Biodiversity, Biogeography and Conservation

The Biodiversity, Biogeography and Conservation programme studies the species diversity and regional distribution of groups of organisms as well as changes in species. Projects explore threats arising from, for example, species loss, the spread of invasive alien species and climate change. A variety of methods specific to both field and laboratory research are used, allowing the adaptation of organisms to be studied, for example, by performing experimental work, exploring long observation series or using a modelling approach.
Busy in the field

Practical work is part of the everyday life of researchers in several research programmes. As species at research sites range from plants to bats, scholars work in a wide variety of areas, from Finland to the far-away tropics, and at all times of the day.

In spring 2023, a study describing three species of fungi new to science found in New Zealand in 2013 was published. They live on the resin of indigenous conifers of the podocarp family – two of them were found on the trunk seen in the photo!

Accumulating collections

Museum collections are accumulated through research projects and donations. In spring 2023, a valuable batch of lichen specimens collected from Kilimanjaro and other East African mountains was added to the collections of the Botanical Museum, including type specimens of several Sticta species new to science. 


Researchers teach

Specialists of the research programme teach on several courses at the University of Helsinki and other higher education institutions, including both contact instruction and course-based instruction online, as well as web-based courses completed independently by students. In addition to courses organised in Finland, teaching is occasionally given abroad. In January 2023, the Flora and Vegetation of East Africa (IPS-175) field course was organised at Taita Research Station in Kenya. 

Research groups

Tutkimusohjelmassa (Biodiversity, Biogeography and Conservation) tutkitaan eri eliöryhmien lajistollista monimuotoisuutta, niiden alueellista jakautumista ja lajistossa tapahtuvia muutoksia. Hankkeissa pureudutaan esimerkiksi lajikadosta, haitallisten vieraslajien leviämisestä ja ilmastonmuutoksesta aiheutuviin uhkiin. Tutkimuksessa hyödynnetään monenlaisia kenttä- ja laboratoriotutkimukselle ominaisia menetelmiä, joissa eliöiden sopeutumista voidaan tutkia esimerkiksi kokeellisesti, pitkiä havaintosarjoja tarkastelemalla tai mallinnuksen avulla.

Further information