The museum's research is profiled in the northern regions and covers a wide range of biodiversity issues.

Flora research in Northern Finland, taxonomic and ecological research on endangered fungi and plants are key research themes.

The following topics are currently being researched:

  • DNA tags of plants and fungi
  • Species distribution and ecology
  • Endangerment of species and habitats and conservation of biodiversity

DNA tags of plants and fungi


The Plant Museum has been involved in the DNA bar coding project of Finnish organisms (FinBOL) since 2012.

So far in Oulu, tags have been produced for 200 Finnish Russula, Inocybe (in collaboration with Jukka Vauras, University of Turku herbarium) and Aphyllophorales (in collaboration with Matti Kulju), species of fungi.

The project will also be extended to other groups of organisms, with an emphasis on northern species and material serving in distribution research.

DNA tags are stored in the BOLD database. The tags can be utilized in species identification from sample material.


Species distribution and ecology

Species information consists of observational data on a species at a point in time. Our understanding of species ranges, population changes, the impact of environmental changes on species distribution, and the prevalence, rarity, or endangerment of species is built on this information. The accumulation and sharing of species information is central to the museum's research activities. The research is diverse, ranging from local studies to global macroecology. Researchers of the museum publish species information in journal articles and extensive compilations, as well as through online information sharing channels (laji.fiKasviatlas (in Finnish), GBIF). 


Endangered species and habitats and conservation of biodiversity

Research on endangered species and habitats and conservation of biodiversity has been the subject of the museum's research since the early 1980s. Information on endangered species has a direct impact on land-use planning and thus contributes to the conservation of biodiversity. The museum’s collections and materials support this research and form a part of national and international networks. Research is carried out not only at the museum but also at the Ecology and Genetics Research Unit.

How to thank the research infrastructure you use

The Biodiversity Unit is a research infrastructure that receives support from the University of Oulu. The operation of research infrastructures is generally assessed according to how they are referred to in publications, dissertations and other theses. All academic users are required to give due thanks in their publications to the infrastructures whose resources they have utilized in their research leading to the publication. This will help ensure that infrastructure development and operating costs are kept at a reasonable level.

Recommended thank you text:

This work/Part of the work was carried out with the support of Biodiversity Unit, University of Oulu, Finland.

Where Biodiversity Units staff have made a significant contribution to the conduct of the research, it is appropriate that they be acknowledged as co-authors of the publication. In this case, the relevant institutional affiliation should be recorded as Biodiversity Unit, University of Oulu, Finland.

12.8.2019 Researcher

Jouni Aspi

11.1.2019 Researcher

Anna Liisa (Annu) Ruotsalainen

26.8.2019 Researcher

Risto Virtanen