HELSUS Professors

Altogether 11 HELSUS professors will start their positions in 2018. In addition to the Institute they are affiliated to the founding Faculties of HELSUS. Two professorships are joint positions with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

I’m Associate professor in Applied urban meteorology at the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) / Physics and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science. My research focuses on urban meteorology and climate and their interaction with local air quality. I lead urban meteorology research group where we use novel atmospheric observations and modelling to study the interaction between urban surface and the atmosphere such as greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere and how they are modified by land use changes and human activities and how urban structures modify wind flow and turbulence in urban areas. I’m PI of the ICOS (Integrated Carbon and Observation System infrastructure) associated ecosystem station in Helsinki and board member of the International Association for Urban Climate.

I want to be able to reduce the uncertainties related to urban meteorological, climate and air quality modelling by providing better understanding and parameters of the affecting processes. These have a great effect on people living in urban areas. In additions, we want to provide recommendations on how urban areas should be planned so that they would also be climate resilient and clean for people to live in.

In HELSUS my goal is to integrate urban meteorological research with other urban research fields as urban studies are always multidisciplinary and in order to answer the challenge of the ongoing urbanisation we need to understand the urban ecosystem as a whole. I also want to develop the urban climate teaching at the University of Helsinki so that future generations can have a wider picture of the urban processes.

I am an Associate Professor of Long-Term Sustainability Science. I've been trained as a palaeobiologist and palaeoclimatologist, but nowadays I am working on climate and biological systems spanning from the present to the future and all the way to the deep past. I am drawn towards complex system theories and networks, and I'm also interested more and more about socio-ecological systems that humans form together with the surrounding world. Among other things, I am a founding member of BIOS, and in the core team of the Scientific Consensus on Maintaining Humanity's Life Support Systems in the 21st Century. I am also Chair of the iCCB, integrative Climate Change Biology, together with Jason Head), part of the ETE programme, and an Associate Coordinator for the NOW database

My research has addressed questions of how climate and ecosystems interact. Throughout my career, I have purposefully cultivated collaborations, networking and interdisciplinary research questions in order to address these questions as effectively as possible. This is reflected in my scientific activities. I aim my research so that the results of my work are relevant for the ongoing discussion about the development of and changes in environments and ecosystems, and to the priorities of society. My research has concentrated on large-scale analysis including theoretical and computational work that can be easily applied to different areas and scales. 

In HELSUS my primary goal is to develop the socio-ecological systems framework for understanding how ecology and climate change in tandem with culture and societal well-being. Preventing environmental crises from deepening will require changes in cultural and societal values, but there has been little preparation towards this. We need to understand the long roots of human-environmental systems to appreciate the complexities involved in this kind of change. Even though society is built upon natural resources that are now under threat, environmental questions are still subordinate to short-term economic considerations. Preparing for change first requires understanding its scope, then developing strategies to sustain equitable and resilient social-ecological systems. My viewpoints and past activities have been mostly global in scope. At present, I am developing new lines of research in arctic, sub-arctic and boreal ecosystems, both in time and space, although many questions remain global in scope. 

I’m the Associate Professor of Inter- and Transdisciplinary Methodologies in Sustainability Science at HELSUS and Practical Philosophy, Faculty of Social Sciences.

My research area is the philosophy of science. I conduct interviews and survey-experiments to study the methodology of interdisciplinary research, in particular sustainability-related sciences such as ecology, economics and behavioural sciences. More specifically I study (1) how natural and social scientists manage to integrate their expertise in interdisciplinary projects, for example in building models for the management of natural resources, and (2) how to design effective frameworks for interdisciplinary collaboration, based on (1). I also study pro-social behaviour and how to “nudge” people into adopting more sustainable lifestyle drawing on behavioural economics. Currently, I am an Academy of Finland Research Fellow and work on the project: “Model-building across disciplinary boundaries: Economics, Ecology, and Psychology” (2016–2021). I am also an associate member of SPIN Unit, an international network for urban studies.

I want to make the world a more sustainable place by making a difference in the design of interdisciplinary research. There have been lots of calls for interdisciplinary sustainability studies while less attention has been paid to actual methodological challenges in combining expertise from different disciplines with various research methods and traditions. Based on empirical studies I would like to identify real challenges and keys to successful interdisciplinary sustainability sciences.

In HELSUS my goal is to facilitate interdisciplinary projects drawing on my expertise in the methodology and philosophy of science. I also want to use my skill in connecting people to make HELSUS a vibrant research institute where people meet and come up with innovative ideas.