Deans and the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council is a multimember administrative body. Under the direction of the dean, the Faculty Council enhances the Faculty’s overall operations in accordance with the University’s operational and financial objectives, the Strategic Plan of the University of Helsinki as well as the Faculty’s implementation plan. The Faculty Council of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry includes the dean and 18 members and their deputies. The term of the Faculty Council is four years; however, the student representatives are selected for a term of two years.

The Faculty Dean is Ritva Toivonen

Ritva Toivonen holds a doctoral degree and a docentship in forest economics and marketing at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki. She has previously worked in several academic forest and agricultural research and extension organizations as forest economist, research director, director general and CEO. She holds several trustee positions in national and domestic research and business organizations, and she has gained international experience while working at the UN (NY), FAO (Rome) and the University of Freiburg, Germany. Her current research focuses on sustainable use of wood, particularly markets and business ecosystems related with wood products and industrial wood construction, as well as forest tenure and non-industrial private forest ownership. Off-duty she enjoys hiking in forests, other outdoors and life at the family farm.

Executive Assistant Jessica Mildh

Vice‑dean Maija Tenkanen

Maija Tenkanen is a professor of Bioproduction Chemistry. Before joining the University of Helsinki she worked almost fifteen years at VTT Biotechnology. During the doctoral studies she visited the Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. She has graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology. In 2003 she was awarded with the prestigious Marcus Wallenberg prize. Her research is focusing on characterization, enzymology, modification and utilization of polysaccharides, especially plant-derived hemicelluloses (xylans, mannans) which constitute 25-30% of plant cell walls. These currently underutilized polymers are potential raw materials from future biorefineries for food, packaging and chemical industries. Other research interest area is synthesis, structure and food applications of exopolysaccharides from lactic acid bacteria.

Maija Tenkanen is in charge of research affairs and doctoral education at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and is substituting the Dean when she is not available.

Vice-dean Janna Pietikäinen

Janna Pietikäinen is university lecturer of Environmental studies. She received her MSc in general microbiology and her PhD in forest soil science at the University of Helsinki. After receiving her PhD she worked in soil microbiology lab at the Lund University, Sweden for one year. Her research is focused in environmental issues within forestry, food production and soil ecosystems. She has further specialized in interdisciplinary environmental teaching and completed studies in university pedagogy receiving the teacher’s qualifications. She is active as educational developer and has led two interfaculty degree programmes in environmental and sustainability sciences. She was selected as member of the distinguished Teachers’ academy at the University of Helsinki in 2015. In addition, she is an active player in campus sustainability operations and has created student driven environmental projects and campus activities

Vice-dean Kari Hyytiäinen

Kari Hyytiäinen is professor on the economics of marine protection. His research addresses cost-efficient policies to mitigate environmental problems of marine environments with a special focus on the Baltic Sea. The professorship is an endowment donated by the City of Helsinki.

Vice-dean Laura Alakukku

Laura Alakukku is a professor of Environmental Technology in Agriculture. Her specific research interest is in and she has examined soil management including soil structure, compaction, conservation tillage methods connected to break-crop systems, biological tillage, precision agriculture, and use of continuous measurements systems to examine the soil processes, machine-soil-crop –interactions, and to provide real time data to support farmers’ decision-making. Besides University of Helsinki, Alakukku has worked 20 years as a scientist at MTT Agrifood Research Finland (currently Natural Resources Institute Finland). She is also a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.

Faculty Council meetings

All meetings start at 10.00.


Autumn 2021

  • Tuesday 07.09.2021, Zoom meeting
    Materials must be submitted no later than 24.08.2021 klo 12
    Submitted materials ( e.g. Master´s thesis assessment form)
  • Tuesday 12.10.2021, Zoom meeting
    Materials must be submitted no later than 28.09.2021 klo 12
    Submitted materials ( e.g. Master´s thesis assessment form)
  • Tuesday 09.11.2021
    Materials must be submitted no later than 26.10.2021 klo 12
    Submitted materials ( e.g. Master´s thesis assessment form)
  • Tuesday 14.12.2021
    Materials must be submitted no later than 30.11.2021 klo 12
    Submitted materials ( e.g. Master´s thesis assessment form)


Agendas and minutes

The agendas and minutes of the Faculty Council are posted on the University’s intranet Flamma for students and staff of the University. A list of Faculty Council members can be found on the same page. To use Flamma, you must log in with your University username and password. If you cannot access Flamma, please contact