The Finnish Society of Sciences And Letters

Invited Speakers

Jared Diamond

Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical society and the recipient of many prestigious awards. He has published more than six hundred articles and five books. His book Guns, Germs, and Steel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.


Barbara Rosemary

Emeritus professor in Evolutionary Biology at the Princeton University. Together with her husband Peter Grant she is known for her work remarkable long-term evolutionary studies on Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos Islands. Darwin originally thought that natural selection was a long, drawn out process, but the Grants have shown how natural selection can drive very rapid changes in morphology in response to changes in the food. They have also elucidated the mechanisms by which new species arise and how genetic diversity is maintained in natural populations. The Grants have received several prestigious prizes for their work, among others the 2005 Balzan Prize for Population Biology, the 2008 the Darwin-Wallace Medal, and the 2009 Kyoto Prize in basic sciences. Rosemary Grant is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the Royal Society of Canada.


Dieter Ebert

Professor in Zoology and Evolutionary Biology at the Zoological Institute at the University of Basel. He is known for his ground-breaking research on host parasite interactions in natural populations, in which he targets evolution at the level of metapopulations, the evolution of virulence, host-parasite coevolution, and host-microbiome (co)evolution. He uses an exceptionally broad range of approaches ranging from observational field studies to experimental work in the field and the laboratory, from simple mendelian genetics to whole genome sequencing and analysis, from experimental evolution to artificial selection. A significant part of his research has been carried out at the Tvärminne zoological station in collaboration with Finnish colleagues. He has received prestigious acknowledgements for his scientific contributions, among these the fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Studies).