1 Jan 2016–31 Dec 2020
Ecology, evolutionary biology and ecophysiology
University of Turku
Virpi Lummaa studies natural selection in contemporary human populations. During her term as Academy Professor, Lummaa will investigate how the modern environment itself fuels human evolution and how demographic shifts to low birth and death rates affect the opportunity for selection or specific trait selection. She will use longitudinal demographic data from Finland spanning 350 years and more than twelve generations to look at how the strength and direction of selection on key fitness traits may have changed with the modernisation of societies.
At present, Lummaa is reader in evolutionary biology at the University of Sheffield, UK. She will transfer to the University of Turku for her Academy Professorship. Lummaa has an impressive scientific record. For example, in her studies on humans, she has applied new methods and techniques that previously have mostly been used to study wild animals. Lummaa has also received a number of international recognitions for her work in the field of human evolution. She also actively disseminates the results of her research to policy-makers and the general public.