Ecosystems and Environment

The extensive and multidisciplinary Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme studies the effects of human activity on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and provides solutions for current environmental problems. The research focus areas of the programme are

  • climate change and Arctic regions,
  • the Baltic Sea and
  • urban ecosystems.

Climate change research focuses on both long-term climatic variation and the causes of recent changes in climate and the identification of ecosystem effects e.g. in terms of the role of black carbon in climate change and the carbon cycle in Arctic regions, as well as on the emergence of climate risk in society.

Research of the Baltic Sea and its catchment area focuses on understanding the structure and function of marine and freshwater ecosystems and the interacting effects of a changing climate and eutrophication on biodiversity. The research also includes analysing environmental risk associated with fisheries and shipping, and human-induced changes in catchment areas.

The objective of the urban ecosystem research is to solve environmental issues related to urbanization. This research area studies ecosystem services produced by green areas (e.g. mitigation of problems due to air pollutants and urban runoff) and their socio-ecological reflections, including theories, concepts and methods for assessing social values, environmental justice, subjective well-being and pro-environmental behavior in urban areas. Sustainability is an important aspect of each research focus area.

Our researchers participate in doctoral training, especially in DENVI and LUOVA doctoral programmes.