People

TreesForDev is a consortium project between University of Helsinki and Hanken School of Economics. Our dynamic project team includes researchers from both Universities. Please check out our partners page to see our collaborators in the case countries.
Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes, Hanken School of Economics

Project PI, Maria Ehrnström Fuentes is associate professor at the department of Management and Organization at Hanken School of Economics in Finland and holds a docent title in Global Development Studies and University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on ‘the pluriverse’ of worlds where the interactions and contestations among people, places, and nonhumans shape different pathways towards sustainable and regenerative futures. She has an extensive record of critically examining the politics of CSR in the Latin American rural and peasant communities impacted by forestry industry and farmer-led grassroots movements engaged in building regenerative landscapes through more-than-human organizational practices. Her research focus lies on the ontological politics of different ways of organizing on the land, acknowledging that most environmental conflicts stem from ontological differences in how humans know, view, and relate to the world beyond themselves. In her research she shows how this type of ontological politics is often made invisible, yet essential in order to understand the power relations involved in how sustainability and corporate responsibility is assembled in practice, within and beyond formal organizations.

 

Markus Kröger, University of Helsinki

Project PI, Professor Markus Kröger has focused on the interface of critical agrarian and environmental studies, especially on the global politics of extraction amid climatic-ecological crises. Besides the globalization and conflicts of forestry extractivism, he has studied mining, agriculture and agroforestry dynamics in South America, India, and the Arctic. He has published four books, including a methodological guidebook on how to study complex causal interactions in investment politics. His recent work on existences and extractivisms has pushed the boundaries of conventional research on resource frontiers. 

Ossi Ollinaho, University of Helsinki

Ossi I. Ollinaho is a Docent and University Lecturer of Global Development Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. In his research Ollinaho has applied and advanced Alfred Schutz’s social theory on topics such as environmental predicament, relevance structures, virtualization and economics. He has focused on conceptualizing an insidious or accretive type of social change, which he calls cumulative socio-material change. In his empirical work, Ollinaho has studied agroforestry, agroecology and renewable energy in Brazil, and the pathways through which these, as development strategies, could disrupt the insidious and destructive patterns of industrial agriculture and the hegemony of fossil fuels. To date, Ollinaho has published articles in Environmental Sociology, Review of African Political Economy, Human Studies, Journal of Peasants Studies, Journal of Rural Studies, Sustainability, Revista NERA, Autrepart, Forest Policy and Economics and Third World Quarterly.

Sophia Hagolani-Albov, University of Helsinki

Sophia Hagolani-Albov, MSc, is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Doctoral Programme (DENVI) in affiliation with the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) at the University of Helsinki. Her interdisciplinary research explores the socio-cultural aspects of sustainable transition and food system redesign in the Finnish countryside. She also does research in the realm of extractivisms and digital extractivisms. She is involved with the Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki, including co-hosting the EXALT Initiative podcast, a monthly conversation with academics, artists, and activists (exalt.fi).

Marketta Vuola, University of Helsinki

Marketta Vuola is a doctoral candidate at the Global Development Studies, University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on the politics of extractivism and conservation in Madagascar where she has conducted ethnographic fieldwork over several periods in 2014–2022, mainly among artisanal and small-scale gold miners and local communities living and working in and around protected areas. She has a BSc and MSc in geography and she has worked in development cooperation and at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland prior to starting her doctoral studies in 2019.

Linda Annala Tesfaye, Hanken School of Economics

Linda Annala Tesfaye is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Hanken School of Economics. Her research focuses on water governance and the politics of technological interventions around water. In her research in Ethiopia and India, she has looked into the unequal power relations between state, private sector and community actors in accessing water in rural and urban settings. She has also worked on South-North eduscapes and critical pedagogies in higher education as well as corporate social responsibility in the Ethiopian textile and garment sector. She currently lives in Ethiopia and pursues decolonial research practices through her current work that she is starting on ecological restoration.

Heidi Herlin, Hanken School of Economics

Heidi Herlin is a post-doctoral researcher at the HumLog Institute, Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. Her research focuses on cross-sector partnerships between companies and non-profit organizations, legitimacy, ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, as well as humanitarian logistics and supply chain management. She has taken part in two research projects; one of which focused on sustainable management education, and the other one with a focus on shelters for refugees and homeless, reversed logistics and innovations in the humanitarian sector. In 2010-2011, she did an academic exchange period at the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at Copenhagen Business School.  Hitherto, her articles have been published in Business & Society, the Journal of Management Education, the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Procurement Management and the International Journal of Production Economics  is a post-doctoral researcher at the HumLog Institute, Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. Her research focuses on cross-sector partnerships between companies and non-profit organizations, legitimacy, ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, as well as humanitarian logistics and supply chain management. She has taken part in two research projects; one of which focused on sustainable management education, and the other one with a focus on shelters for refugees and homeless, reversed logistics and innovations in the humanitarian sector. In 2010-2011, she did an academic exchange period at the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at Copenhagen Business School.  Hitherto, her articles have been published in Business & Society, the Journal of Management Education, the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Procurement Management and the International Journal of Production Economics.

 

Zhen Zeng, Hanken School of Economics & University of Helsinki

Zhen Zeng is a doctoral researcher in Global Development Studies at the University of Helsinki and is affiliated with the Helsinki Institute of Sustainable Science (HELSUS). Her research interest lies at the intriguing intersection of environmental politics, digital technology, and agrarian studies, focusing on the politics of tree planting in the Gobi areas and the emerging trends in FinTech environmentalism in China. Her work critically examines tree-planting as a multifaceted tool of social governance, with a special emphasis on how FinTech-driven environmental projects shape and influence both online and offline communities, exploring the creation and transformation of subjectivities within these environmental initiatives. Her academic journey includes a B.A. in Japanese, an M.A. in Finance and Accountancy, and an MSc in Asian Studies. She is also a qualified Australian CPA. Before embarking on her PhD, Zhen gained valuable experience in the financial sector in China and contributed to a rural development project in a Hmong ethnic community. This diverse background enriches her perspective and approach to her current research focus.

Master's Students

The researchers from the TreesForDev project are also working in a supervisory or co-supervisory capacity with master's students who are doing their theses on topics related to the themes in our project. These students include:

  • Vilma Ruponen, University of Helsinki
  • Sonja Rapo, University of Helsinki
  • Ville Gustafsson, University of Helsinki
  • Saara Kemppainen, University of Helsinki