Principal investigator: Otso Ovaskainen

It is difficult to make direct observations on the causal relationships driving ecological and evolutionary processes. Consequently, much of the empirical research describes patterns resulting from such processes, e.g. patterns of distribution and abundance. Modern mathematical and statistical tools make it possible to use data on patterns to infer about the underlying processes, e.g. inter- and intraspecific interactions.

The Mathematical biology group focuses on the interface between mathematics and biology. Our research spans from development of general and mathematically rigorous theories to statistical approaches linking the theories to data. We utilize both forward (from process to pattern) and inverse (from pattern to process) approaches to learn about the ecological, genetic, and evolutionary dynamics of populations and species inhabiting the heterogeneous and changing landscapes of the real world.

The current core areas include joint species distribution modelling, probabilistic methods for molecular species identification, and the mathematical theory of spatial and stochastic processes.


Professor Otso Ovaskainen
Center of Excellence in Metapopulation Biology
Department of Biosciences
PO Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Biocenter 3, Room 5716
Phone: +358 2941 57924, +358 50 448 4499