Maria Hällfors
  • Viikinkaari 1, Biocentre 3

    00790 Helsinki



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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

In my reserach I am interested in species’ abilities to cope with climate change. By using long-term data and experiments, I try to figure out what kind of species are able to e.g. shift their ranges or their phenology, or even adapt evolutionary, in order to stay within their suitable niches.

I did my doctoral thesis at the botany unit of the Finnish Museum of Natural History, looking into a novel approach in the conservation of species, called assisted migration. I defended in 2016 and thereafter spent 1.5 years on family leave. In January 2018, I joined the Research Centre for Ecological Change at the University of Helsinki as a postdoc to investigate the effects of global change on populations and ecosystems using existing long-term data sets. Here, I connect different data sets containing information on phenological events to understand how the varying ability of different species in matching climate change by shifting their phenologies can make some species more vulnerable than others to the impacts of climate change.

In 2020, I received a 3-year postdoctoral grant from the Academy of Finland. In the project I will compare past responses in phenology to those of today using a variety of methods: by coupling long-term data on phenological dates with weather conditions in the past and today, crowdsourcing phenological information from herbaria samples, and resurrecting old plant populations from stored seed accessions for comparing them with contemporary populations. Together, this will enable estimating species’ abilities to cope with climate change by quantifying the relative roles of plasticity and evolutionary adaptation.

As of May 2022 I am based at the Biodiversity Centre of the Finnish Environment Institute (

External positions

Erikoistutkija, Suomen ympäristökeskus

1 May 202231 Dec 2023

Fields of Science

  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.