Ilkka Hanski



TUHAT-pages (updated profile and publications)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Ilkka Hanski on Tuesday, May 10th 2016. He will be greatly missed as the leader of the group and as a friend by us all, but our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

- Members of the Metapopulation Research Centre



I have been in the University of Helsinki since 1980, full professor since 1993, and research professor since 1996. I established the Metapopulation Research Group (MRG) in 1991. MRG has been awarded three times the position of center-of-excellence in research by the national research council (2000-2005, 2006-2011, 2012-2017). It has been wonderful to see the growth and development of MRG, and I am truly privileged in having had the opportunity to interact with so many excellent students and researchers over the years..


I have done research in population and community ecology and in conservation biology since the early 1980s. I have made contributions to the study of population regulation, cyclic population dynamics, mechanisms of coexistence in communities, and especially to metapopulation biology, which has been my primary research area since 1989. The long-term research on the Glanville fritillary butterfly was started in 1991, and ever since this large-scale project has provided the context within which much of the research on metapopulations in MRG has been conducted. Another large project, initiated in 2003, is concerned with the adaptive radiation of tropical forest dung beetles in Madagascar, which has allowed me to return to my first love in ecology (PhD on dung beetle community ecology in 1979). Since 2011, I have collaborated with allergy specialists, molecular biologists, statisticians and immunologists in an exciting new project on the relationships between environmental biodiversity, human commensal microbiota and inflammatory diseases such as allergies.

This research is supported by the European Research Council advanced
grant SPATIALDYNAMICS Ecological, molecular, and evolutionary spatial
dynamics to prof. Ilkka Hanski.