Biogeo Science

We are a research community at the University of Helsinki. Our research is at the interface of the geosphere and biosphere, including the impacts of human actions on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and communities. From a broad range of geological and geographical point of views, we focus on understanding the past, present, and future global changes affecting both the abiotic and biotic systems and their interactions.

Our research focuses on community ecology, biogeography and macroecology and we use aquatic unicellular organisms as our main model system to test general macroecological theories. Our group frequently uses meta-analyses as generalizations across organisms and ecosystems aiming to address broad questions in macroecology.  Our studies are also useful for biodiversity conservation in freshwaters and for assessing environmental quality.

Janne Soininen, Professor

The BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab is focused on the spatial and temporal modelling of Earth systems, particularly patterns and processes concerning biogeography, geomorphology, and climatology, and their interactions. Besides theoretical and methodological interests in understanding and predicting species distributions, earth surface processes, and biosphere-atmosphere interactions, the lab develops models for different applied purposes in physical geography. GIS and remote sensing methods, such as remotely piloted aircraft systems, are used to study the drivers governing ecosystems and landscapes. The lab also engages in palaeoclimate science, by applying models of biotic response to study the development of climate across geological time based on fossil datasets. The lab aims to assess the potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ground surface conditions, and vegetation and soil dynamics. To explore these topics, the lab is leading observational and experimental studies, statistical analyses and mathematical simulations, including bioclimate modelling and data mining - in order to understand the structure and functioning of ecosystems and landscapes at multiple scales.

Miska Luoto, Professor
J. Sakari Salonen, PhD
Juha Aalto, PhD 
Heidi K. Mod, PhD
Annina K. J. Niskanen, PhD student
Henri Riihimäki, PhD student
Pekka Niittynen, PhD student
Anna-Maria Virkkala, PhD student
Julia Kemppinen, PhD student
Konsta Happonen, PhD student
Chen Liangzhi, PhD student

Earth Change Observation Laboratory ECHOLAB applies remote sensing sensors and geospatial data for studying Earth’s physical, biological and societal systems and how they change our environment and livelihoods especially in Global South. Remote sensing data collected from satellite, airborne and terrestrial sensors is supplemented by geospatial data from environmental sensing, field sensors and interviews from communities.

We concentrate on several research themes from remote sensing to biogeosciences and sustainability science. We aim to knowledge sharing with appropriate stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and communication strategy creating ownership. Moreover, the strategies to adapt to land change and climate change are developed.

Leader:  Petri Pellikka, Professor

Our research focuses on the fossil record and evolution of mammals and their relationship with habitat and climate change. We are particularly interested in mammalian teeth, how they form, how they work, how they wear down, and how their shapes evolve. A recent, emerging focus is the ecometric study of early human environments. The NOW database that is coordinated in our group.

Mikael Fortelius, Professor
Indrė Žliobaitė, University Researcher, Docent
Laura K. Säilä, Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher
Jussi Eronen, Researcher, Docent
Janina Rannikko, Doctoral student
Ferhat Kaya, Doctoral student
Kari Lintulaakso, Doctoral student
Aleksis Karme, Doctoral student
Seela Salakka, Doctoral student

Our group’s research interests span a broad range of geological and paleontological questions largely related to Cenozoic climate and environmental changes. We work with a number or terrestrial archives including Neogene deposits in the Chinese Loess Plateau and NW Iran, and Eocene-Oligocene sequences in Inner Mongolia.

Anu Kaakinen, Academy Research Fellow
Yuan Shang, Doctoral student
Joonas Wasiljeff, Doctoral student

The group's research focuses is on long-term climatic changes and the associated ecological and biogeographical responses. The group operates on long, millennial times-scales and at the interface of geological and biological sciences.

Heikki Seppä, Professor
Normunds Strivins, Postdoctoral researcher
Liisa Ilvonen, Postdoctoral researcher
Yurui Zhang, PhD

We are a research group at the Department of Computer science, University of Helsinki focusing on data science for understanding evolutionary and biospheric change processes and their causal mechanisms. More generally -- data science in relation to understanding how life works. Our research focuses on the fossil record and evolution of mammals and their relationship with habitat and climate change. In machine learning we develop methods that can adapt to changing data distribution over time, such as concept drift.

Indrė Žliobaitė, Assistant professor
Janina Rannikko, PhD student (co-supervised with M.Fortelius)
Han Lin, Research assistant
Michael Mechenich, Master student

Our group connects classical specimen based research and taxonomy with data intensive analyses. Our research has a focus on a better understanding of the long-term macroevolutionary processes that shaped the marine ecosystems during the Palaeozoic time (c. 540-250 million years ago).

Keywords: Curation of Palaeontology Collection, Databases, Paleobiology, Paleontology, Cephalopoda, Palaeozoic

Björn Kröger, Curator Palaeontology Collection
Kari Lintulaakso, Data Curator