All of our operations are motivated by a curiosity to understand nature and the diversity of life, from the fine structures of key molecules to global ecosystems, as well as the human factor in this whole. Increasingly and at an accelerating pace, climate change and urbanisation are having a global impact on biodiversity and the everyday lives of people. To understand these phenomena and megatrends, there is a need for multidisciplinary research. By understanding the interconnections between human activity and biophysical change, we can tackle the major challenges threatening sustainable development.
Top researchers in marine ecology, biogeochemistry, atmospheric sciences and physics, among others, are collaboratively investigating the role of coastal ecosystems as greenhouse gas emission sources and sinks. Such knowledge helps, for example, to develop better climate models to explain links between climate change and biodiversity. At the same time, expertise in geolocation techniques, risk assessment methods as well as quantitative and qualitative social scientific methods hold a key role in both urban studies and Arctic research.
The rate of scientific progress at the level of cells and entire organisms is dizzying. At the moment, Faculty researchers are investigating the factors underlying cellular regulatory phenomena starting from the level of genes, laying the ground for the study of evolutionary regulation in both plants and animals. Environmental change has a considerable effect on the functioning of organisms, which is why their tolerance, adaptation and extinction are studied from a number of perspectives. Why do certain species adapt well to change while others suffer and die out? This is a question on which several research groups are focusing.
Thanks to novel research methods, the study of life on the molecular level has been transformed in recent years. For example, the gene scissor technique revolutionised genetic engineering, with applications quickly identified from plant breeding to medicine. The technique itself has already undergone several changes. New fields of study known as ‘omics’ can help survey a vast number of different molecules in an instant, while the methods of bioinformatics are utilised to manage the continually growing amount of data. The molecular level constitutes the foundation of the functioning of cells and tissues in individuals, and research combining these different levels is characteristic of modern brain research, among other fields.
Early on, our students get a first-hand introduction to top-level research in their field. Practical traineeship periods and master’s theses completed in research groups integrate our students into the scientific community and provide them with a personal experience of conducting international research. At the same time, students gain practical skills and qualifications for professional life, irrespective of whether they move outside the University or take another step in their academic research career path after graduation.