Professor Ilkka Hanski describes and analyzes the knowledge and consequences of the loss and fragmentation of natural habitats caused by human activities. The author emphasizes that a sufficient amount and diversity of habitats is a fundamental prerequisite for the continued existence and evolution of life as we know it, and for its capacity to support humanity. This book is essential reading for everybody interested in the biological processes influencing terrestrial biodiversity.
Illka Hanski (1953-2016) obtained his first degree in zoology and botany in 1976 from the University of Helsinki, Finland, and his D.Phil. in zoology in 1979 from the University of Oxford. After that he became a postdoctoral researcher and faculty member at the University of Helsinki and was research professor in the Academy of Finland, where he directed the Metapopulation Research Group, one of the national Centers of Excellence in Research. In addition, he served on the scientific advisory board of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and was on the steering group of the DIVERSITAS Programme on Biodiversity. He was foreign vice president of the Society for the Study of Evolution. He has served on the editorial boards of Trends in Ecology and Evolution, The American Naturalist, Journal of Insect Conservation, Global Change Biology, Annales Zooligici Fennici, Oecologia, Oikos, and Theoretical Population Biology. In 1999, he received the International Ecology Institute Prize in Terrestrial Ecology as well as the President's Gold Medal from the British Ecological Society. In 2000, Hanski was elected as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 2001, he received the Sewall Wright Award from the American Society of Naturalists.