About Us

We are the ‘Ecology and Evolution of Interactions’ research group, led by Johanna Mappes. We are based at the University of Helsinki (Finland), where we work both on the Viikki Campus and Lammi Biological Station. We also have a worldwide network of collaborators and alumni. 

Our lab has long-standing interests to understand the behavioural and genetic processes that underscore variation in animal interactions

Our main line of questioning investigates the evolution of polymorphism within populations and divergence between populations.

Experimental studies in the lab and field are our speciality. 

Our primary study system is the polymorphic wood tiger moth, Arctia plantaginis. Here we have a long-term project investigating populations at depth across Europe and the northern hemisphere.

We are doing active research on avian predators and visual ecology at Lammi Biological Station. We also have other major projects taking place with snakes, poison frogs, beetles and butterflies.

Some projects focus on the relationships between species, from the conflict between predators and prey to the mutualistic cooperation of symbiotes. Other projects look to the relationships among members of the same species, such as those involved with sexual selection.

Learn more about our research projects:

Field work
Avian predator experiments
Chemical ecology
Sexual selection


Johanna Mappes

Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Viikki Biocenter 3
PO Box 65
FIN-00014 Helsinki University