Maria Heikkilä
  • PL 17 (Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13)




Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I use integrative methods, i.e., combine morphological, genetic and paleontological data to study the diversity, phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of insects.

My research has focused on the diversity and evolutionary history of moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) and I coordinate a large international network of experts re-examining all known fossils belonging to this order of insects. Recently I have also expanded my work to projects on Hymenoptera, namely sawflies in the family Argidae.

Thanks to a grant from the Kone foundation, I have also been able to start a pilot project exploring the usefulness of collection specimens and monitoring data in assessing the history of microplastic accumulation in aquatic insect larvae.

Courses I have taught at the University of Helsinki include Extended insect identification, Biological collections and Introduction to cladistic methods.

Education/Academic qualification

Ecology and evolutionary biology, Title of Docent , University of Helsinki

Award Date: 24 Sep 2020

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ph.D., University of Helsinki

Award Date: 21 Jan 2015

External positions

Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., U.S.A

1 Feb 201531 Jan 2017

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • Systematics
  • Entomology
  • Phylogenetics
  • Taxonomy
  • Lepidoptera
  • Paleontology

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.