The Centre of Excellence in Evolutionary Research at the University of Jyväskylä based its work on a novel concept of evolution. The new paradigm had it that evolution and adaptation may also be a rapid and dynamic process, constrained by complex genetic, ecological and environmental interactions.
Research projects coordinated by the CoE were concerned, among other things, to identify the kind of factors that maintain variation in viability characteristics and to explore the role of sexual selection in this process. Other research concerns included analyses of various evolutional phenomena, such as the onset of the evolution of conspicuous signals and the role of selection in host-parasite and predator-prey co-evolution. The Centre of Excellence in Evolutionary Research used the results of its research to develop insecticides for pest control and improve the management of game bird populations, among other things. It was also an Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Research in 2000–2005.
The CoE was headed by Professor Anneli Hoikkala.