Karolina Lukasik joins Helsinki Urban Rat Project

Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation awarded Karolina Lukasik funding for a two-year project on multispecies conflicts. Karolina has now started her research and sends greetings from allotment garden

I’m Karolina and I joined HURP in March this year to study the interactions and conflicts between humans and other animals. I come from a somewhat unusual background - I did my PhD in cognitive psychology. However, I was always interested in animal psychology as well as relationships between humans and other animals, especially the ones that we call pests.

My experience as a psychologist turns out to be quite useful, too: in my current project, I work in urban allotment gardens, where I interview the gardeners to find out about their experiences with other inhabitants and users of the gardens - and I install trail cameras to observe who those inhabitants are and what they do, especially when humans aren’t around.

This project will continue throughout the summer in two urban allotment gardens in Helsinki, and getting a glimpse into what is happening there has already been very exciting!  I believe that urban allotment gardens can serve as models of multi species spaces, and we can learn from them how to live with other animals in a way that is sustainable and just for not only humans. You can find out more about my project on Instagram!