The FEM Group consists of researchers and post graduate students representing different disciplines, such as marine biology, fisheries and environmental sciences, geography, and social science.
Sakari Kuikka

Professor in Fisheries biology, group leader

On general level, I am interested about the role of science in solving environmental societal problems. An interesting narrative about biology may create motivation to solve the problems, but solution needs also the identification of cost-effective management options that are practically applicable. Decision analysis is a way to identify the most justified solutions, and to estimate how likely it is that the desired aims are actually achieved. I am favoring the Bayesian approach to risk assessment and decision analysis, because to me it Is a scientific description of a learning process: the posterior distributions of one study could, and should, be the prior probabilities of the next study. Such learning chains can be effective tools to focus the science on most essential policy questions.

I am interested in:

· Bayesian risk and decision analysis

· Interdisciplinary probabilistic modeling

· Fish stock assessment and fisheries management

· Fisheries and environmental management problems

Sakari's publications on his TUHAT pages

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Contact info


Tel: +358 50 330 9233

I am teaching on the following courses: ECGS 014 Diagnosis of environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems, ECGS-151 Introduction to decision analysis and probabilistic integrated modelling ECGS-017 Fisheries management, 519111 Writing of a scientific proposals

Recent publications
Annukka Lehikoinen

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD in Environmental sciences

My background is in aquatic sciences: I have MSc in limnology and fisheries science from the University of Helsinki (2007). During my PhD I studied Bayesian methods and risk and decision analysis. The PhD thesis, titled as "Bayesian network applications for environmental risk assessment " (2014), draws together the risk and decision analytic work I have conducted around the eutrophication (Lehikoinen et al. 2014 ) and oil spill risks (Lehikoinen et al. 2013 and 2015 , Jolma et al. 2014 ) of the Gulf of Finland, using Bayesian Networks as the analytical tool and platform for knowledge integration. In 2015 - 2016 I was working as a post doc in the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Institute of Coastal Research. There I focused on machine learning, applying Bayesian network classifiers for heterogeneous ecological and environmental data to identify key factors determining the status of two coastal fish indicators of the Baltic Sea (Lehikoinen et al. 2019 ). After returning to FEM group in the end of the year 2016 I have been involved in the projects 30MILES (principal investigator), GOHERR and COMPLETE. Currently my main project is WISE where, with a multidisciplinary consortium, we analyze the resilience of the Finnish society against divergent “wicked” (lacking a clear optimal solution) social-environmental disruptions and develop instruments to improve the resilience.

As the result of working all these years as part of two highly multidisciplinary research communities: the FEM group and the Kotka Maritime Research Center (where my office is located), my world view have been influenced by many other scientific disciplines such as sociology, engineering, environmental economy, geography etc. I could say cross-disciplinary communication is one of my special skills. In our projects I have also had the possibility to work with stakeholders representing different sectors, which have been extremely useful and educative. My perspective to integrative modelling has widened from the data and model coupling only to also the social aspects of knowledge integration, covering for example the elicitation of stakeholders’ values (Laurila-Pant et al., a submitted manuscript) and thinking about problem structuring (Parviainen et al. 2019 ).

I am the 1st supervisor of three PhD students, Mirka Laurila-Pant, Emilia Luoma, and Lauri Ronkainen and teach on the courses Introduction to decision analysis and Bayesian inference and Diagnosis of environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems .

Annukka's publications on her TUHAT pages

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Visit Annukka's web pages

Recent publications
Tuuli Parviainen

Doctoral student

  • Risk governance
  • Shipping and corporate social responsibility
  • Bayesian analysis

Tuuli is working as a researcher in CEARCTIC project

Tuuli's publications on her TUHAT pages

Tuuli's curriculum vitae on LinkedIn

Contact info


Recent publications
Mirka Laurila-Pant

Doctoral student, MSc Aquatic Sciences

  • Bayesian analysis
  • Participatory modelling
  • Environmental valuation
  • Fish stock assessment

My research takes a probabilistic view on how to set the management objectives and the role of valuation in environmental management problems. As the environmental management aims to improve the ecosystem health and promote sustainable use of natural resources, we need to measure the state as well as to define the desirable and undesirable status of the system. However it is not always straightforward how and in which perspective the impacts on the environment should be valued, therefore I am developing a probabilistic Bayesian approaches to quantify the uncertainty about the management objectives as we as the methods used for measuring the prevailing status of the system.

See Mirka's publications on her TUHAT pages

Email: mirka.laurila-pant[at]

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Recent publications
Suvi Ignatius

Doctoral student, MSSc in Sociology

  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries
  • Environmental governance
  • Science, technology, and society studies

Suvi works as a researcher in BONUS GOHERR project

Suvi's publications on her TUHAT pages

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Recent publications
Laura Kaikkonen

Doctoral student

  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Causal networks
  • Marine minerals

My PhD research focuses on the environmental impacts of seabed mineral extraction, and understanding how seafloor exploitation affects marine ecosystems. I am interested in how adverse effects of human activities may be estimated prior to disturbance, and how impact assessments may be improved using a causal approach.

In my work, I am using Bayesian networks to examine the ecological risks of seabed mining, and the magnitude of the potential impacts. My work uses shallow water mineral concretions in the Baltic Sea as a case study to examine the impacts of seabed mining. As these minerals consitute an understudied habitat type, I am also examining the ecological role of mineral concretions in order to infer the potential impacts of their removal. In addition, I am interested in how we perceive the impacts to remote environments, such as the deep sea, and how our values for these environments guide decision-making in natural resource governance.

Laura works as a researcher in Smartsea project

Laura's publications on her TUHAT pages

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Email: laura.m.kaikkonen [at]

Recent publications
Emilia Luoma

Doctoral student, MSc Geography

· Baltic Sea Environment

· Bayesian Networks

· Stakeholder Involvement

· Sustainable Decision Making

My PhD is about stakeholder involvement and decision making in the environmental problem solving in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is a unique and vulnerable ecosystem facing various environmental threats and my PhD focuses on biofouling management of the ships, sustainable boating, and oil spills. When trying to solve complex environmental problems, interdisciplinary research is highly needed and thus used in my thesis as well. I use Bayesian networks as a method because they are visual, easy to use and can contain both qualitative and quantitative data from different sources. Therefore they are usable in solving complex interdisciplinary problems.

The stakeholder involvement is important in decision making to make sustainable and fair decisions. However, it is not always easy to know how the stakeholders should be involved. My thesis will tackle this problem and show some approaches to involve stakeholders. Finally, the Bayesian models formed here can be used to better understand these complex environmental problems and ideally, in the future, the models can be used in the decision making as well.

Emilia works as a reseracher in the COMPLETE project.

Contact info


Lauri Ronkainen

Doctoral student, MSc in Fisheries science

  •  Aquatic ecology
  • Environmental management
  • Systems analysis
  • Bayesian networks

Social and ecological problems are complex per se, not to mention when these two are combined together in one analysis. Humans pose direct and indirect impact on ecosystems, such as fishing, which creates feedbacks. But how do we react to these feedbacks? Social-ecological systems can be seen as a large network, consisting of variables describing the behavior of the system. If we modify the state of one variable in the network or make a decision about the other, what are the causal consequences? My interest is in exploring these networks, by slicing them into smaller sub-systems and trying to figure it out how they work. With relevant indicators, I aim to assess the most critical parts of the system and discuss the dos and don’ts on the management perspective.

Lauri works as a researcher in the COMPLETE project.

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Sampsa Nisonen

Doctoral student

Contact info


See Sampsa's publications on his TUHAT profile.

Jani Luoto

Jani's TUHAT pages.

Magnus Hanstén

Master's student

  • Marine resource management
  • Fisheries, Marine Spatial Planning
  • MPAs
  • Baltic Sea & Arctic

Magnus is working on his Master's thesis titled Fisheries management, social dimensions of the Individual Transferable Quota system.

Contact info


Aron Larsson

MSc Student

My Masters thesis aims to build a Bayesian model to analyze biomass fluctuation correlations between biologically similar fish species and stocks in the northern Atlantic, which, if functional, could be used to estimate several stock biomasses by observing and analyzing one stock. This could, in turn, lower the costs and resources needed for future stock assessments. In my bachelors degree in aquatic sciences, mainly fisheries and fish biology, I focused on both biological and anthropogenic factors that contribute to fish stock collapses and slow recovery of collapsed stocks.

Sini Halonen

MSc Student

My Master’s thesis focuses on selection of target species that are potentially harmful alien species in the Baltic Sea invading via ship ballast water. I'm using the Bayesian approach, which reveals the amount of uncertainty concerning the correct classification based on the criteria currently in use. This study may be helpful in the management of ship ballast water.

Former members

Eduardo Maeda

Mika Rahikainen

Riikka Venesjärvi




Inari Helle

Post-doctoral researcher, Environmental and Ecological Statistics Group, Univeristy of Helsinki

I work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Environmental and Ecological Statistics group at the University of Helsinki.

My background is in ecology and environmental engineering, and I have a PhD in Aquatic sciences. I am interested in the interactions between humans and ecosystems: What kinds of impacts human activities have on ecosystems and what we can do to mitigate these impacts. I have studied these topics especially from the environmental risk assessment and decision analysis perspective in the Baltic Sea by using Bayesian methods. Currently, I study oil spill risks in the Arctic with my HELSUS Fellow funding. I also work with non-indigenous species and biofouling issues in the COMPLETE project.

I am interested in inter- and transdisciplinary research, and I aim at producing knowledge that is relevant for the society and can be used to support decision-making.

See Inari's personal webpages here.

Marine Risk Governance Research Group

MARISK is a newly founded research group within the Ecosystems and Environment Research Group led by professor Päivi Haapasaari. The group works in close collaboraton with FEM researchers, specializing on the risk governance issues of e.g.  fisheries and shipping.