Research at the Department of Geography and Geology

The slogan of our Department ”World Beyond the Surface ” is a revealing indication of our broad field of research and the objective to understand the mechanisms behind different phenomena.

As a Department with two scientific fields, the spectrum of our research is exceptionally diverse. The common denominators of our work are the solid theoretical foundation, state-of-the-art research methods and diverse collaboration.

Main areas of research at Geography

  • Innovation environments and urban geography
  • Applied geographical information system science
  • Riverine environments and coastal areas
  • Environmental dynamics and global change

Main areas of research at Geology

  • The geology of Fennoscandia
  • Sedimentology and historical environmental changes

Here is some of our research groups and projects

Amazon research team

The Amazon Research Team (UTU-ART) is a multi-disciplinary research team of the University of Turku with its first activities in the early 1980s. Research is made about the nature and environment of tropical America, especially Amazonia. The researchers are based at the University of Turku in the Department of Biology and the Department of Geography and Geology.

Homepage of the group

Eyes on Surveillance

The group focuses on questions related to monitoring, tracking and using of personal data in the context of everyday life. The focus is on social, cultural and personal impacts of surveillance technologies and policies.



Fennoscandian Tectonic Group

The study group aims at understanding the complex tectonic history of the Fennoscandian bedrock by integrating up-to-date methods and traditional field geology. 

Link to pages

Fluvial and Coastal Research Group

In the Fluvial and Coastal Research Group (FCRG) we study fluvial and coastal processes and environments. Our research concentrates on past, present and future river and coastal dynamics.

Link to pages

Greenplace project
Knowledge Creation Processes

KREPRO conducts research knowledge creation processes in economic geography and development studies. The key concepts in our studies include space, place, mobilities, locations and changing distancies. With a geographical approach, we analyze the processes of knowledge creation, innovation, and creativity as part of urban and rural spaces, knowledge societies and innovation-based development policies.

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Lake and Marine Sediment Research Group

Lake and marine sediments are the high resolution archives of past environmental and climate change.

Homepage of the group


LuotAI — Co-Creativity in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

MUST consortium RewarD project

MUST (Murtoo Scientists) consortium and collaborating Swedish researchers have recently identified a subglacial landform new to science. This landform called murtoo, has a unique triangular shape and dimensions that are only detectable through LiDAR data now available from most of Finland and Sweden. These landforms are not predicted by existing theories of subglacial landforms. The RewarD project of the MUST consortium (2019-2023) aims to add the missing linking element between channelized and distributed drainage systems to the current theory of subglacial meltwater flow and related modelling approaches. The project focuses specifically on the murtoos and the related subglacial meltwater routes in Finland.

Link to pages

Plastlife-Sustainable Circular Economy of Plastics

Publications from the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of Turku

SustainBaltic project (2016-2018) is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Central Baltic Programme

Urban Climate Research Group

Turku Urban Climate Research Group (TURCLIM) conducts research on spatio-temporal patterns of urban climate with the aid of permanent weather data collection system and GIS data. The research group is part of a Network of Networks to Progress Urban Climate Science consisting of 10 European universities/research institutions in the field of urban climatology coordinated by the University of Gent. In Finland, the key collaborators are the city of Turku and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.


Urbanization, Mobilities and Immigration (URMI)

Project URMI analyses the future of urbanization and its drivers, the state-of-art of urban sustainability, the impact of urbanization to regions and the impact of immigration on urbanization in Finland. URMI conducts multidisciplinary scientific research that is internationally regognized with high scientific impact, subtanstial societal impact and immediate policy relevance in Finland to respond to the programmatic questions of the Strategic Research Council call Urbanizing Society.

Project lasts from 2016 to 2019

UTU Geospatial Labs

UTU Geospatial Labs gathers information and resources about the geospatial research, education and cooperation activities of the University of Turku under one place for easier access and use. Our key facilities consist of GIS laboratories and units equipped with hardware and software, which are linked into centralised IT management and services. UTU Geospatial Labs facilities provide the backbone for geospatial research and teaching.

UTU Tanzania Team

University of Turku (UTU) has been working in Tanzania since 2003 with local and international partners. Our research cooperation focuses on interactions of humans and nature in dynamic Tanzanian landscapes using remote sensing and geospatial approaches, and we also study innovations and knowledge exchange in business cooperation and development. We have extensive higher education cooperation with local universities in Geography and Geospatial and ICT technologies.

Homepage of the team



Our newest publications