation and speciation, even before species have diverged. I take advantage of both, publically available accessions from diverse geographical locations and local accessions collected in recent years. My work combines methods of traditional and modern genetics and genomics to state-of art molecular methods available for model system Arabidopsis.

More information: Personal page

Poster Clinic

Time: 16.00 - 18.00 on 13th of February
Place: Room 6201, 6th Floor, Biocentre 3, Viikki

On 13th February (Wednesday), we will have a Poster Clinic where students can come to discuss poster making with Dr Petri Nummi and other students. We suggest you bring a poster draft or an abstract with Introduction, Methods and Materials, Results, and Conclusion with you, so that you can comment on each other's poster design and improve your own. No registration for this event.

We encourage you to design your own posters. Of course, you can consider poster templates if you like. Click the links below to download:

Template for Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Template for Faculty of Agricultural and Forest Sciences

You can find more poster templates on Uni Material Bank by searching "poster" if needed.

Petri Nummi

Petri Nummi

Dr Petri Nummi is a university lecturer of the Department of Forest Science at the University of Helsinki. He defended his PhD thesis about duck breeding ecology and habitat selection in 1992. His long-term research focuses on wetland ecology and alien species. Dr Nummi has been teaching various courses, such as Invasive Alien Species.

Dr Nummi developed his interests in science popularization during his master study. When he was a master student, he published his first popular article on Metsälehti in 1982. Dr Nummi has popularized science for almost four decades and has published 350 popular articles e.g. in Helsingin Sanomat. He has written many books, the most recent ones being Majavan Lamella (2015) and Jättiputkesta Citykaniin (2016). Since 1996, he has held a course, Tieteen popularisointi (Science Popularisation) for master and PhD students. In 2017–2018, Dr Nummi has taught blog writing and poster making in the YEB course Science Communication.

Poster Session

Time: 5th of March, after the official talks of the day
Place:Infocenter Korona (the Sympiosium venue hall)

On Tuesday March 5th, we will have a poster session where the owner of the poster (or a spokesperson in case where there are several authors) is expected to stay with their poster, present the main results of the poster in 2 minutes and answer questions from the audience. The poster session will take place in the lobby of the venue, just outside the main Symposium. The plenary speakers will evaluate the poster. The format of the session is informal, and some drinks and snacks will be served at the event.

Korjaamon Baari & Keittiö (Töölönkatu 51 B)

Symposium Dinner

We are organising an evening social for Masters/PhD students and Post Docs interested in speaking with any of the keynote speakers. If interested, we hope you can join for food, snack and/or beverages at Korjaamon Baari & Keittiö (Töölönkatu 51 B) on Tuesday, March 5, at 19:00. Looking forward to interesting discussions and a fun evening :)

Please email marion.sinclair-waters(at)helsinki.fi if you plan to attend. This way we can ensure there is space for everyone.

Grande Finale

Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden

Time: 6th March, starting at 18.00
Place: Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden

The Grande Finale 2019 will be organized at the Greenhouse (Glass House) of the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, located in Kaisaniemenranta 2 , in the centre of Helsinki. The distance from the central railway station is approximately 600 meters and 10 mins by walk.

The Spring Symposium culminates in the Grande Finale taking place on Wednesday evening on the 6th of March. The Grande Finale is a social event where the external evaluators will announce the winner of Olli's prize and give general feedback on presentations and posters. After the official program, the evening will continue with wine, snacks, dancing, and music.

The Grande Finale is open to all students and staff. Please register for the Grande Finale when registering for the symposium.