LIFEPLAN, the project led by Professor Otso Ovaskainen, is the second recipient in Finland of the highly competitive Synergy funding from the European Research Council ERC. The purpose of this six-year, 12.6 million euro project is to map global biodiversity with scientific tools. At the same time the researchers will be working to understand the effects of climate change and land use on biodiversity.
"Although biodiversity has been studied a lot, most species are still unknown to science. We don’t know what species there are, where they are, what they do and how they affect ecosystem functioning. Now at last we have these recently developed and still developing methods, which enable us to resolve biodiversity in a completely new way," says Ovaskainen, who works at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki.
For Otso Ovaskainen and his collaborators Tomas Roslin of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU and David Dunson of Duke University, this is not their first time embarking on a global plan of sampling and analysis. For instance they have already mapped bird species in the Brazilian rainforest with audio samples, and collected large datasets on fungi and insects with partially automated equipment.
Source: University of Helsinki
- University of Helsinki press release: Global biodiversity to be mapped with the help of specialized automated equipment and statistical mathematics