Contact Information

Division of Biogeoscience
Division of Geology and Geochemistry
Division of Urban Geograpahy and Regional Studies
Study Office

P.O. Box 64
(Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Department Office
Institute of Seismology

P.O. Box 68
(Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

phone +358 294 1911 (university exchange)
University Staff Telephone Directory

Send us email (

University E-mail Directory

Laboratories and Facilities

Venla Bernelius



University Lecturer in Regional Studies

Department of Geosciences and Geography
PO Box 64 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2)
00014 University of Helsinki
Tel: +358-(0)50-415 4865 / +358-(0)41 530 7369


Click here for CV


2013 Ph.D. University of Helsinki: Urban segregation and educational outcomes

2005 M.Sc., University of Helsinki. Major subject Geography (Urban Geography), minors Sociology, Statistics, Social Politics


Specialized in research methods and urban geography.

Research Interests

  • Urban geography
  • Urban segregation
  • Neighbourhood effects
  • Education as a geographical phenomenon
  • Urban policy
  • Geographical focus: Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland

Current Research Project

My research deals with urban segregation and its effects on institutions and individuals. My doctoral thesis explores the possibility of neighbourhood effects in the Finnish context, as well as the interlinked processes of segregation within urban neighbourhoods and schools. I have also worked with issues concerning highly skilled migrants and their residential choices within the Helsinki Region. I am specialized especially in quantitative research methods and geographical information systems.

Within my research I am particularly interested in creating bridges between different disciplines and research traditions, as well as between research and practice. The results of her former projects have also been applied to practice, as the City of Helsinki currently uses a school funding model, which is based on her work in modelling the educational challenges created by the school catchment area demographics.

Other Interests

My great passion has always been literature, although my own writing tends to lean on the non-fiction side at the moment… (Non-fiction doesn’t have to be uninteresting, though. As Mark Twain put it: “Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.”) Besides reading, I waste my free time on dogs. My long-time dream has been to start fencing, but my social life and other hobbies have always been on the way. If the situation continues as it is, my only hope is that someone will start a fencing class for pensioners when I retire.