Helsinki Urban Rat Project was delighted to receive a 120 000 € funding from HELSUS - Helsinki Institute of Sustainability to hire a postdoctoral researcher to work on societal impact of sustainability science. We were even more delighted when Heta Lähdesmäki was recruited for the postdoctoral position.
Heta Lähdesmäki is a historian specializing in human-animal studies, human-wildlife conflicts and conservation. She completed a PhD in cultural history in 2020 at the University of Turku, studying human-wolf relations in 20th century Finland. After that, she has studied the relationship between humans and nature in Seili island in a multidisciplinary research project Seili - Elämän saari funded by the Kone Foundation and led by the Biodiversity unit at the University of Turku. She is part of the Academy of Finland funded HumBio-project, investigating the human relationship with the disappeared, endangered, introduced, and non-native as well as invasive marine animals and plants in Finland.
Heta is interested in multidisciplinary research and believes that historical knowledge is an important tool when tackling present-day environmental problems. The actual reason why she has taken into animal histories is that she has bad memory for names.