Research infrastructures

Luomus boasts Finland’s largest infrastructure framework in biodiversity research. Here you can access more information on the infrastructures Luomus maintains.
Laboratory of Chronology

The Laboratory of Chronology produces analysis services based on scientific methods. Radiocarbon, stable isotopic and luminescence techniques make it possible to investigate traces of natural and human activity from the last Ice Age to the Anthropocene.

Genomic resources collections

Established in 2018, the Luomus genomic resources collections include DNA extracts stored in cryogenic freezers as well as animal tissue samples for future extraction. DNA extracts have been stored of samples remaining from Luomus research projects and meeting quality criteria. Tissue samples are added to the collections from specimens used in research or animals found dead in Finland and donated to the museum.

The aim of the collections is to preserve high-quality tissue and DNA samples from the entire biota to meet the needs of future research and rapidly developing new methods. The collections serve information needs in the era of global climate change and biodiversity loss.

Gunilla Ståhls-Mäkelä
Veronika Laine

Geochemical and isotope geological research equipment

In geochemical and isotope geology determinations, Luomus cooperates closely with the University of Helsinki’s Department of Geosciences and Geography and the Geological Survey of Finland.

Collaboration gives access to versatile research instruments:

  • X-Ray diffractometer (XRD, Department of Geosciences and Geography): mineral identification and crystallography
  • Electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA, Department of Geosciences and Geography): major element analyses
  • Thermal ionization mass spectrometer (TIMS, Department of Geosciences and Geography): isotope analyses
  • Laser-ablation ICP mass spectrometer (LA-ICPMS, Department of Geosciences and Geography): trace element analyses
  • High Resolution ICP mass spectrometer (HR-ICPMS, Geological Survey of Finland): trace element analyses
National collections

Luomus is responsible for preserving, acquiring and displaying Finnish national natural history collections and carrying out associated research and teaching. 

Botanic garden living collections

The living collections of the Luomus botanic gardens in Kaisaniemi and Kumpula include 7,050 plants of different origins and 4,230 taxa (species, races or cultivars) o f trees, shrubs and perennials as well as biennials and some annuals.

The Luomus DNA laboratory

The Luomus DNA laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for genetic research. The laboratory has workspace for DNA extractions and pre- and post-PCR work. It also has a separate clean room designated, in particular, for handling historical resources.

The laboratory uses advanced genetics methods to investigate taxonomy, and resolves key issues of evolution, phylogeny, systematics, biogeography, population genetics and nature conservation.

Kyung Min Lee

Wild plant seed bank

The seed bank in Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden serves as a reserve stock of endangered Finnish plants. When seeds are dried to low humidity and frozen, they can survive for dozens, even hundreds of years. At present, the seed bank encompasses 146 threatened or near-threatened species, sub-species or variants. This represents almost half of all plant species threatened or near-threatened in Finland. In addition to being stockpiled, the seed bank collections are actively utilised in research and conservation.

Mari Miranto

Micro-CT scanner

The Nikon XT H 225 micro-CT scanner can image the surface and internal structures of specimens without damaging them. The resulting scans and 3D models are suited to visualising and investigating specimens in many ways. The scanner allows the imaging of specimens with a diameter of 1 to 280 mm and a weight of under 15 kg.

Max Söderholm
Anne Koivunen


The 22-spot ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata) scuttling in the video is a small beetle with a length of 3–4 mm, which you can spot, for example, on plants outside your house or in a nearby meadow. Both larvae and adult specimens help clean up plants by feeding on powdery mildew on leaves.

Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility

The Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility is a Luomus flagship project in digitalisation. It collects and integrates national biodiversity data into a single, coherent and open resource. The facility has been operating since 2015, and the open-access portal was made available in December 2016.
The portal allows you to search for information on Finnish species, browse and download  observations, and log your own wildlife observations. Luomus coordinates the facility, which has been developed together with other universities, research institutes, NGOs and specialists.

Taita Research Station in Kenya

The University of Helsinki’s Taita Research Station is located in the Taita Hills of Kenya. The forested hills and the dry plains surrounding them offer outstanding conditions for multidisciplinary environmental research. Research conducted at the station addresses topics such as the significance of mountain forests for the regional water economy and the effects of land use changes on the regional climate and unique species. Established in 2011, the station is an excellent base for the University of Helsinki’s field courses and supports other universities in their teaching and research.