Areas of expertise
I am currently University Lecturer in Department of Biology. Previously, I have worked as an assistant and senior assistant in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä for more than ten years, and I was one of the senior and founder members of the Centre of Excellence in Evolutionary Ecology led by professor Rauno Alatalo from 1999 – 2005 in the Department of Biological and Environmental Science at the University of Jyväskylä. I have been the leader of a medium-sized research group since the middle of the1990s. An average my research group have one or two doctoral students and up to four undergraduate students.
My main principles of teaching are based on the deep lead process: (i) individual encounter, (ii) constructing confidence, (iii) intellectual stimulation, and (iv) inspiring motivation and feedback from students and from colleagues. The position of a university a lecturer is demanding, as one has to simultaneously be an enthusiastic teacher and an excellent scientist. The time allocation of different duties is often problematic but also positively challenging. My idea is that my own active research is a sound base for good teaching - without good teaching there is not high quality research and vice versa.
My main principles of teaching are a multi-level approach to science. This is based on a solid knowledge of theory to enable a student to develop creativity by giving practical exercises in ecology and data analysis to improve his/her professional self-esteem. How I do this? I support critical evaluation by students of scientific works and text books in small group discussions and by role-games. Through small group discussions, role-games and writing essays, students will discover their strengths and weaknesses by acknowledging alternative explanations or approaches to scientific papers, challenges in conservation biology or to environmental problems. By learning to critically evaluate scientific papers, students are also better able to conduct their own research. I think that this approach, together with a more formal teaching program, will lead to the creation of ideas and the formulation of hypotheses in students, to enable them to conduct their own research projects. This, in my opinion, is the best method to increase in students individual creativity and for them to gain positive educational experiences.
Currently I am teaching:
Lecture: Introduction to Ecology
Lecture: Population ecology
Lecture: Introduction of statistics in biology
Cource: Field course of terrestrial vertebrates
Seminar: Seminar in bachelor's degree.
The basic theme of my research and my research group’s resolves five areas of
ecological interactions and community ecology namely: (i) intraspecific
interactions (behavioural ecology such as territorial behaviour, parental
care, intrasexual competition and dispersal), (ii) interspecific
interactions (mainly predator-prey, host-parasites interactions, intra
guild predation and interspecific competition, frugivorous-plant interactions),
(iii) interspecific comparisons in evolutionary biology (e.g. evolutionry
ecology in host –parasite interactions, evolution of generalist and specialist
species, (iv) community ecology (geographical variation in species richness,
turn-over of community, species abundance and occupancy frequency distribution patterns) and
(v) applied ecology (conservation biology, urban ecology, landscape
ecology). I am working on a diversity of organisms including birds, mammals,
insects and plants.