Last week, the ecology community suffered an enormous loss. Professor Ilkka Hanski, a hugely influential, and respected ecologist passed away at the early age of 63. Professor Hanksi worked on a number of different systems, contributing valuable insight to our understanding of the natural world. One area where Professor Hanski made an incredible contribution was in understanding metapopulation dynamics – examining how spatially distributed populations interact and change. The development of this field has had enormous applied significance for conservation.
Professor Hanksi’s work was the first DPhil thesis I read upon arriving in Oxford in September of 2013. While my research took a different direction, Professor Hanski’s work was a very interesting read, and was a wonderful inspiration as to how influential graduate level research can be.
I’ve heard from many colleagues that Professor Hanski was a kind and funny man. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet him. Rest in peace.