R E S E A R C H
Archipelago Research Institute of the University of Turku has operated on Seili island since 1964. The Institute is part of the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku, which also includes the Natural History Museum (Zoological Museum and Herbarium), the Aerobiology Unit on campus in Turku, the Botanical Garden in Ruissalo, the Kevo Subarctic Research Institute in Utsjoki, Science Centre Tuorla and LUMA Centre of Southwestern Finland.
The Institute participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea with a special focus on the Archipelago Sea. In the core of its internationally renowned research is long-term environmental monitoring and statistical modeling of the state of the Baltic Sea. The research done at the Institute is therefore an excellent example how valuable persistent basic research is. In order to monitor the state of the sea, the Institute’s staff has been collecting comparable water samples since 1966. Thanks to this farsighted work, the Institute now has over 50-year long time series. The study of time series and their statistic modeling helps researchers to understand how the Baltic Sea functions as part of the global water flow. The data collected in Seili has given information on for example why the mean size of the Baltic herring has decreased 20 and why fishermen no longer catch flounder in the Archipelago Sea.
The Institute studies not only the sea but also for example tick species such as the castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus) and Taiga tick (Ixodes persulcatus), which numbers have increased in Finland and in Europe in recent years. The Finnish Tick project studies for example the abundances and distribution ranges of the species as well as estimates the abundance of vectors of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).