The ECHOLAB research group includes members from doctoral researchers to principal investigators working at the University of Helsinki.

Affiliated members are graduated PhD students at their current workplaces and adjuct professors.

Petri Pellikka

Professor of Geoinformatics, PhD

Petri Pellikka is professor of geoinformatics at the Department of Geosciences and Geography since 2002. Petri leads Earth Change Observation Laboratory and has a second affiliation with the Institute for Atmosphere and Earth System Research (INAR) of the University of Helsinki. His research focuses on the application of remote sensing data and other geospatial data for land cover change detection with a focus in Africa. He is interested in the causes and consequences of land change to climate, water resources, biodiversity, and livelihoods. Being the director of the Taita Research Station of the University of Helsinki in Kenya he focuses on environmental studies especially in Kenya.

Petri carried out his undergraduate studies at the University of Oulu and graduate studies at the University of Helsinki focusing on development geography in late 1980s. In his Ph.D. studies at Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich in the early 1990s, he focused in remote sensing, namely on spectral and geometric corrections for airborne video camera data for land cover studies. He has worked earlier at the Academy of Finland, National Land Survey of Finland (Finnish Geodetic Institute) and is an adjunct professor at the University of Turku, Finland. He has been visiting scientist or professor at Carleton University (Canada), Cambridge University (UK), Lund University (Sweden), University of Ghent (Belgium), Peking University (China), University of Canterbury (New Zealand) and Wuhan University (China). In the early 2000s, he was working on remote sensing of glaciers as indicators of climate change by leading an international FP5 project OMEGA.

Petri understands environmental change in a holistic way, and not just as pixels and coordinates. He has been funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland to develop strategies for food security and ecosystem resilience in order to adapt to climate change in Africa, but also to come up with mitigation solutions. His current projects are ESSA funded by Directorate of the International Partnerships of the European Commission and REACT (Regenerative agricultural systems for climate resilience in agroecological gradient in East Africa) funded by the Academy of Finland.

He has been member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters since 2010.

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Eduardo Eiji Maeda

Associate Professor, PhD

EDUARDO EIJI MAEDA is an Associate Professor with the Department of Geosciences and Geography and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. He leads the Terrestrial Ecosystem Dynamics Laboratory (TreeD lab), which research applies the most recent geospatial technologies to understand how humans are affecting the natural environment. Eduardo collaborates closely with ECHOLAB, through the supervision of PhD and MSc thesis of group members.

Janne Heiskanen

University Researcher, PhD

JANNE HEISKANEN is a university researcher in the Institute for Atmosphere and Earth System Research (INAR) of the University of Helsinki and in ECHOLAB. He has MSc degree from the University of Turku in 2004 and Ph.D. in geography in 2008 from the University of Helsinki. After his Ph.D. studies, Janne had a post-doctorate period at the Department of Forest Sciences of the University of Helsinki and at the Swedish Agricultural University in Umeå before returning to the research group in 2012. His research has focused on mapping land cover and forest attributes, such as aboveground biomass, canopy cover, leaf area index and biodiversity measures using various remote sensing techniques, particularly optical satellite imagery, imaging spectroscopy and airborne laser scanning. He is also interested in the time series analysis of satellite imagery for land cover monitoring, and validation of remotely sensed data products using field measurements. In recent years, he has been working in BIODEV and AFERIA projects with developing methodologies for carbon assessment and capacity building in forest inventory, remote sensing and GIS in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.

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Tino Johansson

Research Coordinator, PhD

TINO JOHANSSON is a research coordinator at the Department of Geosciences and Geography in the University of Helsinki. He holds a Ph.D. in geography, specializing in environment, development and sustainability. His research focuses on the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and food security. He is interested in opportunities and challenges for transition towards climate-smart landscapes, and drivers and consequences of human-wildlife conflicts. He has twenty years’ experience on managing national and international research and development projects, such as GIS education projects in Europe and environmental health projects in East Africa. Currently, he coordinates the ESSA project funded by the European Commission. He also works as the coordinator of the Taita Research Station of the University of Helsinki in Kenya.

Petteri Muukkonen

University Lecturer, PhD

PETTERI MUUKKONEN is a university lecturer in geoinformatics and an adjunct professor (title of docent) in biogeography. He is also the director of the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning (USP). In addition to research, Petteri has also a teaching qualification as a subject teacher of geography and biology. Due to his background as a teacher, he has recently expanded his research topics to also cover the pedagogy of geography and educational sciences. In addition, Petteri is a member of the Teachers’ Academy

Petteri supervises PhD theses, MSc theses and BSc theses in the fields of geoinformatics and the pedagogy of geography. He also teaches geoinformatics and GIS in various master’s and bachelor’s level courses.

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Andrew Rebeiro-Hargrave

Senior Researcher, PhD

Andrew Rebeiro-Hargrave is a senior scientists at the Department of Computer Science MegaSense (air quality monitoring) programme. He works as a Coordinator for MegaSense Smart City project. He received his Ph.D. degree on modeling large-scale gully erosion from King's College London in 2001.  He applied an innovative cellular automaton to simulate channel network evolution under different forcing conditions in SE Spain. He taught Geocomputation at the Department of Geography, the University of Helsinki whilst employed at Nokia Networks between 1999-2006. He was involved in the opening of the Nokia office in Nairobi, Kenya in 2006, and developed core network solutions for African cellular operators until 2012. He moved to Fukuoka, Japan and worked as a lecturer in eHealth at the Institute of Decisions Science for a Sustainable Society (IDS3), Kyushu University until 2015. He maintains research collaboration links with IDS3 and continues to contribute to the programme. He is a visiting academic at Aalto University (DIEM) with a remit to study social business. He represents the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki as consortium project coordinator for CAMEOS and LEAP-Agri Earth observation and food security EU-AU submissions and other projects. His expertise and research interests include telecoms, geocomputation, Earth observations and food security, gully erosion, geomorphology, and decision science.

Temesgen Alemayehu Abera

Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD

TEMESGEN ALEMAYEHU ABERA received his PhD from the University of Helsinki in 2020. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher in ECHOLAB at the Department of Geosciences and Geography. His research interest focuses on understanding and quantifying local and regional impacts of anthropogenic  land surface changes on climate and ecosystem service in tropics, particularly in East Africa. He is interested in using airborne and spaceborne observations, land surface flux modelling, and machine learning.


Sara Alibakhshi

Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD

Sara Alibakhshi is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. She is interested in the application of remote sensing in addressing global challenges such as climate change. During her Ph.D. studies, she developed a deep understanding of big data analysis and programming in R and Google Earth Engine (JavaScript) and time series analysis. Her M.Sc. and B.Sc. in environmental science focused on quantitative analysis of ecosystem dynamics and energy flux modeling.

Matti Räsänen

Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD

Matti Räsänen is working at the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR). His main interest is the hydrology of smallholder farming systems and drip irrigation in Kenya. He has also used eddy covariance and chamber measurement techniques to study carbon and water exchange at African savannas.

Ruut Uusitalo

Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD

Ruut Uusitalo (PhD, 2022, University of Helsinki) is a postdoctoral researcher in Viral Zoonoses Research Unit (VZRU) and ECHOLAB. In summer 2022, she defended PhD thesis on multidisciplinary research combining fields of GIScience, virology and public health. In research, she participates to designing sampling strategies, field work for sample collections, laboratory work for screening pathogens from the samples, and geospatial data analyses in which she combines information of the samples with environmental and ecological data acquired from the satellite data and other sources. In a post-doctorate period, she specifically focuses on studying seasonal distribution patterns of vectors, hosts (including mosquitoes,ticks and bats) and pathogens, and the effect of climatic changes on the distributions in the Taita Hills. Together with all great local and international collaborators, she wish to produce new information for preventing vector-borne diseases and improving public health outcomes.


Hari Adhikari

Visiting Scholar, PhD

HARI ADHIKARI received his PhD at University of Helsinki in 2019. The topic of his dissertation is Airborne and spaceborne remote sensing for assessment of forest structural attributes across tropical mosaic landscapes. He completed his Bachelor in forestry at Tribhuvan University, Nepal and MSc studies in Sustainable Resource Management from Technical University Munich (TUM), Germany with specialization in landscape management, forestry, and wildlife management. His study area for the master thesis was Southern Leyte, Philippines where he spent 6 months in collecting data and working as Intern in Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). After his MSc degree, he worked in various organizations in Germany, for example, Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH, and Bavarian State Institute of Forestry. He has international working experience in REDD+ and forestry, especially in Nepal, Philippines, Germany, Kenya and now in Finland. His Ph.D. topic is the remote sensing of forest via multispectral, hyperspectral and airborne laser scanner for forest structure mapping and ecosystem services, namely monitoring aboveground biomass. He is also working in collaboration with professor Mikael Fortelius on applying GIS on teeth related to evolutionary paleontology.

Zhipeng Tang

Visiting Scholar, PhD

ZHIPENG TANG received his MSc degree from Beijing Normal University in cartography and geographic information systems and his BSc in surveying and mapping engineering from China University of Mining and Technology. He joined ECHOLAB and Doctoral Programme in Geosciences in 2017. He defended his doctoral dissertation on Gap--filling using machine learning: implementations and applications in remote sensing in 2022. His doctoral studies were funded by China Scholarship Council.

Sheila Wachiye

Visiting Scholar, PhD

SHEILA WACHIYE received a BSc in environmental studies from Kenyatta University and a MSc in GIS & Remote Sensing from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. Currently, she is as a junior research fellow at the School of Agricultural sciences & Natural Resources at Kabianga University, Kenya. Her Ph.D. studies began in October 2017 under the funding of the Schlumberger Foundation, Faculty for the Future program within ECHOLAB and the Doctoral Programme in Atmospheric Sciences. As part of her research, she investigated greenhouse gas emissions from various land cover and land use types and their impact on climate change in the Taita Taveta County, Kenya in cooperation with Lund University, Sweden and International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi Kenya. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki, Kumpula campus, in June 2022.

Iris Aalto

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

Iris Aalto is a doctoral researcher in the University of Helsinki and University of Edinburgh Partnership Programme on Forests. She is interested in sustainable natural resource management using remote sensing, and her current research is about boreal forest microclimates and how management activities are shaping them. She did her Master's degree in Geoinformatics in the University of Helsinki in 2020 studying the impact of canopy cover on microclimate in Taita Hills.

Veronica Ahonen

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

VERONICA AHONEN began as a doctoral researcher at the Department of Geosciences and Geography in 2020. She received her MSc from the University of Helsinki in 2019 in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability, where her Master’s thesis focused on climate change and Arctic wetlands. She is a student of the Doctoral Programme in Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (DENVI), and her research focuses on the sustainability of flight emission offsetting in the context of research organizations, using the University of Helsinki as a case example. Her goal is to combine participatory research, remote sensing data and existing literature to create a comprehensive strategy to ensure the responsible mobility of research organizations in the future.

Antti Autio

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

Antti Autio is a doctoral researcher at the department of Geosciences and Geography since 2018. He holds a master’s degree in Development Geography from the University of Helsinki. He studies in the Doctoral Programme in Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (DENVI) and his research focuses on smallholder farmer’s adaptation to climate change in East Africa from the perspective of political ecology.

Erone Ghizoni Dos Santos

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

Erone Ghizoni Dos Santos has received a degree in Forest Engineering from the State University of Santa Catarina - UDESC - Brazil (2014) and he got his master’s degree in Remote Sensing at the National Institute for Space Research - INPE - Brazil (2018), where he has used satellite and LiDAR (ALS) data to estimate aboveground biomass in degraded areas over the Amazon Forest. He is currently a PhD Researcher at the University of Helsinki, whose research focuses on identify and map areas of forest degradation using LiDAR data and the impacts of forest logging on the microclimate temperature.  

Pekka Hurskainen

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

PEKKA HURSKAINEN joined the University of Helsinki in 2011. Currently, he works as a researcher in the Finnish Environment Institute. He has over 20 years of experience in geoinformatics and remote sensing, both from the private sector and higher education institutes. Pekka is highly interested to link development co-operation and partnerships with geoinformatics. He coordinated the GIERI (Strengthening Geoinformatics Teaching and Research Capacity in Eritrea Higher Education Institutions) project funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland under the Eritrea-specific HEI-ICI programme. GIERI is building the capacity of geoinformatics teaching and research in Eritrean Higher Education Institutions through a newly developed MSc degree programme in geoinformatics at Adi Keih College of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Geography. Pekka also contributed to the TAITAGIS capacity building project, which builds geoinformatics capacity for Taita Taveta University, Kenya. His MSc thesis (University of Helsinki, 2005) was about change detection of informal settlements of Voi in the Taita Hills. Pekka’s research interests are land use/land cover mapping and change analysis and its interactions with biodiversity and ecosystem services in East Africa. He is preparing Ph.D. dissertation on this particular topic focusing on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in cooperation with the University of Bayreuth.

Zhaozhi Luo

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

Zhaozhi Luo received the B.Sc. degree in remote sensing science and technology in 2020 and the M.Sc. degree in resource and environment in 2022 in School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering from Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. He is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree in doctoral programme in atmospheric science of the University of Helsinki, Finland. His major research interests include hyperspectral image restoration, classification, change detection and machine/deep learning.

Ashfak Mahmud

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

Ashfak Mahmud holds a BSc degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh, and an MSc degree in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation from ITC, University of Twente in the Netherlands. He completed his master's thesis in collaboration with Planet Labs, where he worked on the detection of waterlogging and monitored its impact on winter wheat development using radar and optical satellite images. He started his Ph.D. in 2022 at the University of Helsinki, Finland where he is working on measuring spectral-temporal characteristics and classification of small-holder cropping systems to target and scale-up regenerative agriculture management interventions based on remote sensing data in Kenya.

Martha Munyao

Doctoral Researcher, MA

MARTHA MUNYAO joined the University of Helsinki in 2019 as a Ph.D Student in the Doctoral Programme in Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (DENVI). She holds a BSc degree in Wildlife Management from Moi University and MA degree in Environmental Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She works as a Research Scientist at Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya. Currently, she is doing Ph.D research on land use conflicts and implications on climate smart landscape planning with a special focus on human elephant conflicts.

Ian Ocholla

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

Ian Ocholla received his B.Sc. degree in Geomatic engineering and Geospatial Information Systems (2016) and M.Sc. degree in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (2021) from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. He has worked as a GIS and remote sensing assistant at the Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organization. He started his Ph.D. studies in doctoral programme in Atmospheric Sciences under the funding from European Commission (ESSA project) in 2021. His research focuses on using deep learning in detecting cattle from aerial and satellite images in Taita Taveta County in Kenya.

Ilja Vuorinne

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

Ilja Vuorinne is a doctoral researcher in the group since 2021. Before that he studied geography at the University of Turku, Finland, and at the University of Sheffield, UK, and received his MSc from the University of Helsinki, specialising in geoinformatics. In his PhD, he studies the use of airborne and spaceborne remote sensing for mapping invasive plant species and for modelling land surface phenology. His study sites are in located in Kenya and the research is part of the ESSA project. He is especially interested in hyperspectral remote sensing, and he is the operator of the airborne hyperspectral sensor for the project. Ilja has also been teaching various GIS and remote sensing courses since his arrival at Helsinki.

Former Lab Members
Edward Amara

EDWARD AMARA received his BSc (2005) and MSc (2010) degrees from Njala University in Sierra Leone. He worked in the BIODEV project funded by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. He defended his doctoral dissertation on Woody aboveground biomass and its drivers in mosaic landscapes in West and East Africa in 2022. Dr. Amara's home organization is Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute.

Mark Boitt

MARK BOITT received his BSc degree in surveying from the University of Nairobi and MSc degree in photogrammetry and geoinformatics from Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Germany in 2010. He joined the research group in 2012 as a Ph.D. student of CHIESA project. In 2016, he finished his Ph.D. thesis on Hyperspectral remote sensing for cropland assessment and modeling for agro-ecological zones: A case study of Taita Hills, Kenya at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Nairobi. Dr. Boitt is now Senior Lecturer & Researcher at the Institute of Geomatics, GIS & Remote Sensing at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Kenya.

Mårten Boström


MÅRTEN BOSTRÖM joined the group already in 2010 for preparing his MSc thesis on the use of GPS in field mapping in the Ngangao forest of the Taita Hills and Helsinki urban area. Mårten received his MSc in geography from the University of Helsinki specializing in geoinformatics and his BSc in geographic information science from Northern Arizona University, USA. He has been Ph.D. student in the Doctoral Program in Geosciences since 2012. He is researching the utilization of various remote sensing and field collected spatial data for terrain mapping and production of maps. Current activities include spatial distribution modeling of afromontane plant species using anthropogenic data in combination with ecographical factors. He has been involved in teaching Open Source GIS and remote sensing in CHIESA project led by International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Miti Mingi Maisha Bora project of the Kenya Forest Service and SMOLE2 project in Zanzibar, Tanzania. 

Mehrnoosh Ghadimi


MEHRNOOSH GHADIMI is a visiting researcher at the University of Helsinki at the Department of Geosciences and Geography. She started her collaboration within ECHOLAB and with associate professor David Whipp in 2016. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Tehran, Iran in 2013. In 2012-2013 she spent a period at Zaragoza University in Spain. Currently, she performs as a lecturer at the University of Tehran. Her expertise and research interests include geomorphology, glacial geomorphology, karst, natural hazards, and remote sensing, and especially the application of radar data.

Alemu Gonsamo Gosa

ALEMU GONSAMO GOSA carried out his BSc studies at Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources in Ethiopia and MSc studies at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He finished his PhD studies at the University of Helsinki in 2010 with the dissertation entitled Remote sensing of leaf area index: enhanced retrieval from close-range and remotely sensed optical observations. He has been working with professor Jing Chen as a scientist at the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. Since 2019 he has been appointed as Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Ecosystems at School of Earth Environment and Society, of McMaster University, Canada.

Binyam Tesfaw Hailu

BINYAM TESFAW HAILU joined the research group in 2012 as a doctoral researcher under the CHIESA project. He defended his Ph.D. dissertation in 2016 entitled Multi-scale assessment of land changes in Ethiopia – understanding the impacts of human activities on ecosystems services. Dr. Binyam is an associate professor at the School of Earth Sciences, Addis Abeba University, Ethiopia. In addition, he carries out postdoctoral research at Philipps-Universität Marburg ( on how humans benefited from and re-shaped African high altitude ecosystems during Quarternary climatic changes. 

Alireza Hamedianfar

Alireza Hamedianfar was a visiting researcher at the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2015.  He is interested in the use of machine learning and data mining techniques for feature and target extraction, such as detailed urban land use/land cover mapping, tree species discrimination, and oil palm tree characterization. Dr. Hamedianfar has strong knowledge and experience in very high resolution remote sensing data, image classification and advance processing techniques including GEOBIA, deep learning, feature selection, and optimization. Moreover, he has experience working with LiDAR and hyperspectral data. Dr. Hamedianfar is postdoctoral researcher at the Geological Survey of Finland.

Johanna Hohenthal

JOHANNA HOHENTHAL received her MSc degree in physical geography at the University of Turku in 2009 and joined the research group in 2010. She defended her Ph.D. dissertation on Local ecological knowledge in deteriorating water catchments: Reconsidering environmental histories and inclusive governance in the Taita Hills, Kenya in 2018. Dr. Hohenthal is a postdoctoral researcher at Department of Economics and Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki.

Jinxiu Liu

JINXIU LIU finished her M.Sc. studies in GIS and remote sensing from Beijing Normal University, China in 2013, and her Ph.D. studies at the University of Helsinki in 2017 on Application of satellite image time series and texture information in land cover characterization and burned area detection. Her study focused on increasing understanding of land cover characterization by exploring the temporal profiles from time series data and spatial details contained in high spatial resolution imagery. Her main study area was savannah in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Dr. Liu works as lecturer at School of Information Engineering, China University of Geosciences, China.

Yang Liu

Yang Liu received her MSc degree in Physical Geography at Beijing Normal University in 2018, and joined the ECHOLAB research group and the Doctoral Programme in Atmospheric Science as a grant-funded researcher in 2019. She defended her doctoral dissertation on Biogenic volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde from East African ecosystems in 2022.

Matheus Nunes

Matheus Nunes (PhD in Forest Ecology, University of Cambridge) was a postdoctoral researcher in the Earth Change Observation Lab in 2019. His research focuses on understanding what determines the structure and function of plant communities. He uses remote sensing and field surveys to explore how tropical vegetation respond to global changes. 

Rami Piiroinen


RAMI PIIROINEN received his Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki in 2018. The topic of his dissertation is Airborne imaging spectroscopy in mapping of heterogeneous tropical land cover in Eastern Africa. Currently, he is the Director of Remote Sensing in Sharper Shape Group. He is interested in remote sensing techniques and applications, especially in the mapping of tropical land and tree cover. He has wide experience of operating different imaging spectroscopy and laser scanning sensors in over 10 different countries on three continents, as well as processing and analyzing the data for different organizations, universities, and his own work. He is also interested in software development, machine learning, and big data analysis through various side projects.

Mika Siljander

MIKA SILJANDER joined the lab already in 2006 and worked in number of projects until 2022. Currently, adjunct professor Siljander is a grant-funded researcher at Helsinki Lab of Interdisciplinary Conservation Science (HELICS) at the Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki. He is an expert in GIS modeling and spatial statistics. After MSc studies in geography at the University of Helsinki, he started as a researcher in 1998 at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and moved later on to the Metapopulation Research Group (MRG) led by the late Professor Ilkka Hanski working as a GIS- and database specialist. He took a sabbatical leave in 2003-2004 and traveled around Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe returning back to Finland in December 2004. Then he joined the research group in 2006 as a Ph.D. student and received his Ph.D. in 2010. He has worked on research and development projects funded by the Academy of Finland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, such as TAITATOO, TAITAWATER, AFERIA, and CHIESA. His primary research interests include forest fires, species distribution, nature conversation, land cover change, and modeling of search and rescue services. He has over 20 years of experience teaching GIS and remote sensing, and he coordinated the 2017-2020 TAITAGIS project in collaboration with Taita Taveta University in Kenya. His most recent collaboration with the ECHOLAB research group - VECLIMIT project, was on vector-borne diseases (VBD) and COVID-19. The primary goal of the VECLIMIT project was to estimate and predict VBD risks associated with climate change in Finland. 

Peifeng Su

PEIFENG SU joined ECHOLAB as a doctoral researcher in 2018. He defended his doctoral dissertation on Retrieval of atmospheric environmental parameters and identification of new particle formation events from images with deep learning in 2022. He is interested in remote sensing: image processing, especially in hyperspectral band selection and air pollution related techniques and applications. Dr. Su has participated in several image processing projects and is familiar with hyperspectral data collection sensors. He is also interested in Physics, Mathematics, and deep learning/machine learning.    

Athanasios Votsis

ATHANASIOS VOTSIS holds a Ph.D. in Geoinformatics from the University of Helsinki in 2017, which focused on urban economics and spatial planning in relation to climate-sensitive environmental risks and amenities, and a Master's in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University, the US in 2006. His research activities include urban and regional planning focusing on applied urban economic modelling and housing market analysis; economic impacts of environmental risks and amenities, like flooding and green infrastructure; application of GIS and spatial analysis and simulation in the adaptation of cities and urban regions to climate and ecosystem change; and application of computational intelligence and complexity science to urban studies. He is part of projects dealing with economic impacts assessment of improving urban air quality, integration of urban growth and urban microclimate scenario modeling, and dust-and-sand-storm -related climate services for the aviation and solar energy sectors. Athanasios teaches applied spatial statistics and urban modeling and simulation. Dr. Votsis works as assistant professor at the Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability within University of Twente, the Netherlands.

Daniela Welsch


DANIELA WELSCH studied geography, geology, and psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her diploma thesis dealt with the rural development and change of the agricultural structure in Poland. She has acquired professional experience in various positions such as GIS and remote sensing project manager and geographical editor in various companies. Daniela was awarded a doctoral grant by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and she started her doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki in 2017. Her Ph.D. project aims at analyzing agricultural landscape change and adaptation strategies of smallholder farms in Kenya using remote sensing, GIS, and social research methods. Daniela is fascinated about inter- and transdisciplinary research which combines different methodological approaches from human and physical geography. 

Xiaochen Zou


XIAOCHEN ZOU received his BSc and MSc degree in cartology and GIS from China Agricultural University. He finished his Ph.D. studies at the University of Helsinki in 2016 on the use of hyperspectral AISA imaging spectroscopy data in agricultural studies. His dissertation is entitled Leaf orientation and the spectral reflectance of field crops. Dr. Zou works now as associate professor at the School of Remote Sensing and Geomatics Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology in China.