Withstanding rapid environmental change is a fundamental challenge facing our natural world. This ‘biological resilience’ has key implications for ecosystem services, forestry, food production and societal wellbeing across the globe.

As a response, the University of Helsinki has launched the Thriving Nature -project, which draws on the expertise of two University faculties - the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and the Institute of Biotechnology. 

The project unites and strengthens our expertise in ecology and evolutionary biology, genome-level processes, biotechnology and big data across basic and translational plant biology and application-oriented research in agricultural and forest breeding. This will be accomplished by assembling some of the world’s best research groups, currently working in separate areas of life science at the University of Helsinki, into new unique combinations.

The project takes advantage of the paradigm shift taking place within life sciences: since all biological levels (cells, individuals, populations and communities) interact, they are best studied using dynamic networks of interactions among genes, organisms and their environments. As part of this effort, a new research infrastructure — BioData Analytics, hosted by Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science, has been established to serve the research efforts of the scientist. Typical data analytics tasks include, but are not limited to, genome, ecological, community and phenotyping data.