The City of Helsinki Science Award to Professor Craig Primmer

The City of Helsinki Science Award was presented to Craig Primmer on Helsinki Day, 12 June 2023.

Craig Primmer  is an Australian-Finnish researcher who studies the genetic makeup of fish together with his team. By studying the genetic basis of salmon’s life cycle, we can find ways of protecting biodiversity, both in nature’s own populations and in fish farming. Primmer works to investigate the reasons for fish behaviour, which will help develop the protection of fish in the changing environmental conditions.

Some of the most important research findings Primmer has made in the field of conservation genetics in relation to the genetic makeup of fish have been published in the prestigious scientific magazine Nature, among others. Primmer has also published 200 other scientific articles.

“It’s a huge honour to receive such a prestigious award, especially when seeing the list of names that have received it in earlier years. Beyond being a science award, I’m also very honoured to have been considered a “helsinkilainen” (i.e. Helsinki resident) given my immigrant background. It is also important to recognize that science is done in teams, and not as individuals, so it is important to acknowledge the large number of current and former group members and collaborators, as well as the funders that have made our research possible,” Primmer says.

Primmer’s scientific merits include being selected an academy professor twice. Another sign of the high international quality of Primmer’s research is the fact that he has been granted the Advanced funding of the European Research Council (ERC) twice. The funding is intended for top researchers for pioneering and ambitious projects that have considerable impact potential.

The City of Helsinki Science Award has been given since 1996. The purpose of the award is to improve and promote Helsinki as a science city. The City of Helsinki Science Award is granted as recognition of the significant scientific work done by a Helsinki resident or work done in Helsinki. Read the press release from the City of Helsinki.


Primmer is a professor at the University of Helsinki Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Institute of Biotechnology, and vice-dean for research and international affairs at the Faculty.

Primmer received his doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 1997 and the title of adjunct professor of ecological genetics from the University of Helsinki in 1999. In 2005, he was appointed professor of genetics at the Department of Biology of the University of Turku, and in 2017 he started as professor of genomics at the University of Helsinki.

For more information about Primmer's research visit his research group pages on:
Evolution, conservation and genomics