Here are bios and information about former UERG members:
Research group alumni
PhD, post doc researcher
In my master thesis I studied the repellent effect of birch-originated tar and pyrolysis acid on the land snail Arianta arbustorum. During my PhD, I continued working on the same topic: pyrolysis acids as a molluscicide and its ecotoxicological effects. Recently, I have been studying the use of biochar as a soil amendment and its impacts on plant growth and leaching of nutrients and pesticides from agricultural soils. I’m also interest in the effects of glyphosate on soil ecosystems. Currently I also study the functioning of green roofs under Finnish urban climatic conditions by exploring the properties of green roofs that give rise to an active soil animal community, efficient cycling of nutrients and carbon, plant growth and the quantitative and qualitative management of stormwater. Experimental green roofs have been established by using recycled materials, biochar and mycorrhiza amendment. I am also working as a researcher at the Plant Health team in Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). Feel free to contact me via email (email@example.com).
I am also a member in the Fifth Dimension research group.
PhD, Adjunct Professor
My research background is in aquatic ecology, with the focus on food web interactions in eutrophic lakes subject to various restoration efforts. However, rehabilitation is not sustainable as long as external loading is not adequately controlled, which, in turn, is not possible until the degree of various sources of pollution is known. The loading of nutrients and other contaminants from urban sources is a topic worth studying, as cities are disproportionately located next to aquatic ecosystems. Urbanised ecosystems, characterised by surfaces impervious to water, have low capacity to provide ecosystem services, such as surface runoff drainage. Green infrastructure may have great potential for managing urban runoff, but the performance of such solutions in cold climate has received limited attention in scientific research. My aim is to find sustainable, ecological solutions to build resilient cities. In addition, I pursue my long-term research on aquatic food webs with the main focus on zooplankton. Teaching activities have played a major role in my academic career. Feel free to contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am also a member in the Fifth Dimension research group.
MSc, doctoral student
I have a background in ecology from the University of Helsinki. I started studying vegetation and urban air quality in my Master's thesis, and continued on the same topic in my PhD studies. It is often taken for granted that plants remove air pollutants from the atmosphere with their large leaf area, thus providing ecosystem services for citizens. However, empirical evidence showing that local-scale air quality is uniformly improved by e.g. urban forests is scarce. I study the effects of vegetation on local scale air pollutant concentrations (e.g. PM10, PM2.5, UFP, NO2, O3, VOCs and PAHs) in urban environment. Studies have been conducted in Finland (Lahti and Helsinki), China (Shenyang) and the USA (Baltimore). My PhD work has been funded by the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation. The main objectives of my research is to (i) produce new information of the effect of urban vegetation on pollutant concentrations, (ii) to recognize the good and bad urban green solutions regarding local air pollution levels, and (iii) examine critically the general conclusion that vegetation is an efficient air cleaner. This information can be conveyed to those associated with city planning, urban green planning and urban air pollution abatement. Feel free to contact me via email (email@example.com).
PhD, Adjunct professor
My background is in urban ecology and I am currently studying ecosystem services provided by urban green areas. I am especially interested in the impact of urban vegetation, such as trees, on the concentrations of air pollutants (e.g. NO2, O3, VOCs, PAHs, SO2, particulates) and if vegetation can or cannot improve air quality in cities and provide an important ecosystem service for urban inhabitants. My goal is to provide much needed empirical research data on the topic by accurate measurements. My local-scale studies include different plant configurations, climatic regions and seasons as well as various urban environments (e.g. near-road environments, street canyons, urban parks and forests, residential areas). Moreover, I am studying the operationalisation of ecosystem services in urban planning and decision-making. You can contact me by e-mail: vesa.yli-pelkonen(at)helsinki.fi.