In this lab, we focus on a widely diverse array of topics, which even may vary in time. Below are some of the current projects we are working on.
Bird-window collisions

Bird deaths linked to urban structures are considered one of the most alarming global avian conservation issues. The astounding toll of over one billion bird fatalities annually, solely in northern North America due to window collisions, paints a grim picture for bird communities in cities. However, the actual threat might be even greater, given the insufficient data and estimations of this phenomenon beyond the borders of the USA and Canada.

Within our research group, our ongoing efforts involve collecting data to comprehend this issue better and propose science-driven solutions focused on reducing and preventing these accidents, ultimately benefiting urban biodiversity conservation. We are currently establishing a network in Finland to assess the extent of the problem nationwide and provide solutions to decision-makers:

LI+LA: Lintujen lasiintörmäyksiä tutkiva verkosto

(Collaborative Network for Investigating Bird-Window Collisions)

Addressing the bird-window collision phenomenon in Finland and much of Europe presents an additional challenge: the limited availability of scientific knowledge on the subject. Despite numerous reported collisions throughout the country and frequent eyewitness accounts, the absence of formal field and experimental studies hinders a comprehensive understanding of the problem's scale, and required action.

In LI+LA, our goal is to unite key actors across society, including academics, governmental decision-makers, architects, engineers, conservationists, and the general public. By leveraging existing information and generating new empirical and experimental knowledge, we aim to propose mitigation strategies for this deadly phenomenon.

Our current main objectives include:

• Assessing bird-window mortality rates for various building types and surrounding conditions

• Estimating the magnitude of bird-window collisions relative to Finland's bird population

• Testing the effectiveness of bird-window collision deterrents in urban and non-urban Finnish contexts

• Understanding Finnish residents' perceptions and willingness to engage in bird-window collision prevention


The following institutions (and key actors) have already expressed interest in participating and supporting LI+LA:

Urban Ecosystem Integrity measurements

Urbanization poses several social, environmental, and ecological problems that, in combination, threaten biodiversity and several aspects of human well-being. Because of this, it is essential to be able to measure the intensity of such elements in a holistic manner. The research group aims to generate a quantitative metric that is adaptable and useful, considering the social, physical, and biological dimensions of cities. The goal is for this metric to be used by governments to redirect resources for the benefit of the citizenry, allowing all people to have access to nature and enjoy the psychological and health benefits that natural areas provide, as well as to create more sustainable, resilient, and livable cities. We have recently proposed the Urban Ecosystem Integrity Index that focused on the physical and biological dimension of cities, allowing to have a continuous assessment of cities regarding how similar sites are in relation to a contrast system. The index has shown to be highly informative in a tropical city (Xalapa, Mexico) and was recently used for a Finnish city (Lahti), where it performed as well as in Xalapa.

Biodiversity of cities

The research group focuses on the biodiversity of cities from several parts of the world, including Finnish ones (e.g., Helsinki, Lahti, Turku, Tampere), but also in Estonia, Spain, Mexico, and Colombia. In some of those cities, we follow a citywide survey scheme that allows us to get a representative sample of the conditions of cities. The research group is keen on knowing the response of different biodiversity groups (e.g., mammals, birds, insects, plants) to a variety of urban attributes (e.g., noise, building cover, pedestrians, cars) and urban-related threats (e.g., cats, dogs, windows).

Avian behavior

Responses of wildlife to urbanization are differential. In the case of birds, there are several responses depending on the taxonomic group. Many bird species thrive in cities and their behavior is sometimes quite different from that of populations that live in undisturbed environments where only natural resources are available. Bird behavior can be a parameter to learn about the effects and outcomes of the urbanization processes and how wildlife can adapt to the presence of both new resources and different kinds of disturbances related to human presence.