Maria Heikkilä

Maria Heikkilä

  • PL 17 (Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13)




Research activity per year

Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I use integrative methods, that is, combine morphological, genomic, and paleontological data to study the diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and evolutionary history of insects.

My project is funded by the Research Council of Finland and explores the evolutionary history of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and their sistergroup, Trichoptera (caddisflies). Lepidoptera are one of the largest groups of terrestrial insects, whereas Trichoptera have considerably fewer species and have an aquatic larval stage. We aim to understand when these two insect orders with very different life histories evolved and how they have been affected by events in the history of Earth. This brings important information as we seek to predict, for example, effects of climate change on living organisms.

Courses I teach at the University of Helsinki include Extended insect identification and Biological collections.

Education/Academic qualification

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

Award Date: 24 Sept 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.