Based at the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Metapopulation Research was concerned to research both empirically and theoretically the ecological and evolutionary consequences of fragmentation from the molecular to the landscape level. Habitat fragmentation is often caused by human activity and therefore research results are also needed in regional land use planning and nature conservation.
The CoE was a multidisciplinary group involving researchers from the fields of molecular biology, mathematics and computer science. The unit was also appointed as an Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Research for the 2000–2005 period.
The CoE was headed by Academy Professor Ilkka Hanski.