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    00014 University of Helsinki


Organization profile

Organisation Profile

Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution Team (BEET) is led by Heikki Hirvonen. Currently Ecology and Evolution Team (BEET) consists of one post-doc researcher, three PhD-students and four MSc-students.


BEET is part of a larger research unit, Integrative Ecology Unit (IKP), which is jointly led by Veijo Kaitala, Heikki Hirvonen and Jouni Laakso.


The research in BEET is mainly focused on behavioural ecology, either directly or indirectly. The questions we ask include:

•    Why animals behave the way they do?
•    How do evolutionary and ecological factors influence behavioural decisions of individuals?
•    What are the consequences of individuals’ behavioural decisions on i) their fitness and on ii) ecological phenomena on population and community levels?
•    How can behavioural approaches be used to solve applied problems, for example in conservation, management and animal welfare?


Our research is often focused on behavioural mechanisms of predator-prey interactions and their effects on population and community dynamics. Much of our research integrates behavioural approaches with genetics and physiology in order to reveal underlying mechanisms of behaviour.


We are also interested in applying behavioural approaches to conservation biology, animal welfare and control of invasive species, e.g. by developing behaviour-based solutions to practical conservation and welfare. As model species we mainly use aquatic animals, currently main target taxa include salmonid fishes and crayfish, but also production animals.


Besides research on animals, HH is involved in international research projects aimed at developing methodology for teaching and learning of ecology in higher education.

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Projects 1985 2017


T., T., Hirvonen, H. J., Komonen, A., Markkola, A., Nyman, T., Sääksjärvi, I. & von Numers, M.

01/12/2016 → …

Project: Other project

OHRC salmon and steelhead restoration and maintenance program

Banks, M., Blouin, M., Garvin, M., Hirvonen, H. J., Noakes, D., Schreck, C., Thonpson, N. & Christie, M.

01/08/2016 → …

Project: Research project

QNHE: Quality of Norwegian Higher Education: Pathways, Practices and Performances

Hovdhaugen, E., VabØ, A., Stensaker, B., Maassen, P., Nerland, M., PrØitz, T., De Lange, T., Lindblom, S. A., Hyytinen, H. M., Haarala-Muhonen, A. E., Virtanen, V. & Hirvonen, H. J.

Research Council of Norway


Project: Research project

Publications 1980 2017

Biologian kenttäopetus yliopistoissa: yhteistyöllä uuteen nousuun

Komonen, A., Nyman, T., Tahvanainen, T., Hirvonen, H. J., Eeva, T., Huttunen, S., Hänninen, J., Koivula, M., Koskela, E., Markkola, A., Muurinen, L., Mäkinen, K., Nappu, N., Nordström, M. C., von Numers, M., Sundell, J. J. & Sääksjärvi, I. E., 2017, In : Yliopistopedagogiikka. 24, 2, p. 52-54 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

Maternal effects in vulnerability to eye-parasites and correlations between behavior and parasitism in juvenile Arctic charr

Kortet, R., Lautala, T., Kekalainen, J., Taskinen, J. & Hirvonen, H., Nov 2017, In : Ecology and Evolution. 7, 21, p. 8780-8787 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Enriched rearing environment and wild genetic background can enhance survival and disease resistance of salmonid fishes during parasite epidemics

Karvonen, A., Aalto-Araneda, M., Virtala, A-M., Kortet, R., Koski, P. & Hyvarinen, P., Feb 2016, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 53, 1, p. 213-221 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Resource availability and predation risk influence contest behavior and dominance hierarchies in crayfish

Gruber, C., Tulonen, J., Kortet, R. & Hirvonen, H., Aug 2016, In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 70, 8, p. 1305-1317 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Effects of ecological factors on dominance and immune defence in crayfish

Gruber, C., 2015, Helsinki: University of Helsinki. 112 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Activities 1989 2019

Freshwater Biology (Journal)

Heikki Hirvonen (Reviewer)
Jan 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Behavioural Processes (Journal)

Heikki Hirvonen (Reviewer)
Mar 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Nature (Journal)

Heikki Hirvonen (Reviewer)
Jun 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Oregon State University

Heikki Hirvonen (Visiting researcher)
6 May 20186 Jun 2018

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

European Congress of Conservation Biology ECCB 2018

Heikki Hirvonen (Speaker: Presenter)
12 Jun 201815 Jun 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Talks


Olli's Prize

Heikki Juhani Hirvonen (Recipient), 1993

Prize: Prizes and awards

Press / Media

Interview fo Huvudstadsbladet newspaper

Heikki Juhani Hirvonen


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Interviewed for Helsingin Sanomat

Heikki Juhani Hirvonen


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Interviewed for BBC Earth Article

Heikki Juhani Hirvonen


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media


Heikki Juhani Hirvonen


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media