For over half a century the station has been a part of the University of Helsinki's biosciences field courses and functioned as a base station for numerous research projects in the environmental sciences.
Lammi Biological Station was founded in 1953 on vicarage land purchased from the Lammi church. When the possibility arose to found the station in Lammi, the region's diverse surroundings of lakes, forest, streams, bogs and eskers were seen as a major plus. The location also benefitted from being close to the Evo region which has been a region used for forestry research and education since the 1850's. Not only that, Lammi was within easy striking distance (130 km) of Helsinki. LBS became an ideal location to hold field courses where students learned the basics of ecology and species identfication.
1970 to present
The buildings of the old vicarage, however, were not ideal for use as a biological station, and in 1970 a new era dawned in Lammi when the current buildings were constructed. At this point, in addition to field courses, Lammi became a year round facility for research, and major research projects began such as the Finnish Academy funded 'Pääjärvi project' which aimed to study the ecosystem structure, functioning and production of a pristine boreal lake.
The 'Pääjärvi project' set the stage for the development of aquatic ecology as a primary focus at the station. Over the years research has focussed on lake acidification, the effect of forestry and agriculture on nutrient loading of lakes and the effect of climate change on lake ecosystems. Over the years LBS also became known as a center for diverse fields including paleoecological, geographical, mire and terrestrial ecological research and made a name for itself on an international stage.
The great Finnish ecologist, Ilkka Hanski, started his career in Lammi as a student in the fall of 1972. He later completed his MSc thesis and lisentiate by the mid 1970's whereupon he ventured to Oxford for his PhD on the community ecology of dung beetles. After returning to Finland, LBS was a big part of his groundbreaking work on metapopulation ecology using the model butterfly species Melitaea cinxia. His experimental work on butterflies from the Åland islands were done in the butterfly hall (built in 2007) and outdoor enclosures situated next to the LBS's main building. Unfortunately Ilkka passed away in 2016, but his legacy lives on in the butterfly research carried on here by his former students and colleagues.