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European Latsis Prize 2010

Professor Ilkka Hanski of the University of Helsinki in Finland is awarded the European Latsis Prize 2010 for his contributions to research concerning biodiversity in general and metapopulation biology in particular.

The European Latsis Prize is valued at 100,000 Swiss francs (€74,000). The prize is funded by the Geneva-based Fondation Latsis Internationale (founded in 1975, and awarded by the European Science Foundation (ESF) to an individual or a research group who, in the opinion of their peers, has made the greatest contribution to a particular field of European research.

The Prize is presented each year since 1999 by the Fondation Latsis Internationale at the ESF Annual Assembly to a scientist or research group in recognition of outstanding and innovative contributions in a selected field of research.

The European Science Foundation ( is an independent, non-governmental organisation that promotes collaboration in scientific research, funding of research and science policy across Europe. It represents 79 national funding bodies, research-performing agencies, academies and learned societies from 30 countries. The European Latsis Prize 2010 will be awarded during the Annual Assembly of the European Science Foundation.

Ilkka Hanski is an internationally-acclaimed pioneer in ecology who has changed the way of thinking in his field. Metapopulation biology – the study of species living in networks of fragmented habitats – has been his most pressing concern for more than 20 years. The lessons from his research have shed light on the mechanisms that maintain biodiversity and have given insight to its conservation.

Ilkka Hanski was born on 14 February 1953 in Finland and is professor of ecology at the University of Helsinki where he directs the Metapopulation Research Group, which has been nominated as a Centre of Excellence by the Academy of Finland. He is a foreign member of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences, along with six other science academies. His 1999 book ‘Metapopulation Ecology’ is a cornerstone for both researchers and workers in population biology, conservation biology, and landscape ecology.

For more information about the Latsis Prize please see: