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.

Heidi Annala

Research assistant & MSc Student

I am a master's student at the Environmental Change and Global Sustainability program at the University of Helsinki. I'm currently working on my thesis on socio-ecological systems, where I draw upon and participate in the SMARTer Greener Cities project. In my thesis I try to decipher what urban biodiversity has to do with the connections Helsinki citizens have with their nearby nature - a key for planning cities for pleasant co-existence with nature!   

Eugenia Castellazzi

Research assistant & MSocSc student, MA

Eugenia is a master's student in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability program at the University of Helsinki and has a background in Philosophical Sciences (MA from the University of Bologna in 2019). Eugenia works as a Research Assistant on the CO-CARBON project, where she focuses on the creation of a social learning instrument to investigate how students interact with PPGIS data and the concept of carbon smartness. Her research interests include co-creation and public participation practices and environmental justice.

Viola Hakkarainen

PhD candidate, MSc

Viola is an interdisciplinary PhD candidate based at the University of Helsinki and Natural Resources Institute Finland. Her research focuses on knowledge processes and sense of place in social-ecological systems. She is interested in understanding  how to enhance inclusivity of diverse knowledges, expertise and worldviews and enable plurality in different ecosystem governance settings for just sustainability transformations. Viola has a background in sustainability science. She received her MSc from the Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2018.

Andra Horcea-Milcu

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Andra I. Horcea-Milcu is a 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.

Roope Kaaronen

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

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.

Kayleigh Kavanagh

Research assistant & MSc student

Kayleigh Kavanagh is currently completing a MSc in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability at the University of Helsinki. Kayleigh also works as a Research Assistant on the CO-CARBON project, where she collects youth perspectives on carbon-smart urban green infrastructure.

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. 

Veronica Lo

Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Veronica is a 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.

Katri Mäkinen-Rostedt

Visiting Scholar, M.Soc.Sc.

Katri is visiting four months 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. 

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.   

Johann Schuur

Visiting researcher & MSc student

Johann is a visiting researcher and MSc candidate from ETH Zurich. Currently, he is focusing 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.

Sanna Stålhammar

Sanna is a post-doctoral researcher at SLU, working 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.

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.