Organismal and Evolutionary Biology

The Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme (OEB) investigates factors relating to the evolution of plants and animals, as well as their adaptation to stress and a changing climate. Research results are used to determine, for example, how climate change affects the distribution of organisms, which factors affect salmon growth or how the formation of flavouring agents is promoted in herb cultivation.

Our research is focused on the organism and population levels of a number of species, including single-cell organisms, invertebrates, plants and vertebrates. The programme employs diverse research approaches ranging from molecular biology, physiology, evolutionary genetics and genomics to theoretical modelling and bioinformatics. The research produces and utilises large-scale datasets in ecology, bioinformatics, and metabolomics, or the study of cellular metabolites.


The strengths of the Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme include

  • Large research groups that complement each other well in the fields of ecology and plant biology
  • The Thriving Nature profile-building project, which produces and applies new research findings
  • Our diverse publications

In addition to studying organisms and populations in their natural surroundings, the programme’s researchers have the opportunity to conduct research under controlled conditions at the research stations of the University of Helsinki in Tvärminne, Lammi and Kilpisjärvi, as well as the research farm and greenhouses on Viikki Campus.

Centralised research equipment and services (research infrastructures) of a high quality in the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and mass spectrometry, metabolomics, plant phenotyping as well as optical, confocal and electron microscopy provide researchers with excellent means for investigating a variety of biological processes.

Research Programme OEB Directors

Director Anna-Liisa Laine and Deputy Director Johanna Mappes

Figures in 2022

Our partners and networks include the Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus, as well as Natural Resources Finland (LUKE) and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), both of which are also located at Viikki Campus. 


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.