Researchers at the Universities of Turku and Helsinki found that women were more likely to volunteer for all-female paramilitary organizations if they had brothers or husbands who were currently serving in the military. This result suggests that bonding with larger and frequently imagined communities, such as the nation state or religious groups, can arise from psychology mechanisms designed by evolution to increase cooperation among close relatives.
Keyword: Department of Biology
Healthy Ageing and Grandmother Involvement with Grandchildren Bring Benefits to Multiple Generations
A new study conducted at the University of Turku shows that grandmother involvement with their grandchildren improves the survival of the grandchildren. Based on historical Finnish church records, the study however finds the ability to provide help to young grandchildren declines with grandmother age and deteriorated health.
We have a strong, versatile and internationally recognized research agenda in ecology, animal physiology, genetics and evolutionary biology. Many of our research projects integrate over the levels of biological organization and involve multi-disciplinary collaborations.
Nature is becoming less diverse all across the globe, which is also threatening the future of humankind. Researchers emphasise the fact that there is still hope, but now is the time to act.
Professors Kari Saikkonen and Ilari E. Sääksjärvi emphasise the need for protecting natural forests that are home to diverse species. In Finland, forests cover over 70% of the country’s surface area, but especially in the south most of it is commercial forest.
The University of Turku's Amazon Research Team's (UTU-ART) botanical acquisitions focus especially on ferns and medinilla plants. After spending weeks in the jungle, the researchers’ plant specimen findings end up in the University's Herbarium and databases. The Amazonia is home to innumerable unknown species and therefore it is important to develop the databases.
A specimen belonging to the Amazon Research Team's collections
Studying biology at our department consists of an essential combination of theory and practice from the first year on.
We explore life and biological evolution in a range of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The Department of Biology is one of the scientifically most productive units of the University and successfully educates experts at all degree levels.
The importance of grandmothers in the lives of their grandchildren has changed. The shared lifetime between grandmothers and their grandchildren has a fundamental effect on how grandparents and grandchildren influence each other. A study conducted by biologists at the University of Turku, based on Finnish parish registers, indicates that, in this agrarian society, the shared lifetime of grandchildren and their grandmothers was short.
Humans have been capturing wild Asian elephants for more than 3,000 years for different purposes, and this still continues today despite the fact that the populations are declining. An international team of researchers has now analysed records of timber elephants in Myanmar to understand the effects of capture on the animals and their survival. The study shows that even years after their capture, wild-caught elephants’ mortality rate remains increased, and their average life expectancy is several years shorter compared to captive-born animals.