Each research focus area is linked to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
Research on Arctic regions is focused on both long-term climate fluctuations and the causes of recent global warming, as well as the effects of climate change on ecosystems.
Central research topics include the biogeochemistry and ecology of sea ice, the Arctic carbon and nitrogen cycles and the long-term development of natural and socio-ecological systems and natural resource use.
Research on marine and freshwater ecosystems is focused especially on the structure and function of coastal and inland aquatic ecosystems, including the effects of climate change and eutrophication on the diversity of aquatic ecosystems.
We also assess environmental risks posed by fishing and marine traffic, and study changes in drainage basins caused by humans.
The aim of urban studies is to investigate and solve environmental issues related to urbanisation. The research focuses on the environmental governance of urban areas, particularly in terms of curbing and adapting to climate change, as well as investigating the mechanisms behind the biodiversity of urban environments and the ecosystem services produced by green areas.
In addition, we investigate social values, environmental justice and subjective wellbeing.
The strengths of the Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme include
Director Sirkku Manninen and Deputy Director David Thomas
Our research groups have strong ties to research networks at both the University of Helsinki and on the international stage. Our cooperation partners include Aalto University, the University of Auckland (New Zealand), Stockholm University, the member universities of the University of the Arctic (UIA) network, the Chinese Academy of Sciences as well as the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).
Other important partners are the cities of Helsinki, Lahti and Kotka, as well as other operators which support and fund research, including the Nottbeck Foundation, the Onni Talas Foundation, the R. Erik & Bror Serlachius Foundation, the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, the Lake Vesijärvi Foundation, the Port of Hanko and Viking Line.
Our teaching is based on research, and our researchers provide instruction in bachelor’s and master’s programmes, as well as the doctoral programmes organised by the doctoral schools.