Research in the field of ecology conducted at the University of Helsinki has improved in ranking from 26 to 20 in the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects in 2023 published by ShanghaiRanking. The classifications of disciplines used in the rankings are based on the groupings used by international scholarly journals.
At the University of Helsinki, research in the discipline of ecology is extensively conducted from a range of perspectives. Ecological research is carried out particularly at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, which has several professorships in the field. Research in the field is also carried out, for example, at the Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus, the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and the Faculty of Science, as well as the Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE and the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science HELSUS – all in all in 13 different units of the University. Ecological research has therefore also been a key topic in several profile-building projects funded by the Research Council of Finland at the University of Helsinki.
What factors have boosted the University’s ecological research to such heights?
According to Craig Primmer, Vice-Dean for research at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, one clear factor is the marked increase in the number of scholarly publications in the field: from 2015 to 2018, the number of publications per year was approximately 275, while from 2019 to 2022 the number of ecology-themed publications had risen to roughly 425 per year.
The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences has a long tradition of ecological research, which over the years has secured significant funding. The Faculty’s researchers have received several grants from the European Research Council (ERC) in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, as well as Centres of Excellence and Academy Professorships funded by the Research Council of Finland.
“From the perspective of my Faculty, our strategic investments, such as new recruitments, the Thriving Nature profile-building project as well as research stations and other well-functioning infrastructures, are bearing fruit,” says Primmer.