Save the date: 10-year anniversary seminar of the Taita Research Station

The 10-year anniversary seminar of the Taita Research Station of the University of Helsinki in Kenya takes place on January 28, 2021 in Tavastia, the Great Hall of Hämäläis-Osakunta of the University of Helsinki.

The multidisciplinary Taita Research Station was officially opened on January 12, 2011, but research started already in 1989 during a geography field course. Research re-started by the University of Helsinki in 2004, and the premises of current research station were purchased in 2009. During all these years, almost 70 MSc theses and 30 PhD theses works in Finland, Kenya, and elsewhere have used the data, infrastructure and logistics provided by the station.

Please join us in the Taita 10-year celebrations and hear how we have come this far, what is going on and what looms in the future!

In the event, greetings will be given by funders of the research: the University of Helsinki, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and the collaboration partners from Kenya: University of Nairobi, Taita Taveta University, Ministry for Agriculture of Kenya and Embassy of Finland in Kenya.

Reports of experiences and research results will be presented by MSc and PhD students and scientists about the impact of land cover change to ecosystem services, climate and biodiversity.

Future work is presented by Academician Markku Kulmala as Taita Research Station is part of Flagship “Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center” funded by the Academy of Finland, and by Dr Tino Johansson who will tell about a new project funded by EC Development on “Earth observation and environmental sensing for climate-smart sustainable agro-pastoralism ecosystem transformation in East Africa” under DeSIRA programme.

Taita Research Station 10-year anniversary seminar, event programme:

Time: Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 9:00-16:00 (Helsinki EET).
Place: in Tavastia, the Great Hall of Hämäläis-Osakunta of the University of Helsinki, Finland. Join Zoom Meeting.

(Please, notice that there might be changes to this programme)

Session 1 - Greetings from cooperation partners and key scientific talks


Petri Pellikka, Director, Taita Research Station
Taita - from a base camp to a multidisciplinary research institute,

DVC Hanna Snellman, University of Helsinki  
Taita Research Station and Africa programme of the Universty of Helsinki

Secretary of State Johanna Sumuvuori, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Greetings from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

VC Stephen Kiema, University of Nairobi
Long-term cooperation between UoN and UH

PS Jaana Husu-Kallio, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Greetings from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Taita Research Station Staff
Taita Research Station staff present

President Tarja Halonen
Global responsibility

Prof. Olli Vapalahti, University of Helsinki
Zoonotic virology research between UoN and UH

Curator Laura Arppe, Finnish Museum of Natural History
The IsoTermes project – unraveling termite ecology using stable isotopes 

Academician Markku Kulmala, INAR, University of Helsinki
Global SMEAR - observing atmosphere - biosphere interactions, also in Africa

Mr. Jarmo Kankkunen, Geography/Biology teacher, Kauniainen High School
Taita as a field trip destination for high school groups

Dr. Tino Johansson, Coordinator, Taita Research Station
Earth observation for climate-smart sustainable agro-pastoralism ecosystem transformation


Dean Ritva Toivonen, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
Greetings from Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Ms. Hanna Rosti, PhD student, University of Helsinki
Nocturnal mammals of Taita Hills - new species or what?

VC Fred Simiyu Barasa, Taita Taveta University
TTU - Small and new university as scientific cooperation partner

Purity Ncabira, Student, Taita Taveta University
Agricultural MSc thesis at Taita Taveta University using Taita Research Station infra and test fields

Ms. Sari Aroalho, MSc student, University of Helsinki
From students view- making MSc thesis in Taita on creative economy in Kenya

PS Prof. Hamadi Boga, Ministry of Agriculture of Kenya
Land cover changes and climate change impact on food security in Kenya

HE Erik Lundberg, Ambassador, Embassy of Finland in Nairobi
Finnish cooperation in Kenya and Taita


Session 2 - Main research results on environment

DG Leif Schulman, Finnish Environment Institute
Greetings from Finnish Environment Institute

Dean Kai Nordlund, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki
Greetings from Faculty of Science

Mr. Antti Autio, University of Helsinki
Agricultural system in Taita Taveta County

Mr. Juuso Tuure, PhD student, University of Helsinki
Soil-crop system at the smallholder lands

Mr. Ilja Vuorinne, PhD student, University of Helsinki
Geographic datasets and environmental sensing infrastructure of Taita Research Station

Dr. Temesgen Abera, University of Helsinki
Climatic impacts of bushland to cropland conversion in Taita

Ms Iris Aalto, PhD student, University of Helsinki
Tree canopy cover as a modifier of microclimate in tropical landscapes

Dr. Eduardo Maeda, University of Helsinki
Terrestrial laser scanning for ecological applications

Dr. Janne Heiskanen, University of Helsinki
Land cover and biomass research with remote sensing

Ms. Yang Liu, PhD student, University of Helsinki
Biogenic VOC mixing ratios from different ecosystems in southern Kenya

Mr. Edward Amara, PhD student, University of Helsinki/Sierra Leone Agriculture Research Institute
Land use impacts on biomass distribution in a multi-use savannah landscape

Dr. Kevin Mganga/Prof. Kristiina Karhu, University of Helsinki
Soil microbes on altitudinal gradient

Ms. Martha Munayo, PhD student, Taita Taveta University/University of Helsinki/Kenya Wildlife Service
Human wildlife conflicts

Prof. Janne Rinne, Lund University
Termite mounds as source for greenhouse gases

Ms. Sheila Wachiye, PhD student, Kabianga University/University of Helsinki
Soil respiration from various land uses in Taita Taveta

Curator Charolette Sletten-Bjorå, Natural History Museum of University of Oslo
Taita Research Station as target for student trips

Dr. Gretchen Gettel, IHE Delft
Taita as a platform for hydrological research

Prof. Jouko Rikkinen, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki
Final remarks


The University of Helsinki warmly welcomes you to the event!

More information:
Petri Pellikka, PhD
Professor of Geoinformatics
Earth Change Observation Laboratory
University of Helsinki

Director, Taita Research Station of the University of Helsinki in Kenya