Plant Ecophysiology and Climate Change Group - PECC

Helena Åström, group leader


Dr Helena Åström is working in the field of winter ecology focusing on the overwintering of herbaceous species, with emphasis on physiological and morphological traits. Ongoing research projects include photosynthesis and morphological adaptations of wintergreen plants, invasive species and warming winters, and snow ecology in relation to the overwintering of plants. She is also studying the population ecology of the field garlic (Allium oleraceum), and the effect of winter conditions on phenological events of plants of different origin.

As of October 2016, she is leading the PECC group.

For more information on the field garlic project please see the Allium project homepage

Publications in Tuhat research database

Timo Saarinen


Dr Timo Saarinen has research experience in plant ecophysiological studies. Previously, he has studied the effects of climate change on mires and other wetland ecosystems. His current research interest is in the snow ecology of northern plants, and the effects of warming winters on invasive plant species.

He is currently working on a popular science project "Kasvien talvi" (Plant Life in Winter) funded by Tieteen tiedotus ry. The aim of the project is to increase public awareness about winter ecology of plants, and how warming winters affects plants in northern areas.

Publications in Tuhat research database

Friederike Gehrmann

Friederike Gehrmann has obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry in London, UK, and then moved to Helsinki for a Master’s degree in Plant and Forest Biotechnology followed by on-going PhD studies in Plant Biology funded by Doctoral Programme in Plant Science (DPPS). Her main interest is how plants cope with and are adapted to harsh environments, especially the snow-covered, cold ecosystems of the Arctic and Subarctic. In her PhD she studies how plant phenology and plant stress are affected by the timing of snowmelt in natural and experimental systems in Kilpisjärvi (northern Finland) and Svalbard.

Read more about her research and studies in Lapland.

Former group members

Professor Heikki Hänninen established the PECC group in 2001. His main research interest is the seasonality and climatic adaptation of northern plants. He is combining experimental ecophysiology with dynamic modelling. As of October 2016, he works as a professor in plant ecology at the Zhejiang A & F University, China.

Dr Robin Lundell worked as a PhD student and as a postdoc in the group in 2001-2016. Using both observational, experimental, and modelling appoaches, he is studied the dormancy requirement of plants representing different functional groups. Currently, we works at the Finnisch Matriculation Examination Board.

Dr Sirpa Rasmus worked as a postdoc in the group in 2007-2010. She has her background in geophysics, and is studying snow pack structure and characteristics. Currently, she is working at the Deparment of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

MSc students

Ongoing MSc projects
Jalmar Donner
Robin Sjöblom
Kristiina Tolvanen

Former MSc students
Sarianna Alho
Ann-Sofie Åstrand
Pirjo Auvinen
Johanna Hannuksela
Sannimari Käärmelahti
Che Liu
Elisa Metsovuori
Johanna Nymark
Elli Palmgren
Linda Peltola
Sonja Still