Virpi Lummaa Scientific Medal 2016 Zoological Society of London

Virpi Lummaa is an outstanding evolutionary biologist and her work has led to significant advances in our understanding of the ecological causes and evolutionary consequences of variation in reproductive success and longevity. Her research on humans, based on detailed pedigrees, and birth and death records, revealed the selection pressures shaping life history in pre-industrial populations, and in so doing allowed for the first rigorous, scientific examination of human behavioural ecology. These findings have revealed the complex trade-offs shaping recent human evolution.

Virpi’s research also focuses on the evolutionary ecology of Asian elephants, using a unique multi-generational demographic dataset collected from a large population of elephants working in the Myanmar timber industry. This innovative project has already greatly expanded our understanding of the factors affecting health, fertility and mortality rates of these elephants. Virpi has assisted in devising strategies to improve the management and healthcare of the elephants in order to achieve a self-sustaining working population that does not require supplementation from the wild. Virpi is a dedicated mentor and has a well-deserved international reputation as a champion of young researchers. It is a pleasure to present her with the Scientific Medal.

The Scientific Medal, Britain's zoological Oscar, is awarded to scientists with up to 15 years postdoctoral experience for distinguished work in zoology.
 

Other News

Our latest paper shows that early-life environment is associated with sex differences in adult mortality and ex

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:

Virpi was given the inaugural Phoenix Award from the Turku Finnish University Society on Friday, 3rd November 2017, in recognition of her consistently high-quality research. 

We had the pleasure of hosting Silke van Daalen from the University of Amsterdam for three weeks this September.

John Loehr with his workgroup received EUR 225.000 grant from Kone Foundation in 2016 for their project Learning from the past: the effect of forced migration from Karelia on family life.
Karelia-project had their kick-off meeting at the University of Turku 19.4.2017. Intense discussions, good spirit and a lot of inspiration among the team!

Menikö luonnonvalinnalla jotain pieleen: Miksi nainen elää menopaussin jälkeen lähes saman mokoman vaikkei voi saada jälkeläisiä?

Virpi Lummaa

Our multidisciplinary research team is looking for a post-doctoral researcher for a three-year project investigating life history, social integration and the influence of kin in forced migrants in a 20th century Finnish population.

The project is an exciting opportunity to investigate the consequences of forced migration of over 400000 people during World War II from an evolutionary ecology and sociology viewpoint. These migrants encountered much the same traumas and faced similar prejudices and resentment that current migrants face today, making the study of this population particularly appropriate to gain insight into the present and future of current migrants.
 

John Loehr with his workgroup received EUR 225.000 grant from Kone Foundation in 2016 for their project Learning from the past: the effect of forced migration from Karelia on family life.

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.

Kimmo Pokkinen is a man behind the Finnish church book data which he has been collecting for years. He had a big day recently and there was a fair reason to serve some birthday cake for him at the university. Congratulations!

Carly, Verane, Simon, Kimmo, Virpi, Jenni, Samuli, Martin, Mirkka