Professor Hanski of Helsinki University, Finland, is one of the foremost biologists of our age. His career to date consists of approximately 30 academic awards and prizes, and he is a prominent figure in numerous committees, meetings and conferences world-wide. Professor Hanski has been responsible for the career development of more than 70 academics, many of whom now have international reputations in their own right, and has over 300 publications to his name.
Professor Hanski’s research has focused on population regulation, population dynamics, mechanisms of coexistence in communities, and especially metapopulation biology. He is best known, of course, in Butterfly Conservation circles for his research on the Åland islands, where he chose butterflies, specifically the Glanville fritillary, as a model animal for his research, to develop the concepts and practical applications for metapopulations.
This vitally important work, referred to as the Metapopulation Research Group [MRG], represents a massive shift from previous approaches and has enabled conservation organisations to develop firm management plans for changes to animal populations in the face of the degeneration of species and climate change. This work has required immense technical expertise, careful exacting research, imaginative experiments, all of which Professor Hanski has achieved.