Elham Kakaei Lafdani (elham.kakaei.lafdani@uef.fi)

I am working on a research project to develop a biochar-based water protection tool for forestry. In this project, I am studying and testing a biochar reactor for water purification and retaining nutrients from forest runoff waters. Measuring the adsorption characteristics related to different biochars for compounds present in natural waters, studying how the adsorption characteristics are related to biochar properties, and mathematical modelling of biochar reactor operation are the main aspects of the current project. My overall aim is to get a comprehensive understanding of recovering nutrients from a relatively low initial concentration, high water volume, and in the presence of high dissolved organic matter concentration using a biochar reactor.
My background is in agriculture and natural resources engineering. My research of interest lies in various issues, including carbon neutrality, water treatments, nutrient recycling, climate change, and modelling the hydrological extremes using interdisciplinary methods to understand hydrological processes and their interaction with human activities.

Juha Kotilainen (juha.kotilainen@uef.fi)

In my research as a human geographer, I am interested in exploring the interface between society and nature. I have investigated the ways residents in local communities in both urban and rural surroundings come to terms with the transforming spaces they inhabit as well as the ways they deal with issues related to resources at their disposal. I also study the politics of conservation of biodiversity in its different forms. Often focussing on the local scale as a lens through which to examine broader societal and political transformations, there is a crucially multi-scale dimension in my research.

Kati Kulovesi (kati.kulovesi@uef.fi)

I hold LL.M degrees from the University of Helsinki and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). My PhD is also from the LSE, focusing on the challenges of the environment and legitimacy at the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement System.

I am also affiliated with the 3E Center at the Brussels School of Governance, the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, with the Erik Castren Institute for International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki, as well as with the Earth Negotiations Bulletin / International Institute for Sustainable Development.

My main research interests are international, EU, national and comparative climate change law, as well as international economic law and international legal theory. I also very much enjoy multidisciplinary climate change research both with other social scientists and natural scientists. I work closely with the UEF Research Group on Atmospheric Physics and with other climate scientists within the Atmospheric and Climate Competence Center Flagship.

Beyond academia, I have worked as legal adviser and consultant, inter alia, for the Finnish Government, the World Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, European Commission, Nordic Council of Ministers, IUCN, International Institute for Sustainable Development, International Trade Center, World Resources Institute and Nordic Environment Finance Corporation.


Mikko Vastaranta (mikko.vastaranta@uef.fi)

Dr. Mikko Vastaranta is currently a professor in digitalization and knowledge leadership in forest-based bioeconomy in the School of Forest Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland. He received his M. Sc (2007) and PhD (2012) in forest resource science and technology from the University of Helsinki where he also holds an adjunct professorship of remote sensing of forests. He has worked as a research scientist in the centre of excellence in laser scanning research, university lecturer in forest planning (University of Helsinki), visiting research scientists in Pacific Forestry Centre (Canadian Forestry Service, Natural Resources Canada) and a visiting professor at Shinshu University (Japan). In his research, he is exploring nature-human-machine interactions using geoinformation science-based technologies and methods. Vastaranta has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles and his recent publications can be found on Google Scholar.

Moritz Albrecht (moritz.albrecht@uef.fi)

I am a human-geographer specialized on relational aspect of environmental and sustainability governance. My core expertise is to study socio-spatial processes of bio-based resource policy, management and local materialization to evaluate development frameworks, barriers and alternatives. I am experienced in research on policy mobility and translations in an EU context, case studies on regional and local development and policy materialization as well as sustainability perspectives in economic contexts.

I am currently also acting as the coordinator of the SOBIO network at UEF on social scientific bioeconomy focused research .

Current research project: “Sustainability governance of BioAssemblages: A trifold perspective on bioeconomy clusters in the making” (2017-2019)
Other project: Karelia CBC; WasteLess Karelias (Project coordinator) (2018-2021)

Previous research:
-EU bioenergy policy design and transformation between Brussels and local implementation
-Perspectives on sustainable forest certification in European supply chains
-Cross-border management of natural resources.

Outi Ratamäki (outi.ratamaki@uef.fi)

My research focuses on how humans, animals, nature and environment(s) co-produce (un)shared realities and how this production is controlled or steered in societies and communities through institutional, material and socio-cultural arrangements. I am interested in the multidimensional and multilevel nature of politics and policies. I have analysed e.g. on wolf policies, development of modern animal policy and law and sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services. I have a strong interest towards interdisciplinary work; my research reaches out from social sciences towards humanities and law. I teach about empirical legal research and animal law and policy. I coordinate sustainability studies at the University of Eastern Finland and also a national level network for sustainability studies.