People living in the area of Finland have never been a homogeneous group. Our cultural, genetic and linguistic heritage all have a diverse background and are in a constant state of change. People, ideas, customs and diseases have always moved from place to place and left their mark on the population. In a major research consortium, researchers are studying how these marks are still visible in people.
Keyword: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Professor Virpi Lummaa receives nearly €2.5 million in EU funding for research on how societal changes influence human kinship networks
Professor of Evolutionary Biology Virpi Lummaa from the University of Turku in Finland has received a major funding from the European Research Council ERC. Lummaa received the funding for a research project that focuses on how major societal changes in the past 300 years have influenced human kinship networks and how they, in turn, have influenced the evolutionary fitness of people in the 18th to 20th century Finland. Lummaa also investigates the same questions in Asian elephants, which have suffered from declines in population size during the past 50 years due to human influence.
Would you like to help advance scientific research on horse behaviour? If you are 18 years old or older and own at least one horse, you can help to better understand the human-horse relationship by filling in a simple and fun online survey!
Read our special feature where you can move forward in the article by tapping the side of the photo or the arrows below.
Living in a greener environment has an impact on the composition of oligosaccharides in mother's breastmilk, which in turn may affect the infant’s health. A study conducted at the University of Turku showed that greater diversity and proportion of green environments in the residential area were associated with increased diversity in the composition of the oligosaccharides in breastmilk.
Researchers used artificial nests to test two methods for reducing the nest predation of vulnerable and endangered ground-nesting birds. The study showed that red foxes can be more easily deceived into not eating bird eggs than raccoon dogs. The methods could be used alongside hunting and offer an alternative, non-lethal solution for creating protection for vulnerable prey.
Researchers at the Universities of Turku and Oulu, Finland, found out how Roundup, a herbicide containing glyphosate, affects the learning and memory of bumblebees. Already a small dose affected their ability to learn and memorise connections between colours and taste. The weakened fine colour vision can severely impair bumblebees’ foraging and nesting success.
Researchers from University of Turku investigated how the vaccine mandate against the deadly childhood infection smallpox was successful at increasing vaccination coverage in 19th century Finland.
In all vertebrates, mothers transfer variable amounts of hormones into eggs and embryos, which influence development and traits of offspring in later lives. In a recent study the researchers looked at the transferred hormones in different bird species eggs, and found a hundredfold difference in the thyroid hormones, which control development and growth in birds. Migratory and precocial bird species provide the highest levels of thyroid hormones to their offspring.
A study of semi-captive Asian elephants in Myanmar has found that calves benefit from having older sisters more than older brothers. The findings are published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Animal Ecology.