History of the station

Since 1953, Lammi Biological Station has served as a base for the University of Helsinki’s field courses in the biosciences and research projects focused on the environmental sciences.

The station was established in 1953 on the land of a former parish house bought from the local church. When the University was offered the opportunity to establish a biological station, it considered Lammi's diverse environment of lakes, ridges, forests, brooks and swamps to be a perfect setting for a research station. In addition, Lammi is located close to Evo, which has been home to forestry research and training since the 1850s. As Lammi is within easy reach from Helsinki (130 kilometres), the station soon became an ideal venue for organising field courses where students learn the basics of ecology and species identification.

The book Pappilamiljööstä kansainvälisen tieteen tyyssijaksi: Lammin biologisen aseman puoli vuosisataa recounts the history of the station.

1970 -

As the old parish house was not suited to serve as a research station, in 1970 the current station buildings were erected. In the 1970s Lammi became, besides a base for field courses, a research institute operating year round and housing significant research projects, such as the Lake Pääjärvi project funded by the Academy of Finland. The purpose of the project was to investigate the structure, functioning and productivity of the pristine boreal lake ecosystem.

With the Lake Pääjärvi project, aquatic ecology became the station’s primary research topic. Over the years, research has focused on the acidification of lakes, nutrient loading from forestry and agriculture in lakes, and the effects of climate change on lake ecosystems. Lammi Biological Station has also established itself as a hub of other research fields (including research in palaeontology, geography, and mire and land ecosystems) and has made a name for itself among the international scientific community.

The great Finnish ecologist Ilkka Hanski began his studies in Lammi in the autumn of 1972. By the mid-1970s, having completed his master’s and licentiate theses, he transferred to Oxford to work on his doctoral thesis on the community ecology of dung beetles. After his return to Finland, Lammi Biological Station continued to play a significant role in Hanski's pioneering research on metapopulation ecology, in which he used the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) as a model. He conducted his experimental work on this butterfly endemic to the Åland Islands off the coast of Finland in a special indoor facility and outside enclosures for the butterflies built in 2007.  Research in these butterfly facilities located next to the station's main building continues to this day.