Finnish Museum of Natural History

Aino Juslén

Unit director zoology, PI

I work as the director of the zoology unit of Finnish Museum of Natural History. My own Phd was on plant systematics but during the diverse career at the environmental administration and research I´ve also got interested in, e.g., using the red-list data on decision making. I´m also heavily involved with development of the Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility FinBIF ( - Open Data source for public, authorities and business.


Julkaisut ja aktiviteetit (linkit)

Flyhigh - Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Programme

I´m leading a Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Programme FlyHigh funded by EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions during 2015-2018. FlyHigh studies the life cycles of underexplored phytophagous and saprophagous flies aiming to obtaining ecological and evolutionary data that will be used to elucidate evolutionary features of fly species and geophyte plants and useful information that could be exploited for mass production of insects. Artificial rearing of flies produces beneficial end products for animal feeding, valorisation of agri-food by-products or as bio-agents for e.g. complementary pollination services in natural or greenhouse environments.

The exchange programme involves researchers, students, laboratory and technical staff of scientific collections from Finland (University of Helsinki), Spain (University of Alicante, company Bioflytech), Serbia (University of Novi Sad), and South Africa (company Agriprotein). The planned exchanges are altogether 100 months and the budget of the programme is 450 000 euros. The funding is for travelling and laboratory and collecting materials during the exchanges; it does not include salaries.

Red-list data as basis for decision making

I use red-list data in my research with various collaborators from different fields of science. Key method is the Red List Index, which shows by one number the increase or decrease of biodiversity e.g. at certain geographical area, groups of species or habitat. I´m a part of group studying how the red lists have influenced the political decision making. Furthermore, I´m a member of the steering group of Finnish threat assessment process of species.

PUTTE-project: The trend of threatened species in different habitats based on species threat assessment data

During 2014 and 2015 Ministry of environment funds a project studying the Red List Index in different habitats based on Finnish Red List assessments from 2001 and 2010. As a national application, Finnish Red Data book includes also the habitats of the assessed species. The index is a valuable tool for explaining the results, as it compacts the results to index figures showing a clear trend. The study gives a good possibility to lead the way on using the index and the red-lis data as the basis of decision making.

Fern systematics and biogeography

The aim of the study is to explore the evolutionary and biogeographic history of ferns, especially the genera Dryopteris and Asplenium. The genera include many allopolyploid species which have duplicated chomosomes inherited from two different ancestral species. This causes reticulate evolution, meaning that different lineages are connected by same ancestors and the evolutionary history cannot be presented dichotomally. We explore the origins of polypoid species and the significance of polyploidy for the heterosis of species and their present distribution Our aim is to add significant new data of African species to the analyses.


Kuvaaja: Henry Väre

The research programme for poorly known and threatened species PUTTE

PUTTE reserch programme is part of the Finnish Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO. I coordinate the PUTTE consortium of Luomus consisting 4 different projects (2012–2014). Recently a book on terrestrial molluscs of Finland was published as a result of PUTTE project.

In co-operation with the coordinator of the PUTTE programme we have published an evaluation on the results of the first ten years of the programme. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-013-0444-1. Furthermore, I a member of the steering group of the project that supports the research and development activities of METSO.







Person in charge of the page: 
Aino Juslén