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Division of Biogeoscience
Division of Geology and Geochemistry
Division of Urban Geograpahy and Regional Studies
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P.O. Box 64
(Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

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Institute of Seismology

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

phone +358 294 1911 (university exchange)
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Mika Siljander Ph.D.


Senior lecturer in geoinformatics (until 31.7.2014)
Department of Geosciences and Geography
P.O. Box 64
FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland


Research Interests

Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Remote sensing (MODIS data)
Forest fires
Land use change
Soil erosion
Spatial modelling
Geographical databases

Study areas

Taita Hills: SE-Kenya (lat 3°25´S; long 38°20´E)
East-Caprivi: NE-Namibia (lat 17°70´S; long 24°00´E)
Jimma: SW-Ethiopia
Kilimanjaro: Tanzania


Ph.D., Department of Geoscienses and Geography, University of Helsinki, 2010

Master of Science, Department of Geography, University of Helsinki, 1997

Immediate past work and life experience

I started as a researcher in 1998 at Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). I moved later on to Metapopulation Research Group and worked there as GIS- and database specialist. Between 2003-2004 I travelled extensively with my wife in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe and returned to Finland in the late 2004. I started as a Ph.D. student in 2006 and since then I have been involved in a various GIS projects especially Taita project and after I defended my Ph.D. thesis in 2010, I have been working as a Post Doc on CHIESA project. I started as a Senior lecturer in geoinformatics in 1.8.2012 and now responsible for basic and advanced GIS courses and basic remote sensing courses for two years period.

List of Publications

Aben, J., Adriaensen, F., Thijs, K. W., Pellikka, P., Siljander, M., Lens, L. & Matthysen, E. (2012). Effects of matrix composition and configuration on forest bird movements in a fragmented Afromontane biodiversity hot spot. Animal Conservation.

Siljander, M., Clark, B. & Pellikka, P.K.E. (2011). A predictive modelling technique for human population distribution and abundance estimation using remote sensing and geospatial data in a rural mountainous area in Kenya. International Journal of Remote Sensing, link to the preview.

Maeda, E.E., Pellikka, P.K.E., Clark, B.J.F., Siljander, M. (2011) Prospective changes in irrigation water requirements caused by agricultural expansion and climate changes in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya. Journal of Environmental Management,92(3):472-479.

Siljander, M. (2010). Pelastuspalvelujen saavutettavuudesta selvitys: Paikkatieto paljastaa tulevaisuuden paloaseman sijainnin. Kuntatekniikka 8/2010 s. 13–15.Kuntatekniikka-lehden arkistosto

Siljander, M. (2010). Selvitys paloasemien tarpeista ja sijainnista vuoteen 2030 Länsi-Uudenmaan, Keski-Uudenmaan, Itä-Uudenmaan ja Helsingin pelastuslaitosten alueelle. Julkaisematon raportti s. 101.

Maeda, E.E., Clark, B.J.F., Pellikka, P.K.E., Siljander, M. (2010). Modelling agricultural expansion in Kenya’s eastern arc mountains biodiversity hotspot. Agricultural Systems, Volume 103, Issue 9, Pages 609-620.

Maeda, E.E., Pellikka, P., Siljander, M., Clark, B.J.F. (2010) Potential impacts of agricultural expansion and climate change on soil erosion in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya. Geomorphology, Volume 123, Issues 3-4, Pages 279-289.

Siljander, M. (2010). Geospatial environmental data modelling applications using remote sensing, GIS and spatial statistics. Department of Geosciences and Geography A, 1. (PhD Thesis). Yliopistopaino, Helsinki, pp. 229. Synopsis downloadable from ethesis: ethesis

Siljander, M. (2009). Predictive fire occurrence modelling to improve burned area estimation at a regional scale: A case study in East Caprivi, Namibia. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 11, 380–393.

Pellikka, P.K.E., Lötjönen, M., Siljander, M., & Lens, L. (2009). Airborne remote sensing of spatiotemporal change (1955-2004) in indigenous and exotic forest cover in the Taita Hills, Kenya. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 11, 221–232.

Sihvonen, P. & Siljander, M. (2005). Species diversity and geographical distribution of Scopulini moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae, Sterrhinae) on a world-wide scale. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14, 703–721.

Nieminen, M., Siljander, M. & Hanski, I. 2004. Structure and dynamics of Melitaea cinxia metapopulations. In: Ehrlich, P. R. & Hanski, I. (eds.) On the wings of checkerspots: a model system for population biology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 63–91

Ritva Kivikkokangas-Sandgren, Mika Siljander, Johanna Termonen & Wolfgang Zeller (1997) Metsäpalojen tutkimusta ja metodeja Itä-Kaprivilla Namibiassa Terra 109, 158–165.