Otso Ovaskainen


    Research areas

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology - ecology, population divergence, evolutionary biology, mathematical biology, spatial ecology, population genetics, quantitative genetics, adaptation, dispersal, movement, Bayesian inference, metapopulation
  • 111 Mathematics

Curriculum Vitae

My professorship is in mathematical  ecology. I completed my PhD in mathematics at the Helsinki University of Technology in 1998, after which I joined the Metapopulation Research Centre (MRC) as a post doc for Ilkka Hanski. After spending the year 2001-2002 in Bryan Grenfell's group in Cambridge, UK, I rejoined the MRC, within which I established the Mathematical Biology Group. I am currently the director of MRC.


My research covers mathematical theory, statistical methods, and empirical research, the emphasis being in linking theory to observational and experimental data. My long-term interests are in (i) the development of metapopulation theory and dispersal theory. Here the aim is to understand the movements, dynamics and persistence of individuals and populations inhabiting fragmented landscapes; (ii) building links between microscopic (e.g. individual-based) and macroscopic (e.g. population-based) models in a stochastic and spatial setting; (iii) the development of joint species distribution models to analyze the assembly and dynamics of species communities; (iv) Bayesian approaches in evolutionary quantitative genetics.

Latest publications

  1. E-pub ahead of print

    Handbook for the measurement of macrofungal functional traits: A start with basidiomycete wood fungi

    Dawson, S. K., Boddy, L., Halbwachs, H., Bässler, C., Andrew, C., Crowther, T. W., Heilmann-Clausen, J., Nordén, J., Ovaskainen, O. & Jönsson, M., 10 Nov 2018, In : Functional Ecology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  2. Estimating seed and pollen dispersal kernels from genetic data demonstrates a high pollen dispersal capacity for an endangered palm species

    dos Santos, J., Varassin, I. G., Muschner, V. C. & Ovaskainen, O., Nov 2018, In : American Journal of Botany. 105, 11, p. 1802-1812 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  3. Protax-fungi: a web-based tool for probabilistic taxonomic placement of fungal internal transcribed spacer sequences

    Abarenkov, K., Somervuo, P., Nilsson, R. H., Kirk, P. M., Huotari, T., Abrego, N. & Ovaskainen, O., Oct 2018, In : New Phytologist. 220, 2, p. 517-525 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Latest activities

  1. Ecology Letters (Journal)

    Otso Ovaskainen (Editor)
    1 Jan 2015 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Talk in the Finnish National Ecology meeting

    Otso Ovaskainen (Speaker: Presenter)
    13 Dec 201214 Dec 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. Elisabet Ottosson

    Otso Ovaskainen (Host)
    12 Dec 201216 Dec 2012

    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesAcademic visit at UH

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Latest prizes

  1. The Academy of Finland Award

    Otso Ovaskainen (Recipient), 2009

    Prize: Prizes and awards

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