Denis Dobrynin (

I am coordinating the activities implemented by the University of Eastern Finland within the framework of the EDUCase platform. Supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the EDUCase platform is focused on strengthening partnerships in education, sustainable development and global responsibility. In 2022, we organize courses on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution in Finland and in Tanzania. These courses address conflicts related to natural resources management, including the examination of theoretical frameworks and conflict cases, hands-on exercises and the development of collaboration, mediation and consensus-building skills. The courses are both academic and practice-driven.

As a researcher, I am interested in environmental and forest policy and governance, sustainability, and bioeconomy. In my research, I am focused on the role of globalization and privatization of forest governance and sustainable forest management, including the market-driven forest certification, NGOs and private companies. My research was supported by the Kone Foundation and the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies.

Dmitrii Lepilin (

My project aims to quantify the disturbance caused by forest harvesting on physical, biological, and biogeochemical properties and processes of drained boreal peatlands’ soils. We try to quantify the recovery of biogeochemistry after the disturbance. The project consists of two parts:

Soil physical properties as they are the main driving factor of biotic and biogeochemical changes
Biological and biogeochemical properties and processes

We hope that a deeper understanding of the ecological impact of harvesting operations and the ability of soil to recover from disturbance will support responsible decision-making in the sustainable use of peatland forests.

Frank Kiwanuka (

I am Frank Kiwanuka, an early-career researcher at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Department of Nursing Science. I hold a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree and a Master of Critical Care Nursing. Between 2015 – 2018, I performed generalist nursing roles and subsequently roles of a clinical nurse specialist in adult intensive care in 2019. In my spare time, I serve as the chair of the sub-Committee for family nursing education resources; a sub-committee of the Education Committee of the International Family Nursing Association.

I am dedicated to research in family healthcare focusing on family nursing in intensive care units and the continuum. Currently, my doctoral study aims to unveil family support from the perspective of family members and nurses. And, a sub-study evaluating a nurse-led intervention that utilizes family strengths in family support.

Although I am a bit of a loner and happy in my own company: I am a polymath with interests in many hobbies – football, music, reading and learning new cultures and languages.

Kwok Ng (

Empowering primary school teacher to include pupils with special education needs into physical education classes using digital tools project.


The effectiveness of self-directed pace versus a tutor supported pace of a special education MOOC (Intervention research)

Minna Ikävalko (

My doctoral dissertation research aims to investigate comprehensive school students’ perceptions of their own abilities to regulate and assess behaviors, emotions and thinking (i.e., sources of self-efficacy in self-regulation), but also perceptions of one’s control, skills and self-knowledge (i.e., behavioral and emotional strengths). Moreover, I aim to investigate whether background of student (e.g., age, need for pedagogical support) influences on sources of self-efficacy in self-regulation, and behavioral and emotional strengths. From the methods perspective, I use both cross sectional and longitudinal data. Altogether, I strive to learn more about the content, interconnectedness of the main concepts in my research, and quantitative methods to gain novel understanding about what influences on students’ self-perceptions.

Philippe Fayt (

Postdoc researcher in environmental sciences. Originally from Belgium, Philippe completed his Bachelors studies in Biology at his home university UCLouvain in 1994 and his Doctoral studies, also in Biology, at the University of Joensuu (now UEF) in 2003. In between, in 1994-1995, he completed an International Study Programme in Environmental Sciences and Forestry in the same Finnish university. His PhD thesis focused on the population ecology of the rare Three-toed Woodpecker. In 2005, he successfully organised the Academy of Finland-funded 6th International Woodpecker Symposium at the university’s Mekrijärvi research station, bringing together scientists from 12 countries. Fayt’s past employment relationships include e.g. responsibilities at the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Kainuu (Kainuun ELY-keskus), the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Luke), the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (Luke), the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Luomus), the Finnish Forest and Park Service (Metsähallitus), the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) and Snowchange. Philippe is currently writing a science-popularizing book on birds living in Finnish forests based on the most exhaustive scientific bibliography on the topic (3000 peer-reviewed references), with the financial support of the Kone and Alfred Kordelin Foundations and the Association of Finnish Nonfiction Writers. He is also involved in another Kone-funded project on Kelo trees.