Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen project's researchers and personnel:
University lecturer Kuura Irni, project leader


Kadri Aavik, postdoctoral researcher

Kadri has an MA in Gender Studies and a PhD in Sociology. Her main research areas are gender studies, critical animal studies and vegan studies which she approaches from feminist and intersectional perspectives. She has studied the animal advocacy movement in the Baltic countries, representations of veganism in Estonian national dietary guidelines and in the medical system, as well as the views of Estonian feminists on veganism and animal rights. In her ongoing research in the project she is studying vegan men and masculinities in Estonia and Finland. 

Kadri is also affiliated with Tallinn University where she teaches sociology (part-time). She is a board member of the Estonian Vegan Society and a vegan food blogger ( Kadri is a member of the European Association for Critical Animal Studies

Kadri Aavik's profile at the University of Helsinki research portal  


Dr. Saara Kupsala, postdoctoral researcher

Saara has a master's degree in Sociology and a PhD in Environmental Policy. In her PhD thesis (University of Eastern Finland, 2019), she examined Finnish attitudes and perceptions regarding animals in food production from the perspective of sociological animal studies. In her research in the project, she has examined meanings constructed to meat and plant-based foods in transitioning to more sustainable food provision in catering services. Her research interests include sociology of human–animal relations, critical animal studies and food system sustainability. Research profile in ResearchGate.

Saara worked in the project from August 1, 2018 to August 31, 2020.

M.A. Milla-Maria Joki, researcher

Milla-Maria Joki worked as the project's research assistant in 2018-2019. In autumn 2019, she started as the project's new researcher. Joki is especially interested in feminist and critical animal studies, affectivity of food cultures, and questions of ability.


Pirjo Apell, research assistant

Pirjo Apell coordinated Climate-friendly veggie food -campaign where the project encourages professional kitchens to provide climate sustainable and vegan meals to their customers. Her tasks also included managing cooperation between the project and a range of food system players. Pirjo studies environmental sciences at the University of Helsinki. She has worked in the restaurant sector previously. She is also an active volunteer in the Friends of the Earth Finland –environmental non-governmental organization. Pirjo worked in the project from March 2018 to February 2021.


B.A. Riitta Komulainen, research assistant

Riitta Komulainen is a Bachelor of Arts from General History, and is now pursuing her Master’s in Gender Studies. She’s currently working on her M.A. thesis on far right vegetarians, and has also been an active participant in the Feminist Party.  Her interests include postcolonial studies and how Western gender roles are reflected on the treatment of nonhuman animals and nature. Riitta worked in the project from May 2019 to March 2020.


Lilli Munck, recipe developer

Munck is a restaurant chef. She also studies home economics at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences. In her restaurant career, Munck has specialized in vegan cooking. She has developed vegan recipes for several food brands and restaurants. Lilli developed 30 climate sustainable and vegan recipes in the project, assisted in coordinating the recipe development and participated in planning and collecting customer and personnel surveys. She also participated in planning the Climate-friedly veggie food -campaign. Lilli worked in the project from August 2018 to June 2019.


B.A. Dominika Kimberley, research assistant

Dominika Kimberley is a Master’s student in the English Studies Programme at the University of Helsinki. Currently, she is writing her MA thesis on New Weird fiction and the representation of nonhuman animals. Her interests include posthumanism and posthumanist material feminist philosophies in particular. She will be working as a research assistant in the project from March 2021 to October 2021.