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Environmental Change Research Unit - ECRU


Contact information:

Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU)
Department of Environmental Sciences
P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Phone: +358-9-1911
(main switch board)
or see People


Jan Weckström


PhD, Maija Heikkilä

Kilpisjärvi region NW-Finland, Photo: Jan Weckström

Georgian BayI am a paleoecologist interested in the long-term interplay of climate and high-latitude ecosystems. My research applies sedimentary remains of higher plants (pollen, spores, stomata, plant macrofossils) and protists (dinoflagellate cysts, ciliate remains) in conjunction with geochemical tracers (stable isotopes, biomarkers) to disentangle seasonal-to-millennial-scale dynamics of terrestrial and marine ecosystems in response to changing environmental conditions.

I completed my PhD in geology (University of Helsinki) in 2010, on postglacial climate changes and vegetation responses in northern Europe, mainly funded by the Academy of Finland project HOT (High-resolution reconstructions of Holocene temperature and atmospheric circulation patterns in eastern Europe). During my thesis work I spent almost two years as a visiting scholar in the Environmental Isotope Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Canada. My postdoctoral projects (University of Manitoba, Canada, University of Helsinki, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland) concentrated on plankton organisms as environmental tracers in Arctic seas and fjords. I currently hold a position as an Academy Research Fellow (2016-2021) and lead a project “Arctic sea-ice proxies: from seasonal processes to improved reconstructions”. I am also the Work Package leader in ECRU’s project CAPTURE (Carbon dynamics across Arctic landscape gradients: past, present and future) 2016-2020.



Dr. Maija Heikkilä

Academy of Finland Research Fellow

Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU)
Department of Environmental Sciences
P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki