The University of Turku, together with the Universities of Eastern Finland, Oulu, Helsinki and Jyväskylä and Åbo Akademi University are collaborating in biodiversity education, and the course catalogue for this academic year has been published. Through the Biodiversity education network, students at the University of Turku have a possibility to take biodiversity-related courses from other universities.
Researchers from the University of Turku have described seven new fern species from the rainforests of tropical America. Many of the species were uncovered as the by-product of ecological research: the species diversity in tropical forests is still so poorly known that field trips and herbarium work keep discovering previously unknown species.
The Nature2100 fund (Luonto2100-rahasto) uses donated funds to acquire forest areas that will enhance positive development in biodiversity and the recreational use of forests. A particular aim is to expand and diversify existing conservation and hiking areas in southern Finland.
Finland's two-year term as the Chair of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group of the Arctic Council starts in May 2021. Docent in Environmental Ecology, PhD Mia Rönkä from the Biodiversity Unit at the University of Turku and Natural Resources Institute Finland will start as the Chair.
Great Diversity of Wasps Discovered in Africa – Doctoral Candidate Collected over 100,000 Parasitoid Wasps in the Tropical Forest of Uganda (Dissertation Defence: MSc Tapani Hopkins, 27 Feb 2021, Biology)
Doctoral Candidate Tapani Hopkins collected over 100,000 parasitoid wasps from the tropical forest of Uganda during his doctoral dissertation. Current results suggest that there is a diverse parasitoid wasp fauna still awaiting discovery in tropical Africa. His dissertation defence on rhyssine wasp species, their ecology, and how their diversity compares to Amazonia will be held online. Questions are welcome after the event.
The researchers at the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku are specialised in studying poorly known species habiting some of the most remote places on earth. As a result of their scientific expeditions, the researchers constantly discover species that are unknown to science. One of the most recent discoveries is a spider which was named after actor Joaquin Phoenix and his famous portrayal of the Joker character.
A research group from the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku studies the diversity of parasitoid insects around the world. Parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) are one of the most species rich animal taxa on Earth, but their tropical diversity is still poorly known. In the latest study, the group discovered 15 new, sizeable species that parasitise spiders in the lowland rainforests of the Amazon and the cloud forests of the Andes.
New Information on Tropical Parasitoid Insects Revealed — Investigating the Species Vital for Environmental Protection
The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku. Parasitoid wasps are one of the animal groups that are the most rich in species. However, the tropical species are still very poorly known. Understanding the diversity of parasitoid wasps inhabiting rainforests is important, because tropical biodiversity is dwindling at an accelerating rate.
Researchers from the University of Turku, Finland have discovered a new wasp species in the Amazon which has an exceptionally large stinger that surprised even the scientists. The new insect, which is found in the extremely diverse transitional zone between the Andes and the Amazonian lowland rainforest, uses its stinger both for laying eggs and injecting venom.