How can humans use natural resources without harming the environment and, in so doing, ourselves? What does sustainable natural resource management mean in practice? How do social-ecological systems function and what makes them resilient? Why do some ecosystems tolerate change without collapse? By viewing and modeling humans as part of nature, my work contributes to a more holistic understanding of the resilience and sustainability of natural resource systems.
My research on natural resource management is deeply rooted in sustainability science, systems science, and resilience thinking. In essence, I look for solutions that guide us toward more sustainable ways to interact with our natural environment. A major part of my work is describing and analysing complex human-environment interactions with quantitative social-ecological models. I have a PhD in natural resource management and I’m a Docent in environmental science. I work as a Wisdom Fellow researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Biological and Environmental Science.
My research can be summarised as
- using multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to find solutions that promote human wellbeing and the wellbeing of non-human nature simultaneously, or identify the possible trade-offs between the two.
- developing social-ecological models that bring together diverse theories and emerging ideas in natural and social sciences to improve our understanding on the nature and outcomes of human-environment interactions.
- studying system resilience, as well as testing and developing new approaches to resilience research, so we can avoid causing undesired, hard-to-reverse ecosystem changes and support human adaptation to the global environmental change.
- improving our understanding on how to maintain, build or erode social-ecological resilience
- examining our environmental issues from the perspective of complex adaptive systems to identify, explain, or predict complexity-based behaviours in ecosystem and social-ecological systems, such as emergence.
- using network science both in the established and innovative ways
Taken together, my work addresses the urgent need to protect and restore Earth’s natural environment at a time when humanity’s total annual global consumption of natural resources is expected to more than double.
My main method is quantitative social-ecological modelling, especially with the use of network analysis and agent-based models. I use R and NetLogo coding languages, and I’m currently learning Python coding. My technical skills also include competency in using ArcGIS environment and QGIS (spatial analysis), system dynamics models (causal loop models and stock-and-flow diagrams, e.g. Vensim), and diverse network softwares, such as MPNET for multi-level exponential random graph modeling.
- Title of Docent, Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Natural Resource Management, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
- Licentiate’s Degree (PhD Lic.) in Natural Resource Management, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
- Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Physical Geography (Earth System Science), Stockholm University
- Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Physical Geography and Biology, Stockholm University
- Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physical Geography, Stockholm University
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Savonia University of Applied Sciences
I gained my Ph.D. at Stockholm Resilience Centre, a world leading centre for studying complex human-environment interactions, with Thorsten Blenckner, Örjan Bodin, and Erik Bonsdorff (Åbo Akademi University) as my supervisors. After graduation, I did a two years post doc at Tylianakis Lab at University of Canterbury, where I further advanced my modelling skills.
I then held a permanent researcher position at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research (a New Zealand government–owned research centre), but decided to move back to Finland during the COVID-19 pandemic. I accepted my current researcher position at School of Resource Wisdom, University of Jyväskylä, in 2021. Among other things, I have acquired Endeavour funding, co-led New Zealand’s NSH Bioheritage subprogram for environmental stewardship, and been an invited member of Te Pūnaha Matatini – Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
- Natural resource management
- Resilience, especially social-ecological resilience
- Social-ecological systems
- Social-ecological systems modelling
- Network science
- Systems science
- Environmental change and human impact on environment
- Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research
Read more about what the field of Natural Resource Management is all about!