When celebrating their 125th anniversary in 1963 the Societas Scientiarum Fennica founded the Institute of Parasitology, which was located to the Åbo Akademi University. For the first decade the research activities were almost completely focused on the biology, taxonomy and epidemiology of the broad tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium latum.
The prevalence of human diphyllobothriasis rapidly decreased in Finland during the sixties-seventies and at the same time fishfarming became established as an rapidly expanding industry. In this connection the research activities of the parasitological institute was more and more focused on diseases of fish, in the beginning diseases of farmed fish, gradually also diseases occurring in wild fish populations. After 1980 the research activities have been almost exclusively focused on the diagnostics, etiology, epidemiology and prophylaxis of fish diseases. Increasing concern about the state of the aquatic environment also focused research efforts on the relationship between pollution and the health state in wild fish populations. In accordance with the focus of the scientific activities the name of the Parasitological institute was changed in year 2002 to the Laboratory of Aquatic Pathobiology
The Laboratory of Aquatic Pathobiology is an integrated part of the subject Environmental and Marine Biology, Åbo Akademi University. The research of the Laboratory is presently focused on the following subjects:
- infectious diseases in wild and farmed fish in brackish and fresh water
- parasitic diseases in domestic and wild animals.
The Laboratory staff schedules regular teaching for students on fish diseases and related subjects. Students are offered good opportunities for laboratory practice and for studies aiming at MSc and PhD thesis.