People

Presently I work as a professor in limnology in the University of Helsinki. I started my research career in the large Lake Vesijärvi restoration project. In my Ph. D. thesis (1994) I explored the effects of fish communities on the water quality of lakes and the possibilities to improve the water quality through food web management. The studies in Lake Vesijärvi produced many new research ideas and hypotheses and led to the foundation of the Lake Ecosystem Dynamics research group that I lead nowadays. My research interests cover all aspects of lake ecosystem dynamics. Consequently, the research of the group has branched to various topics and study sites. During the recent years, the study topics have included, for instance, the role of invertebrate predators in lake food webs and their effects on lake restoration success, the impact of increasing turbulence on predator-prey interactions, the effects of littoral macrophytes on the internal nutrient loading of lakes, the role of sediment resuspension in nutrient cycling, the importance of anoxia in water quality regulation, and the effects of artificial aeration.

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I have dissertated from the Lake Ecosystem Dynamics group led by Professor Jukka Horppila in 2003 on the structural and stabilizing role of macrophytes and continued my research career since as a researcher and University lecturer in Limnology. My research interests are broad. I have continued to study the important role of macrophytes and the littoral zone in regulating the dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. Under the structuring function of macrophytes, I have especially focused on the role of floating-leaved vegetation in regulating the light climate and predator-prey interactions in lakes of various water quality and colour.

I am also comprehensively interested in the predator-prey interactions in aquatic ecosystems and intra- and interspecific competition of fish in lakes of varying water quality and colour. Few current research interests are the food web structure of humic lakes and the interaction between the common Eurasian species perch (Perca fluviatilis) and roach (Rutilus rutilus) in eutrophic and humic temperate lakes.

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I dissertated in 2008 and achieved a title of Docent (Adjunct professor) in 2013. In my PhD-thesis I studied the effects of sediment resuspension on the concentrations of suspended solids and nutrients in freshwater ecosystems.

I have a long-term experience in studying sedimentation and resuspension processes, oxygen dynamics and nutrient recycling in lakes and coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. I have led several research projects, supervised PhD and master students, and taught at university courses. My current research interest include: Lake restoration and recycling of recovered nutrients, Sediment resuspension and internal nutrient loading in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea and fresh waters, and photoproduction of phosphate and ammonium from resuspended particulate organic matter.

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In my PhD (2014), I concentrated on the effects of the riverine nutrient load, sediment resuspension and weather variables on the lake water quality, mainly phosphorus (P) variability. The thesis revealed the importance of the “legacy P” (internal P loading) for the P concentrations in a large and shallow lake, where sediment resuspension was an important factor increasing the concentration of suspended solids, causing the release of “legacy P”.  Moreover, the internal load of suspended solids from the shallow areas can govern the water quality of the whole lake. The release of “legacy P” was affected by the changes in weather variables, mainly in wind speed.

Currently, I continue study of the drivers behind the release of “legacy P”. I have approached the problem by combining research of large polymictic and eutrophic Lake Peipsi (on the border between Estonia/Russia), small hypertrophic Lake Mustijärv (Estonia), and numerous stratifying lakes of mesotrophic-eutrophic state in southern Finland. The comprehensive analysis of the large amount of data collected is going on in tight collaboration with the lake ecosystem modelling experts (Dr Tõnu Möls, MSc Marina Haldna) from the Estonian University of Life Sciences. Moreover, I am closely collaborating with the experts from the AgriChar research group (Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, UH) in co-supervising of a doctoral student (MSc Mina Kiani) in studies concerning sediment reuse for agricultural purposes.  More specifically, we are interested in the changes of the sediment phosphorus mobility after sediment excavation in the small hypertrophic lake.

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I work as a Post-doc Researcher at the Lake Ecosystem Dynamics research unit in the HUMI-project. I have a strong disciplinary background in freshwater ecology (i.e. limnology) and my research interests include the impact of lake brownification pressure on the lake ecosystems and adaptations of freshwater fish to environmental conditions.

The current project, HUMI (The Humus Load Indicators) is a ten-year research project and funded by the Serlachius Foundation. Project aims to study novel methods for monitoring the effects of loading of disolved humic substances originating e.g. from forestry and peat mining. Also, the aim is to find new tools in the ecological status assessment of lakes.

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I gained my MSc in limnology in 2018. In my thesis, I studied the effects of hypolimnetic aeration on the organic content of settling matter and sediments in a eutrophic lake.

As one of my major interests in my field is the management of anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems, I am continuing with this theme in my current PhD project as well. The focus of my project is to study the new lake restoration method referred to as Hypolimnetic Withdrawal and Treatment System, under the supervision of Tom Jilbert (ABRU) and Juha Niemistö (Lake Ecosystem Dynamics). The main goals are to investigate the potential of this new method in both lake restoration and nutrient recycling, as well as its limitations and environmental impacts.

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