A Lens on Biodiverse Worlds

Welcome to the HUBS Thematic Semester Kick-Off Event. This year, Biodiverse Anthropocenes focus is on “Critical Biodiversities: Understandings of Loss, Life, and Conflict.”

Our inaugural event, titled “A Lens on Biodiverse Worlds,” promises an engaging seminar with esteemed experts, followed by discussions.

Reserve your spot by February 21st and enjoy complimentary refreshments during the event.

Looking forward to your participation!

Event information



Venue location

Backstage Tellus, Linnanmaa campus



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Register to the event here.


9:00 – 9:15 Welcoming words and coffee.

9:15 – 9:50 Keynote speaker: Ilari Sääksjärvi
Biodiversity-respectful leadership

9:50 – 10:15 Selen Eren
“Don’t we already know enough to act?!”: Knowledge infrastructures for transformative environmental science of biodiversity.
Scientists and other societal knowledge actors do not always agree on what constitutes relevant knowledge for action on biodiversity loss. In this talk, Selen explores this tension through a case study in which different knowledge actors are concerned with the rapid decline of the Dutch national bird, the black-tailed godwit. The analysis of the case study suggests that the tensions can be understood by paying attention to how different groups understand the relevance of time for knowledge production.

10:15 – 10:40 Jouni Aspi

10:40 – 11:05 Esa Ruuskanen
The perspective of environmental history on biodiversity.
On this presentation, Esa considers biodiversity on the one hand as a concept and phenomenon related to the historiography of environmental history, and on the other hand as a question that poses epistemic and ontological challenges to the study of past agents and their actions. How does a concept coined and developed by ecologists apply to environmental history, how have environmental historians used the concept, and how does it affect evidence for the past and scientific inferences from the evidence.

11:05 – 11:15 (10-minute break)

11:15 – 11:50 Keynote speaker: Kristian Meissner
How to overcome barriers in the implementation of molecular monitoring methods into legislative monitoring.
Biological monitoring is crucial in the combat against biodiversity loss. It provides essential data to understand impacts on biodiversity and to evaluate the effectiveness of management efforts. However, many regions lack internationally comparable protocols and quality assurance for effective bioassessments, especially in the Global South. The Global South also faces significant challenges due to high biodiversity and high numbers of endangered species. Traditional monitoring approaches do not scale well to the spatially extensive scale that need to be monitored to obtain reliable information. To help bridge this methodological gap, experts suggest using molecular techniques like environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis. Indeed, the use of eDNA in biodiversity monitoring scales well and allows alignment with international legislative goals and those of the UN Global Biodiversity Framework. However, to use eDNA effectively, global standardization and quality assurance for molecular methods are vital. In my talk I will identify pathways and platforms needed to overcome specific biogeographic barriers that currently prevent inclusive engagement in the standardization.

11:50 – 12:15 Johanna Honka
Using environmental DNA to study biodiversity.
In this speech Johanna introduces examples of our studies in which we have investigated biodiversity using environmental DNA (eDNA) and their ongoing and planned studies. The use of eDNA for single species detection from water samples using moor frog and the critically endangered lesser white-fronted goose as examples. How fish and bird diversity are studied using eDNA from water samples. In addition, the use of eDNA extracted from sediments to investigate biodiversity of fish, birds and mammals in the past using lake bottom sediments to reach to past biodiversity until the last Ice Age.

12:15 – 12:40 Anna-Kaisa Salmi
Archaeology and Biodiversity: Current Research and Ways Forward.
Biodiversity – the variety of life – is ubiquitous and yet in many ways under-researched in archaeology. Stone arrowheads, depictions of animals in rock art, animal-shaped portable artifacts, all the burned little pieces of bone or charred plant seeds discovered from the ground, they all tell stories about human engagements with a variety of lifeforms. However, linking those engagements and lifeforms to what biologists observe, measure, and monitor as biodiversity isn’t always straightforward. In this presentation, I will present some of the ongoing archaeological work addressing these issues as well reflect upon possible ways forward.

12:40 – 13:05 Jelena Belojevic
Worldwide biodiversity exploration: Home River BioBlitz Chronicles.
The Home River Bioblitz focuses on the biodiversity in and around rivers, which are at the heart of all ecosystems. This global event connects the stories of the people that protect, restore and celebrate these valuable places, and at the same time generates useful data for science and conservation.

13:05 – 14:30 Food for thought - Lunch and free discussion.

Last updated: 15.2.2024