Postdoctoral researcher working in Ecophysiology group

The researchers of our group:

Anna Lintunen

Transport processes, freezing, embolism

My research is on tree structure and function, especially on transport processes within the tree and on the challenges these processes face in different environments. My special interest is on freezing behavior of wood.


Anuliina Putkinen

Microbial CH4 turnover in boreal forests and peatlands

Chao Zhang

Remote sensing, photosynthesis,  terrestrial vegetation, climate change

I am interested in investigating terrestrial vegetation photosynthesis using remote sensing optical signals to understand how plants respond to environmental stresses and climate change. 

Elina Peltomaa

Phytoplankton ecology and nutrient, biomolecule and gas cycling

My research interests are in the microscopical-sized life forms of lakes, especially in phytoplankton, and their roles in aquatic food webs. Particularly I’m interested in mixotrophy, grazing and exudate release (e.g. volatile organic compounds, BVOC’s) which are closely related to nutrient, biomolecule and gas cycling. My previous research topics have included studies on phytoplankton community composition and primary production as well as using phytoplankton as a potential source of oil for biodiesel production.

Francesco Minunno

My research focuses on the general areas of forest ecosystem ecology and the impacts of climate change on forests. My area of expertize is process-based modelling of forest ecosystems. I'm currently focusing on the implementation of modern computational methods for the calibration and comparison of process-based models rich in parameters. I'm striving to apply Bayesian statistics to process based models, as a method for uncertainty analysis and model comparison. In the last years I also focused my research on the topic of water stress and water stress induced tree mortality.

Janne Korhonen

Nitrogen cycling in boreal forests, open science

My research interest is in the interactions between forest plants, forest soil and the atmosphere. Functional balance of trees and elemental mass balances are fundamental concepts in my research. As a special topic, I am working on how to improve the reliability of chamber measurement techniques. Recently, my work has been concentrating more and more on open science and the intersection between the Arts and Science.

Jon Atherton

Passive remote sensing, modeling, vegetation dynamics, spectroscopy, photosynthesis, wildfires

Developing a model that will help to interpret passive remote sensing signals of forests. The relationship between remote sensing signals and photosynthetic efficiency is complicated and non-linear. Mechanistic models can help to explain the underlying physiological and physical causes of remote sensing observations and provide a robust platform for the use of such signals in estimating carbon fixation rates.


Juho Aalto

Gas exchange, BVOCs, tree growth, measurement methodology, technical development, boreal forests

Long term measurements of tree and forest floor gas exchange, including VOCs, using online measurement methods. Understanding the dynamics, dependency on environmental controls of gas exchange, especially VOCs.

  • +358 50 415 6759
  • SMEAR II, Hyytiälä forestry field station, Hyytiäläntie 124, 35500 Korkeakoski, Finland
  • ORCID: 0000-0002-5686-1366
  • More information in research database TUHAT
Jussi Heinonsalo

Soil, carbon and nitrogen cycling, microbiology and chemistry

My major research interest is carbon cycling in forest and agricultural soils and the role of mycorrhizal fungi in belowground carbon dynamics. In addition, I am interested in the enzymes as well as other metabolites (VOC-compounds, bioactive compounds, microbial litter) produced by fungi. I use microbiological, chemical and isotopic (13C, 15N, 14C) methods in my work, and currently collaborate tightly with soil C modelers in order to incorporate novel experimental data into models for better model predictions on soil C pools. My earlier projects include studies on fungal bioremediation and biodiversity.

Kira Ryhti

Tree root carbon dynamics in boreal forests

My research interests are tree root carbon dynamics in boreal forest ecosystems. My PhD research focused on quantifying and modeling carbon-related processes of Scots pine roots in the framework of whole tree carbon balance and estimate tree carbon dynamics in the chancing climate. At the moment I work at SMEAR II for maintaining and developing the soil measurements.

Laura Matkala

Vegetation and nutrient cycling in subarctic forests

In my doctoral thesis, I study how forests vegetation in the northern latitudes responds to climate change. I approach the topic by analyzing the relationships that the forest vegetation has with a) soil nutrients, and b)  atmosphere.

Lauri Lindfors

Effect of freezing and thawing on tree ecophysiology

  • +358 (0)294158150
  • Viikki, B building room 321
  • ORCID:
  • More information in research database TUHAT
Liisa Kulmala

Carbon cycle in northern ecosystems

My passion is to understand biological, biochemical and physical interactions in nature. My long-term focus has been in the uptake and release of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, and the overall carbon cycle. Most of my studies has concerned forested ecosystems but nowadays, I study urban and agricultural ecosystems as well.

Lukas Kohl

I am an isotope biogeochemist with a background in soil and environmental chemistry. My current work focuses on understanding and distinguishing between the processes that lead to plant methane emissions. I also make, listen, and dance to music and try to spend as much time in nature as possible.

Luis Alonso-Chorda

I am a physicist with a long standing experience in remote sensing at different scales, from proximal to space-based, exploiting the capabilities of hyperspectral data.

I have designed various instruments for measuring optical properties both in the laboratory and in the field. Mostly oriented towards vegetation monitoring in general, and in particular the remote sensing of chlorophyll fluorescence at leaf and canopy level.

My research has been mainly performed under the preparation of several ESA Earth Observation missions, but mostly focused on FLEX (the Fluorescence Explorer).

Nowadays, I am applying my experience to enhance the measuring capabilities of the Optics of Photosynthesis Laboratory (OPL) indoors (laboratory and greenhouse) and outdoors.

  • Viikki, B building, room 322
Maarit Raivonen

Gas-phase nitrogen exchange, methane emissions, wetlands

Exchange of reactive gas-phase nitrogen compounds between atmosphere and vegetation and global modelling of methane emissions from wetlands.

  • +358 (0)2 941 51658
  • Kumpula, Dynamicum room D113
  • ORCID:
  • More information in research database TUHAT
Marjo Palviainen
Markku Koskinen

Methane exchange processes, peatlands, soil gas exchange

Nuria Altimir

Terrestrial ecology, biogeochemistry of air-land interactions, ozone deposition, ozone scavenging 

I have studied primarily ozone deposition to vegetation and the mechanisms behind the process and currently I am interested in the potential role of BVOCs and aerosol load in ozone scavenging. I am also involved in research on C and N cycling in high-mountain pastures in the Pyrenees, studying the role of plant diversity

Pasi Kolari

Data management, greenhouse gas fluxes

Pauliina Schiestl-Aalto

Tree growth, carbon balance, carbon sink – source interactions

I study tree growth and different aspects of tree and forest carbon balance. My main interest is in growth modelling and I have also worked with photosynthesis modelling and carbon isotopes. I work at Hyytiälä forestry field station and am responsible of biodiversity measurements there.

  • +358 40 8392483
  • piia.schiestl [at]
  • Hyytiälä forestry field station, Hyytiäläntie 124, 35500 Korkeakoski, Finland
  • ORCID: 0000-0003-1369-1923
  • More information in research database TUHAT and Forest Modelling Group page
Paulina Rajewicz

Project coordinator / Postdoctoral researcher

My main role is to coordinate CREDIBLE Action, which is an EU-funded innovation aimed at building consensus on the methodologies that could maximize the capacity of soils to act as carbon sinks. Within the Action, I co-lead the work of Focus Group on proximal sensing, digitalization, and technological resistance in carbon farming. At the same time, I continue my research work as a post-doc, focusing on leaf optical properties/chlorophyll-a fluorescence, at Optics of Photosynthesis Lab. 

Syed Ashraful Alam

Climate change, Ecosystem services, Ecosystem water-balance, Plant-water relations, and Operations of Research Infrastructures

I am currently working for two environmental Research Infrastructures (RI). At eLTER RI (University of Helsinki, Finland), I am working as ‘Research Coordinator’, while at ICOS ERIC Head Office in Helsinki; I am holding ‘Operations & Networking Officer’ position. From January 2021 onwards, I will entirely focus on eLTER RI with its Preparatory Phase Project activities of preparing Cost Book, Cost Benefit Analysis and Socio-Economic Impact Analysis.

During recent post-doc work, with the auspices of University of Helsinki and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) prestigious President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI), I spent couple of years at CAS’ South China Botanical Garden and focused on tree growth and plant-water relations of boreal and sub-tropical ecosystems. My MSc and PhD theses were related to carbon stocks, greenhouse gas emission and water balance of dryland ecosystem.


  • +358 504489485
  • ashraful.alam [at]
  • Viikki, B-building, room 326
  • ORCID: 0000-0001-9870-1494
  • More information in research database TUHAT
Steffen Grebe

Acclimation and regulation of photosynthesis, boreal conifers, thylakoid, photosystem, light harvesting, molecular plant physiology

I am interested in understanding the photosynthetic acclimation and regulation processes of boreal conifers. My research focuses on the development of new methods and protocols bridging the gap between the thylakoid- to the leaf-level.


  • steffen.grebe [at]
  • Viikki, B-building, room 315
  • ORCID: 0000-0001-9718-1570
Teemu Paljakka

Tree ecophysiology and biotic stress

I'm currently working in post doc research on conifer physiological responses to bark beetle and blue stain fungi invasions. My past and current focus is in tree water and carbon relations, including studies on tree gas exchange, water use and phloem translocation in the field and greenhouse conditions.

Terhi Rasilo

Carbon cycling, interactions between ecosystems

Environmental research infrastructures 

My research interests are in carbon cycling in different ecosystem and especially between them. After finishing a postdoc related to CO2 and CH4 emissions from lakes and small rivers in Canada, I'm back at the department of Forest Sciences. Now I'm working more to create conditions for research than with research itself. I am involved in the long-term ecosystem research infrastructures both at national (LTER Finland, INAR RI Ecosystems) and at international (eLTER) level.

Yann Salmon

Water and carbon relations in tree, tree ecophysiology and ecology

My research focus on water and carbon fluxes in trees and between trees and the atmosphere, what are the processes regulating those fluxes, how they are influenced by the environment and how this response affect the trees. In particular, I am interested in the effect of drought. Beyond the individual level, I study how tree ecophysiology and fluxes: 1) impact biogeochemical cycles in forest ecosystems, and 2) how they respond to and shape tree ecology.