Minna Santaoja profile picture
Minna
Santaoja
Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC)
Dr (Admin.Sc.)

Contact

+358 29 450 3934
+358 50 433 8627
Åkerlundinkatu 2

Areas of expertise

Science & technology studies
citizen science and public participation
biodiversity data management
multi-level environmental governance
qualitative research methods
food and sustainability
sustainable urban development
student supervision & coucelling
inter- and transdisciplinary research

Biography

Doctor in Administrative Sciences, environmental policy, 2013, University of Tampere, School of management

Senior researcher (2020-2021) in an interdisciplinary project addressing peaceful co-habitance of people and wasps (ampase.fi), funded by the Kone foundation. PI Atte Komonen (JyU)

Postdoctoral researcher, Turku Institute of Advanced Studies (TIAS), University of Turku, School of economics, Finland futures research centre. 10/2017- 12/2019.

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Tampere, School of management. Politics, practices, and the transformative potential of sustainable diets, 01-09/2017, funded by the Academy of Finland. PI: prof. Pekka Jokinen.

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Tampere, School of management. Technologies for knowing nature and the construction of environmental agency, 2016. Personal research grant from Maj and Tor Nessling foundation.

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Tampere, School of management. Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI), 4/2014-12/2015, funded by the Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation (TEKES). PI’s: Docent Helena Leino (UTa), professor Raine Mäntysalo (Aalto).

Doctoral candidate, post-graduate school YHTYMÄ, environmental social research. University of Tampere, School of management, 2011–2012.

Early Stage Researcher (EU-Gastwissenschaftler), EU FP6 Marie Curie Research Training Network ”GoverNat”, Multi-level Governance of Natural Resources: Tools and Processes for Water and Biodiversity in Europe. University of Stuttgart, Germany, 1.4.2007–31.3.2010, 1.6.-31.8.2010.
Secretary of the Finnish Society for Environmental Social Sciences (YHYS), 2015-
Postdoctoral researchers' representative in the Board of Management for the Turku Institute of Advanced Studies, 2018-2019

Teaching

FUTUJ10 International futures research conference presentation

FUTUS7 Global challenges and sustainable futures (spring 2021)

Minna has frequently visited as a lecturer on her research topics on environmental policy courses. Minna has supervised several Master's theses and organised a writing workshop for Master's students at the University of Tampere several times. She has taught courses on qualitative research and analysis methods and on citizen participation and sustainable urban development.

Minna has also taught visual analysis methods for PhD candidates as a visiting lecturer at the University of Lapland.

She has participated in developing web-based learning at the University of Tampere, School of management, and has coordinated the web-based introductory course to the politics of environment and regions several times, including grading student papers.

Minna has pedagogical qualifications, additional courses in university pedagogy and is a qualified student councellor.

Research

I am currently working on the following themes:

Our relationships to other species, especially insects

I have previously written on the sense and sensibility in amateur entomology, and on the ethics, aestethics and ecology of entomophagy. In the AMPASE project I am focusing especially on the dynamics of wasp-human cohabitance. Wasps and other insects are vital to humankind as they produce irreplaceable ecosystem services. At the same time wasps are often perceived unpleasant, harmful or scary. We explore this controversy. The dynamics of wasp-human cohabitance are unavoidably changing with climate change, and there are multifaceted ecological and social questions to be answered.

Envisioning the role of new technologies in shaping human-nature relationships
My interest in amateur naturalism, citizen science and different ways of knowing nature began already while doing my Master's thesis in environmental policy, and still continues after writing my PhD dissertation on the topic. Biodiversity data management relies on centralized databases and efforts to tap into citizen data via mobile applications. The Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility is now operational. There are problems in motivating amateur naturalist to provide data and the knowledge management practices have been criticized for being too technology-oriented. Species data has partly differing meanings for the naturalists and data managers. This research addresses the potential of new technologies in fostering environmental agency and integrating different social meanings in data management. The project draws on extensive empirical research material on case studies focusing on databases, mobile applications and social media as technologies for biodiversity data collection and management. The work aims at producing theoretical understanding on a timely topic and fostering transdisciplinary collaboration and societal debate concerning knowledge on nature.
Sustainable diets

In the last few years there has been a lot of discussion on the environmnental impacts of various diets, and plant-based eating is moving from the margins to mainstream for climate concerns. In a project funded by the Academy of Finland we study the means of shifting diets towards more sustainable direction. I am working on papers addressing the sustainability aspect in the Finnish nutrition recommendations, the role of social media in the popularity of plant-based eating, and the disruption of the Finnish milk sector.

Publications

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