Areas of expertise
I work as a Professor of ecology in the Department of Biology. As a Professor, my field of responsibility includes research and teaching in environmental ecology. In addition, I am currently the vice head of the Department.
Science-based education is the second core task of the university and an indirect way to change the society. The goal is that students grow to experts who can approach and solve problems in a scientific way. As a teacher and supervisor, my primary aim is to support students in this process. I am also responsible for arranging and developing teaching in environmental ecology at the university of Turku.
Currently, my teaching courses include Basic ecology, Bachelor's and Master's seminars, and Advanced conservation biology. I also participate in the teaching of other advanced level courses, such as Environmental ecology and Ecological interactions. I am responsible for book exams in basic and applied ecology. My previous teaching includes courses in game and mammal biology, morphology, use of wild animals in experiments, scientific presentation skills, etc.
My research field is environmental ecology. In the research, a long-term goal is to increase understanding about ecological communities to the level where the ecological consequences of small-scale environmental alterations can be predicted in advance. This would give better opportunities for the evaluation and mitigation of harmful ecological impacts of environmental alterations.
My research started from predator-prey interactions in systems with cyclically oscillating vole populations, expanding soon to plant-vole-predator interactions in boreal grasslands. As the research grew towards the community level, the model system switched to invertebrates and plants in patches formed by native and non-native shrubs. This has given an opportunity to analyze community assembly at a small scale.
In addition, I have been involved in various other research projects within the field of environmental ecology. On-going minor projects focus on habitat selection and movements in bats and birds.