Research groups of the Agricultural Sciences

Below are the introductions of the research groups that operate partly or wholly at the department of Agricultural Sciences in alphabetical order.


AgriChar: towards a carbon-negative agriculture
Group leader: Priit Tammeorg
AgriChar research group is focused on exploring the mechanisms of the long-term effects of biochar in boreal soils, nutrient recycling and organic fertilizers. We have also ongoing projects in the areas of using biochar for re-using the phosphorus in lake sediments and reed.

Food production as based on sustained relationships between humans and the diversity of organisms maintaining the agroecosystem functioning.

Agrotechnology is one of the research fields of the Agricultural Sciences
Agrotechnology research focuses on the production and environmental technology of agriculture. By means and measure methods of natural and engineering sciences, agrotechnology develops future agricultural production systems of food, feed, and non-food. These are typically biological systems which should fulfill the demands of sustainability.

Animal Science
Animal Science is one of the research fields of the Agricultural Sciences

Animal well-being, sustainable use of natural resources and mitigation of environmental impact are guiding us in developing animal production for future food security. Animal phenotype and genotype analyses are utilizing Big Data methodology.

Group leaders: Paula Elomaa and Teemu Teeri
Our research focuses on evolutionary developmental biology and secondary metabolism in Asteraceae mainly using Gerbera hybrida as our model organism.


Crop Science Research Group
Group leader: Pirjo Mäkelä
We investigate how to improve crop production through management, breeding and biotechnology. We seek ways to reduce environmental restrictions on crop growth and to develop sustainable management practices that will guarantee crop productivity in a changing climate.


Environmental Soil Science
Environmental Soil Science is one of the research fields of the Agricultural Sciences

We do interdisciplinary research on climate change, greenhouse gases, carbon, phosphorus & nitrogen cycles, environmental remediation, circular economy.


Group leader: Mervi Seppänen
Forage production in future climate and sustainable cropping systems.


Legume science
Group leader: Fred Stoddard
Legumes are a key component of sustainable cropping and food systems. My group focuses on the grain legume faba bean (Vicia faba), from gene to plate and back again, with national and international collaboration: genomics, genetics, breeding, agronomy, environmental impacts, food uses, and feed uses.


Methane and Nitrous Oxide Cycles in Forest
Group leader: Mari Pihlatie
We work to reveal the sources and sinks of methane and nitrous oxide in forest ecosystems. Our work spans from molecular to ecosystem-scale and include state-of-the art field and laboratory measurements and process modelling.


Group leader: Jari Valkonen
The main research theme in the Plant Virology Group is to elucidate how plants defend against virus infections and how viruses circumvent or suppress host defence

Group leader: Kristiina Himanen
Plant phenomics is a discipline that uses high throughput methods to link genes to their function in plant context. Our team is focused on study the function of Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS) components in Arabidopsis growth and development as well as in responses to environmental challenges...

Plant Production Sciences — Towards sustainable and resilient production systems
Plant Production Sciences is one of the research fields of the Agricultural Sciences

Fields of research in Plant Production Sciences are Agroecology, Crop Science, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology and Agricultural Zoology. Important research questions are the sustainability of agriculture and food systems, agrobiodiversity, the environmental effects of production and adaptation to climate change, response of cultivated plants to environmental stresses, managing crop yield and quality, plant-based bioenergy, phytoremediation, molecular basis of flower development, conservation of genetic resources, plant genomics, secondary metabolism in plants, plant biotechnology, and plant-pathogen interactions and defense mechanisms.

Population Genetics and Biodiversity — Understanding adaptation, promoting biodiversity
Group leader: Helena Korpelainen
Our main research interests include characterization, utilization and conservation of plant genetic resources, DNA barcoding, population genetics of plant invasion, conservation genetics and plant adaptation mechanisms.


Group leader: Tomas Roslin
The Spatial Food Web Ecology Group at the University of Helsinki. Insect food webs in time and space.

Sphagnum moss as a growing medium
Group leader: Leena Linden
We are studying the potential of Finnish Sphagnum mosses for applications in horticulture. The main aspects include the physical properties of Sphagnum moss, allelopathic effects of Sphagnum species and the growth of greenhouse crops in Sphagnum containing substrates.

Group leader: Timo Hytönen
We explore environmental and genetic regulation of growth cycle in a perennial model species woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca).

Group leader: Heikki Hokkanen
Insect management for our planet: for a hungry planet, for a diverse planet, for a healthy planet, for a changing planet.