Ilkka Hanski

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Ilkka Hanski
Ilkka Hanski.jpg
Ilkka Hanski in January 2009.
Born (1953-02-14) February 14, 1953 (age 61)
Lempäälä, Finland
Nationality  Finnish
Fields Ecology
Institutions Helsinki University
Alma mater Helsinki University
Notable awards Balzan Prize (2000)
Sewall Wright Award (2001)
Crafoord Prize (2011)

Ilkka A. Hanski ForMemRS (born 14 February 1953) is a Finnish scientist, working in the field of ecology, at the University of Helsinki, Finland.[1] The Metapopulation Research Group led by Hanski has been nominated as a Center of Excellence by the Academy of Finland. The group studies species living in fragmented landscapes and attempts to advance such research of metapopulation ecology[2][3][4][5] that can be applied to preserving nature. Metapopulation ecology itself studies populations of plants and animals which are separated in space by occupying patches.[6]

Ilkka Hanski took his Bachelor's degree and Licentiate's degree in the University of Helsinki in 1976 and Doctoral degree from the University of Oxford in 1979. He was appointed as a docent in the University of Helsinki in 1981 and in the University of Joensuu in 1983. Hanski was a graduate student in Oxford from 1976 to 1979. He has worked in the Academy of Finland from 1978 to 1988 as well as from 1991 to 1992. He worked as an acting professor of zoology in the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1991, and was appointed (full) professorship of zoology in 1993. Hanski has work as an Academy Professor of the Academy of Finland from 1996. In 2000 he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Ecological Sciences. In 2000, he was elected a foreign members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In June 2005, he was the second Finnish scientist ever made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of London. In April 2006, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Crafoord Prize in biosciences 2011 “for his pioneering studies on how spatial variation affects the dynamics of animal and plant populations”.[7]

Hanski is married and lives in Finland.

The central questions of metapopulation biology studies by Hanski have several practical applications. For example, understanding biodiversity and population variability is essential for practical work in conservation biology and in regional planning. Mathematical models developed by the Hanski group can be used to build and promote coexistence of Man and Nature, for instance in urban environments where planning of green areas bears importance.

The field research of the Glanville fritillary butterfly in Ahvenanmaa is a well-known classical model system. The scientific literature produced by Hanski is rather enormous; the ISI Web of Knowledge database suggests that he is the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific articles and has edited several books. He is one of the most cited Finnish scientists.[citation needed]

Hanski is also an active advocate of nature and biodiversity, and he participates in public debates. His central view is that the responsibility of ecologists is not restricted to producing scientific information but includes avid participation in the processes using the information produced.


  1. ^ "Ilkka Hanski's homepage". Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  2. ^ Hanski, I. (1998). "Metapopulation dynamics". Nature 396 (6706): 41. doi:10.1038/23876.  edit
  3. ^ Saccheri, I.; Kuussaari, M.; Kankare, M.; Vikman, P.; Fortelius, W.; Hanski, I. (1998). "Inbreeding and extinction in a butterfly metapopulation". Nature 392 (6675): 491. doi:10.1038/33136.  edit
  4. ^ Hanski, Ilkka (1999). Metapopulation ecology. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854065-5. 
  5. ^ Hanski, I. (1991). "Single-species metapopulation dynamics: Concepts, models and observations". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 42: 17. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1991.tb00549.x.  edit
  6. ^ Trivedi, B. (2011). "Profile of Ilkka A. Hanski". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (50): 19865–19866. doi:10.1073/pnas.1117176108. PMC 3250115. PMID 22106273.  edit
  7. ^ The Crafoord Prize in Biosciences 2011