People

We are a diverse group at all stages of our research careers, with assorted skillsets and varied connections to human-nature transformations.
Christopher Raymond

Professor, Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme

Christopher is an Interdisciplinary Scientist who creates new policy and management options for engaging diverse actors in the design and implementation of nature-based solutions. He is globally recognised for my expertise related to the development and application of: conceptual approaches for assessing human-nature relationships; knowledge co-creation processes, and; analytical methods in the social valuation of land use and ecosystem services under global change.

Outputs have contributed to the standardised assessment of the co-benefits of nature-based solutions across the EU; the Australian Federal Government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment; the City of Helsinki’s Master Planning process and the engagement of Indigenous people in IPBES Assessments.

He is passionate about assessing the impact of environmental policies and programs on individual and group values, behavior and self-reported well-being. This passion is reflected in my mission of Connecting  People, Place and Prosperity.

He currently hold the position of Professor of Sustainability Science (Sustainability Transformations and Ecosystem Services) at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki and Guest Professor in Landscape Planning at the Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

In 2019, he was recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher. Fewer than 6,300, or 0.1%, of the world's researchers, across 21 research fields, have earned this exclusive distinction.

Viola Hakkarainen

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Viola is a postdoctoral researcher at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) where she studies sustainability education in higher education institutes. Having a background in sustainability science, Viola’s focus is on knowledge processes, collaboration and inclusivity that can support just sustainability transformations.

Silviya Korpilo

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

I study human-nature connections in cities from a socio-ecological-technological systems perspective and particularly how participatory GIS methods can support planning and management of urban green spaces. My research interests also include multisensory methods for studying human experiences in urban nature, environmental justice and using new technologies to capture and analyse urban green space use. I am currently working on the Smarter Greener Cities project examining the links between landscape and soundscape quality and psychological restoration.

Jussi Lampinen

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Jussi defended his PhD-thesis in ecology at the University of Turku in 2020. His main research interests focus on seeking sustainable solutions to protecting biodiversity and mitigating climate-change within a social-ecological system -framework. Jussi joined the HNT research group in 2021. His current position as a post-doctoral researcher in the CO-CARBON -project concerns the perceptions and attitudes of urban residents towards climate-friendly urban green infrastructure and the fairness of decision-making concerning them. 

Eugenia Castellazzi

PhD Candidate - MSocSc, MA

Eugenia is a MSocSc graduate in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability from the University of Helsinki and has a background in Philosophical Sciences (MA from the University of Bologna). She is continuing her collaboration with the CO-CARBON project and also working in the SMARTer Greener Cities project. Eugenia is a NATURA fellow and she is working in the European node for the NATURA Global Roadmap of nature-based solutions.

Her PhD project is focused on social and transformative learning about NBS through the organization of educational activities for high school students. Her research interests include public participation practices and environmental justice.

Heidi Lehtiniemi

PhD Candidate 

Heidi is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. Her background is in interdisciplinary environmental science and sustainability science. Heidi’s research focuses biodiversity policy and biodiversity knowledge. In her PhD she approaches knowledge from a comprehensive, pluralistic viewpoint, and aims to identify tensions and synergies between Finnish actors and their ways of knowing and sense-making. She works as a researcher at the Finnish Environment Institute Syke in Finnish Ecosystem Observatory FEO and BOOST for biodiversity offsets projects.

Eveliina Dunkel

PhD candidate, MSc

Eveliina is a doctoral researcher focusing on the complex relationships between urban planning and civil society in urban sustainability transformations. She wants to better understand how cities could be planned and governed with more consideration to their multiple users and functions while acknowledging the need for rapid changes due to climate change and other ecological challenges. Eveliina’s background is in sustainability science (MSc) and environmental sciences (BSc), with focus on urban studies and environmental policy. Prior to this, she worked with performing arts and dance pedagogics (BA), from which she draws her interest in collective learning processes and social practices. She is fascinated by interfaces between natural ecosystems and sociocultural systems.

Linda Rosengren

PhD candidate, MSc

Linda Rosengren is a PhD candidate at University of Helsinki and works as a researcher at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). Her research focuses on climate change adaptation, resilience, socio-ecological systems, systemic leverage points and sustainable transformation. Linda has a professional background working in development cooperation and policy including for United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), WWF and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.   

Francesco Venuti

PhD candidate, LLM

Francesco is a PhD candidate at the University of Eastern Finland. His PhD project focuses on the legal feasibility of implementing urban nature-based solutions across European cities. The main research areas addressed by his project are conservation of urban biodiversity and improvement of climate change adaptation. The latter is examined through the lens of heat and flood management in urban areas. Francesco is interested in analysing the main legal challenges that hinder nature-based solutions implementation and scaling-up within the European Union. He received his LLM in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development in 2021 from the University of the West of England.

Sara Zaman

PhD candidate, MSc

Sara Zaman received her MSc in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics in 2020 from the University of Helsinki. She is continuing her doctoral research at the university's DENVI programme. Her current research interests lie in the construction of alternative economic imaginaries using socio-ecological justice and sustainability principles, via a pluralist approach. Since 2020, she has been involved in the SMARTer Greener Cities project researching Smart Kalasatama, and is examining how human-nature relationships are mediated by machine intelligent technologies. 

Anna Ahdekivi

Project manager, MSc student, BSc

Anna is a master’s student in the Environmental Change and Global Sustainability program at the University of Helsinki and has a BSc in Environmental and Resource Economics from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. Anna works as a Project Manager on the Transformative Cities project. Her research interests include exploring relational ontologies and epistemologies in sustainability transitions and implementing nature-based solutions to mitigate, adapt to climate change, and tackle biodiversity loss in urban environments. 

Terhi Arola

MSc student, BSc

Terhi studies in the Environmental Change and Global Sustainability master's programme at the University of Helsinki and is currently working on her master's thesis on the implementation process of ecosystem accounting. She is interested in the policy use of environmental information and is working for Finnish Environment Institute as a researcher in the Finnish Ecosystem Observatory (FEO) project.

Rory Taylor

Research assistant & MSc student 

Rory is currently completing a Master’s Programme in Geography (Geoinformatics) at the University of Helsinki, and has a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sust.Sci.) and Bachelor of Science (Hons I) from the Australian National University. He has professional experience as an environmental planner for large-scale renewable energy projects in NSW, Australia, and works as a research assistant in the RECONNECT project.  

Rory is intrigued by how people understand, value and communicate about their environments, and their relationships to it and to each other. This extends to how these manifest in community-based/led environmental stewardship, biodiversity conservation and restoration. He loves Landcare, and is inspired by the often small, but vitally important everyday actions of individuals and local communities working to preserve and restore the natural environments of the Monaro and Far South Coast of NSW.

Nicole Vikatmaa

Research assistant & MSc student 

Nicole has joined the team as a part of the RECONNECT project, in which she is conducting research for her Master’s thesis on private sector participation in financing biodiversity conservation. Working with the business engagement of the project, she is exploring ways to encourage private sector engagement in biodiversity conservation efforts. 

 

She has earned her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Helsinki and is currently enrolled in a Master's program at the same university, pursuing a Master's degree in Environmental Policy and Economics with a specialization in Governing Marine Resources.

 

Outside of academia, Nicole is an avid diver and a trained divemaster. With a passion for ocean conservation, she uses her love for the ocean to inspire others to protect our planet. Through her imagery and work as a divemaster, she aims to foster a deeper connection between people and our oceans, highlighting the importance of protecting these vital resources for generations to come.

Former Members, Visitors and Graduated MSc
Andra Horcea-Milcu

Andra I. Horcea-Milcu is a post-doctoral researcher at the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, interested in the role of values as leverage points for sustainability transformation. With a background in exploring social-ecological systems and experience in place-based transdisciplinary research, she is experimenting how to leverage the transformative potential of knowledge co-creation with the support of a Marie Curie fellowship. Through her boundary work, she aspires to contribute to managing the science|society interface, and to reframing sustainability in terms of core human values and equitable empathetic relationships.

Veronica Lo

Veronica is a post-doctoral researcher at SLU with the ENVISION project on inclusive conservation, where she is investigating scenario planning processes, including how stakeholder visions for protected areas management are shaped by interactive drivers of change. Her doctoral research (Erasmus Mundus: U Bologna, U Ghent and NIOZ) involved using experimental field methods to quantify the impacts of multiple human pressures on salt marsh coastal protection ecosystem services. She is active in the community of ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions experts and practitioners, and has worked with the Rio Conventions (CBD, UNCCD & UNFCCC) on programs promoting synergies in the implementation of multilateral agreements on biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development.

Roope Kaaronen

Roope Kaaronen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. His research interests include sustainable cultural evolution, collective behaviour change, and decision-making under uncertainty. His research draws influence from complexity theory and philosophy of science.

Katri Mäkinen-Rostedt

Katri visited the Human-Nature Transformations Group as a Senior Project Manager. She will work e.g. with IBPES-related research project on expert’s understandings on multiple values of nature and supporting the group with project planning activities. She is also a PhD Candidate at Tampere University. Her PhD project concerns the use and construction of expert knowledge in global environmental governance. Her current interests include social network analysis and various knowledge creation practices (such as co-production of knowledge) used in different international and regional science-policy interfaces. 

Sanna Stålhammar

Sanna is a post-doctoral researcher at SLU, and she worked in the VIVA-Plan project. She is an interdisciplinary sustainability scientist interested in the social dimension of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Her doctoral research (Lund University) draws on critical social science perspectives and examines approaches for values and valuation of ecosystem services and biodiversity. She is passionate about exploring plural ways of knowing nature and strives to develop inclusive approaches for knowledge integration and transformative governance beyond anthropocentrism.

Heidi Annala

Heidi studied at the Environmental Change and Global Sustainability program at the University of Helsinki. She participated to HNT group as a research assistant and participated in the SMARTer Greener Cities project. 

Kayleigh Kavanagh

Kayleigh Kavanagh joined the HNT Group as a Research Assistant while completing an MSc in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability at the University of Helsinki. Her research focused on youth perspectives on carbon-smart urban green infrastructure, public participatory GIS (PPGIS), and land-use conflicts arising from urban densification. Kayleigh now works for a consulting firm, where she focuses on environmental justice, nature-based solutions, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.

Johann Schuur

Johann joined as a visiting researcher and MSc candidate from ETH Zurich. His focus was on driver and barrier mechanisms in transformations of (peri) urban landscapes by means of a serious game as part of the EU ERC Globescape project. He is guided by the concept of place-making that forms a framework to help understand the people, processes, and places at play in these transitions.

Because of the strong influence of the built environment on the interactions between humans and nature he started his studies in Architecture & the Built Environment. He believes that creating designs that intertwine with the history of a place will allow people to create a sense of place and to create place- attachment. The drive to also incorporate and understand state-of-the-art technology and nature-based processes led him to then pursue his BSc in Applied Physics. His MSc studies in Science, Technology and Policy trained him in policy analysis and design, by coupling social sciences with natural sciences and engineering disciplines. His focus lies in planning and governance of urban landscapes, the energy transition, extraction and use of (mineral) resources, (transboundary) water bodies, and incorporation of natural systems to help build more just and circular pathways for the interactions between socioeconomic and ecological systems.