Otso Ovaskainen

I completed my PhD in mathematics at the Helsinki University of Technology in 1998, after which I joined the MRG as a post doc for Ilkka Hanski. After spending the year 2001-2002 in Bryan Grenfell's group in Cambridge, UK, I rejoined the MRG, in which I now lead the Mathematical Biology Group as a professor.


My research covers mathematical theory, statistical methods, and empirical research, the emphasis being in linking theory to observational and experimental data.
One long-term project has been the development of metapopulation theory and dispersal theory. Here the aim is to understand the movements, dynamics and persistence of individuals and populations inhabiting fragmented landscapes. Concerning metapopulation dynamics, my current emphasis is in building modelling frameworks that integrate ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Concerning dispersal, I am developing state-space approaches that apply both to capture-recapture data and to telemetry data.
Another long-term research interest is in building links between microscopic (e.g. individual-based) and macroscopic (e.g. population-based) models in a stochastic and spatial setting. This involves both purely theoretical work on stochastic differential equations (with Dr. Stephen Cornell from the Leeds University) and data-driven work on the ecology and evolution of the Glaville fritillary (with prof. Ilkka Hanski and other members of the Metapopulation Research Group) and on other species. Another current core area is Bayesian approaches in evolutionary quantitative genetics (with prof. Juha Merilä).
In the project "New sampling methods and statistical tools for biodiversity research: integrating animal movement ecology with population and community ecology" I am the PI for the Finnish side, in collaboration with Milton Ribeiro, Mauro Galetti, Marco Pizo and other coleagues.

E-mail: otso.ovaskainen@helsinki.fi