The plight of migrants has come to the forefront recently as masses of people have migrated to Europe seeking asylum from predicaments faced at home. Many people in Finland seem to have forgotten that over 400,000 Finnish people had to abandon their homes in Karelia as a result of World War II. In this cross-disciplinary project, directed by John Loehr, an ecological scientist, biologists, sociologists, historians and demographic researchers study how enforced migration has affected family relations, having children, and integration into the community.

”The Karelian evacuees encountered much the same traumas and faced similar prejudices and resentment that current migrants face, making this population particularly appropriate to gain insight into the present and future of European migrants,” Loehr points out.

“We might not be able to say how one should act today, but we may be able to attract the attention of decision makers to something important. Maybe even influence society in some small ways, which is rewarding for an academic,” Loehr continues.

Workgroup:

John Loehr, Research and education coordinator, PhD, Lammi Biological station, University of Helsinki, FIN
Virpi Lummaa, Academy professor, University of Turku, FIN
Johanna Mappes, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology, University of Jyväskylä, FIN
Jenni Pettay, Researcher, University of Turku, FIN
Anna Rotkirch, Research Director, Population Research Institute, FIN
Mirkka Danielsbacka, University Teacher, University of Turku, FIN

 

Other News

Simon's latest work on the demography of grandmothers is now out in PLoS ONE. 

We were delighted to host Professors Martin Daly and Gretchen Perry for a day of excellent talks, with a particular focus on grandmothering and alloparental behaviour.

Robert Lynch is at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) conference 2018 in Amsterdam

The manuscript "The transition to modernity and chronic disease: mismatch and natural selection" by Stephen Corbett, Alexandre Courtiol, Virpi Lummaa, Jacob Moorad and Stephen Stea

Two papers out now from Simon's PhD project!

1) Changes in the Length of Grandparenthood in Finland 1790-1959, published in the Finnish Yearbook of Population Reasarch. In this paper, the team investigated how the shared time between grandparents and grandchildren changed across the demographic transition and with industrialisation. This shared time was low and stable before these major events, and began to increase rapidly after they began.

2) Limited support for the X-linked grandmother hypothesis in pre-industrial Finland, published in Biology Letters. Here, we tested whether slight differences in relatedness via the X-chromosome might lead to differences the survival of male and female grandchildren with maternal or paternal grandmothers. Though two of three predictions were supported, we concluded that the X-linked grandmother hypothesis cannot account for lineage differences by itself. 

Our latest paper shows that early-life environment is associated with sex differences in adult mortality and expected lifespan. Out now in Ecology Letters:
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/ele.12888

Figure 3a+b, from Griffin et al. 2017

Our review of the contribution of human studies to evolutionary biology is out now in Proceedings of the Royal Society B:
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1866/20171164

Virpi was given the inaugural Phoenix Award from the Turku Finnish University Society on Friday in recognition of and encouragement for her consistently creative and internationally high-quality re

We had the pleasure of hosting Silke van Daalen from the University of Amsterdam for three weeks this September. Silke is a PhD student working with Hal Caswell on identifying individual stochasticity in life-history traits of long-lived populations with a mathematical modelling approach, and came to learn about our dataset and how she might be able to use it in her work. We wish her the best of luck with the rest of her PhD studies, and hope to see her again soon!

Another year, another project meeting! This time we stayed on the beautiful island of Seili, again with the lovely people from the Myanmar Timber Elephant Project, for a few days of talks, drinks, and sauna. Needless to say, there is plenty of interesting and exciting work underway - keep your eyes peeled for the results, coming soon (hopefully) to peer-reviewed journals near you!