People

Current and former members of Urban Environmental Policy Research Group present themselves. The research interests of our group vary from future climate change adaptation needs to environmental history. 

For collaborations, or other questions related to our group, please contact the group leader:

Sirkku Juhola

Ecosystems and Environment Research Program
Urban Environmental Policy
PL 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
University of Helsinki
Finland

28.3.2019 Please note! Sirkku is on leave until the end of 2019. During her leave, please contact Aleksi Räsänen (aleksi.rasanen(at)helsinki.fi). In urgent matters, you may try to reach Sirkku from +358 50 3199 276.

Phone: 0294157387
Mobile: 0503199276

 

3.7.2017 Please note! There is a technical problem with the feeds. If you can't see the recent publications of the members of UEP here, you can find them by searching from TUHAT with the name of the person. Sorry for the trouble, the University IT service will solve the problem as soon as possible.

Professor, group leader

Sirkku is a professor of urban environmental policy at the Ecosystems and Environment Research Program at the University of Helsinki and the leader of our multidisciplinary research group Urban Environmental Policy. She is also a guest professor at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University in Sweden. Her area of expertise is environmental and adaptation policy, in cities in particular. She is interested in bringing different fields together to understand challenges associated with sustainability in cities. She is interested in theoretical and conceptual development, linked to methodological development.

She has led research projects in both developed and developing countries and she has been a deputy chief scientist of the Nordic Centre of Excellence on Adaptation Research (NORD-STAR) and spent four years (2 as vice-chair) in the Climate Panel of Finland, a scientific organisation to advice the Finnish Government on climate policy. She is also a member of Future Earth Finland core group.

Recent publications

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Post-doctoral researcher

I have been employed in University of Helsinki as a postdoc since April 2015. During my postdoc, I have had two research tracks: (1) resilience, vulnerability and adaptation research, and (2) remote sensing. I was employed in UEP research group between April 2015 and December 2016, and I mostly focused in analyzing water-related changes, risks and vulnerabilities. Currently, I am involved in UEP group activities but I am employed by two other research groups. In the University of Helsinki, my research includes remote sensing analyses as well as land cover and vegetation mapping in the Arctic. My other half is working in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. This work includes qualitative research on community resilience.

Before starting my postdoctoral research, I studied in the University of Jyväskylä and ended up with one Doctoral degree (Environmental Science) and two Master’s degrees (Social and Public Policy and Environmental Science). In my PhD, I carried out remote sensing analyses in boreal forests and assessed their conservation values.

Recent publications

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Post-doctoral researcher

Anna Salomaa’s research interest is in interactions between knowledge, policy and practise to solve environmental problems. Her PhD (2014-2017) studies these interactions focusing on actors’ roles and perceptions in increasing nature conservation effectiveness.

Anna joined UEP group in the autumn 2017 to work in the project Urban Sustainability Transformations - Examining the Eco-Viikki residential area. During the year 2018 she worked on this project full time. Starting from 2019 Anna works on her post-doc project titled Environmental science-policy organisations in the era of post-truth.

She holds Master’s degree in Environmental change and policy from the University of Helsinki and Master’s degree in Ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Jyväskylä. She has worked in various research projects, addressing e.g. adaptation to climate change, grass photosynthesis database, voluntary conservation, connectivity and legitimacy, operationalization of ecosystem services and knowledge and communication in conservation.

Recent publications

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Doctoral Candidate

Alexandra Jurgilevich joined the UEP group as a doctoral student in 2015. Her research focuses on climate change risks in the urban context, particularly on the future risks, dynamic interactions between the drivers, and socio-economic changes. She is using qualitative methods and participatory approaches to investigate the drivers of future vulnerability, focusing on socio-economic and land use change factors. She developed a novel approach to account for spatially explicit changes in future vulnerability of the urban population using the participatory mapping tool SoftGIS. The research project is carried out at the case of Helsinki. Alexandra’s broader research interests include urban context, climate risk and vulnerability, socio-economic vulnerability, adaptation and climate policy.

Alexandra holds Master’s degree in European studies, focusing on European policy and law, as well as Specialist degree in international economic relations.

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Doctoral Candidate

Fanny joined the UEP group in the beginning of 2016 as a PhD student. Her research is focused on cross-border impacts of climate change on energy systems of the Nordic countries. She is applying a supply chain risk assessment methodology, and is currently preparing an article on cross-border impacts on bioenergy supply in Finland and Sweden. She is broadly interested in climate and energy policy, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and well as renewable energy and future energy systems.

Fanny holds an MSc in Environmental Sciences from University of Turku and a BSc in Biology from the Åbo Akademi University. She did her Master’s thesis on climate policies of oil producing countries with case studies from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Ecuador. Previously, Fanny has worked as a researcher in the Climate Change Programme at the Finnish Environment Institute, and as an intern in the Species Programme at the UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge, UK.

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Doctoral Candidate

Milja joined UEP group on spring 2016. Her PhD project is about the role of cooperation networks in urban climate change mitigation and adaptation. She is interested in both global and local level networks. The first two articles of her thesis are going to be about global networks. In the becoming articles, her aim is to move to local level and analyse the cooperation related to climate change mitigation in Madrid, Stockholm and Helsinki.

Milja holds MSc in Environmental Science and Policy and BA in Spanish Philology, both from the University of Helsinki. During her MSc studies, she worked as a research assistant for Paula Schönach in multidisciplinary research project ”AQUADIGM- The function and management of aquatic ecosystems in the changing environment: the effects of paradigm shifts”. Before AQUADIGM, she worked as a research assistant in City of Helsinki Environment centre measuring the City Biodiversity Index in the context of Helsinki.

Topic of her Master’s Thesis was the politicization of wastewater overflows in the region of the Vantaa River. A research article based on it was published in the journal Water Policy.

Recent publications

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Doctoral Candidate

With climate change adaptation as her current research theme, Janina Käyhkö examines adaptation decision-making and the potential maladaptation in Nordic agriculture in her doctoral thesis. She has been part of the UEP-group since the beginning of 2018. She uses interviews, stakeholder discussions and serious gaming to approach actor’s perceptions of risk and the implications of adaptation decision making.

She has previously worked as a research assistant in Aalto University (Department of Built Environment) and in Linköping University (Department of Thematic Studies, TEMA: Environmental Change) with a Nordic FORMAS research project on thresholds for maladaptation, using participatory methodologies and framework analysis, as well as developing visualization supported gaming workshops for research and policy analysis.

Janina qualified as an MSc in the degree program of Environmental Change and Policy in the University of Helsinki in autumn 2017 with an interdisciplinary curriculum and minors in environmental policy, agroecology and teacher’s pedagogical studies in adult education. Her broader research interest in sustainability transformations, especially on food-production, and participatory methodology has led her to her current research.

Recent publications

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Doctoral Candidate

Hanna Salmenperä studies the ongoing transition in waste management in Finland; the expected shift from moderate recycling culture to a society that meets the ambitious European recycling targets and principals of circular economy.

Hanna Salmenperä (M.Sc, in Agriculture and Forestry, Environmental protection, University of Helsinki) has worked in SYKE for 20 years within waste issues. She started with waste advising services, informational policy instruments and evaluation of effects of advising. Recently national and regional waste planning including the follow-up and indicator setting and evaluation of waste policy instruments have been a relevant area of her workings. She has been working in different national and Nordic working groups on wastes. For past few years Salmenperä has been concentrating on projects on circular economy, material efficiency, waste prevention and recycling of municipal solid wastes. 

Doctoral Candidate

Doctoral Candidate

Linda Karjalainen joined UEP as a doctoral student in 2018. Her PhD project is positioned to study and structure the broad concept of urban transportation sustainability alongside the related policies in Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo. The research project is set to refine existing methodological tools for transportation policy assessments by pursuing a stronger connection between policy and its intended impact, without losing the integrated understanding of sustainability. Methodologically, the research moves from the decision-making and policy level through key measures and central initiatives on to the individual user level, combining qualitative and quantitative analysis.

In addition to urban transportation, Linda’s research interests include the wider theme of urban sustainability and resilience planning, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and urban philosophy. She holds an MSc in Environmental change and policy from the University of Helsinki.

Maija Nikkanen joined the UEP group in 2019. Her research theme is the integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction approaches – in particular, cooperation between societal sectors concerning weather-related disruptions. She is currently exploring the allocation of adaptation measures in society through adaptive capacity of households facing storm-induced power outages, and the role of volunteers in emergency preparedness and response. The broader purpose of the research project is to operationalize climate change adaptation at a concrete level by including climate-related risks in preparedness planning.

Maija holds an MSc in Environmental change and policy from the University of Helsinki. Her interests include environmental disasters, contingency planning and comprehensive security, as well as marine policy and environmental history. She is currently working in the Finnish National Rescue Association’s R&D on various projects associated with preparedness and safety.

Heidi Blom: Ilmastokumppanit-verkosto ja kaupunkitason ilmastopolitiikka

Eevi Laukkonen: Paikkaidentiteetti ja ympäristöystävällinen käyttäytyminen ekokaupunginosassa: case Eko-Viikki (KEMUT project)

Jenni Nieminen: The effect of policy instruments in the transition towards a sustainable neighbourhood -case Eko-Viikki (KEMUT project)

Julia Tuomimaa: Helsingin kaupungin ilmastonmuutossopeutumisstrategian seuranta, raportointi ja arviointi sekä sen mahdollisuudet