Puistokatu 4's researcher members

Academic researchers from different disciplines work at Puistokatu 4, with solution-oriented building for an ecologically sustainable future at the heart of their research. The researcher members work in the Science Attic on the third floor of Puistokatu 4.


Read more about our researcher members below!

Hanna-Kaisa Alanen
Hanna-Kaisa Alanen, PhD Researcher, University of Jyväskylä and University of Vaasa

“I am a designer who has jumped into the academic world to carry out a dissertation on the individual and collective experience of human-technology interaction through the paradigm of fashion. My research touches on the everyday experiential dimensions of systemic change and I use qualitative methods and the multidisciplinary perspective of cognitive science. My goal is to produce content for sustainable human-driven innovation processes.


I am currently working as a project researcher at the University of Vaasa, although I live in Helsinki. The Science Attic of Puistokatu 4 as a multidisciplinary science hub seems like the kind of place where you can reflect on thoughts and ideas with others and get to know new people.”

Vaula Berg
Vaula Berg, PhD Researcher, Turku School of Economics

In my research, I ask how individuals’ sustainability activity could be supported by producing more well-being instead of burn-outs? I am particularly interested in themes related to sustainable leadership, such as connection to nature and body, space management and emotions. I am currently working as a project researcher in the Turku School of Economics in the CICAT2025 circular economy project.


My background is in social psychology and I’ve graduated as a holistic life skills coach. I started at Puistokatu 4 as part of the BIODIFUL research project, which aims to create leadership that respects biodiversity. It’s wonderful to meet other people, get inspired and share ideas on Puistokatu!

Mikaela Grotenfelt
Mikaela Grotenfelt, PhD Researcher, University of Helsinki

“I study the integration of ecological sustainability into health care work – our ability to
achieve this and the potential obstacles. In addition to my research work, I promote planetary
health and health care sustainability measures as a climate doctor, lecturer and writer. I am
also delighted to participate in planning Finland’s first course on planetary health at the
Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki.


I believe that the community of the Science Attic and Puistokatu will enable wide-ranging and
inspiring interdisciplinary discussion. I personally participate in the exchange of ideas,
sharing of information, shared learning, brainstorming and daydreaming. This is all the work
needed to build a sustainable future.”

Vilma Halonen (on family leave)
Vilma Halonen (on family leave), PhD Researcher, LUT University

“I am studying the impact of household consumption on consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions, the willingness and ability of households to make consumption changes to reduce emissions and how this could be supported by public policies. My research is set in a suburban context, with the focus on emission reduction solutions supported by cities and municipalities. The research is based on life cycle and carbon footprint calculations.


At the moment I do most of my research alone at home, as I live in Helsinki and my workplace is in Lahti. I expect the Science Attic to be a collaborative working space where I can share thoughts and ideas and plan collaboration opportunities with other researchers from different disciplines.”

Jessica Jungell-Michelsson
Jessica Jungell-Michelsson, PhD Researcher, University of Helsinki

“Food is an essential part of everyday life. At the same time, food consumption and production is one of the major forces contributing to exceeding the known planetary boundaries. To understand how food can be produced and consumed in an ecologically (and socially) more sustainable way is crucial to stay within the natural limits of our planet.  With my research I hope to be able to contribute to a more systemic understanding of sustainability in food production and consumption.


I am eager to learn from others and other kinds of research. In addition, my experiences from Nessling Nest shows me that peer support is also very important during the PhD process, and this is something I hope that can be achieved also at Puistokatu (giving and receiving peer support
and getting new friends!).”

Johanna Hyrkäs
Johanna Hyrkäs, PhD Researcher, Aalto University

“The main aim of my research is to support the greening of the construction industry. I am developing a circular economy based building material with a very low carbon footprint, made from surplus clay and fibres. I am at the beginning of my research process and my intention is to attract major construction companies to use my material as the work progresses.


My aim is to find like-minded people and build partnerships with them. I believe that anything is possible when the right people find each other. They can be either other researchers or, for example, designers or companies and other organisations. I am happy to discuss my research with others and help with questions in my field.”

Johanna Jämsä
Johanna Jämsä, PhD Researcher, University of Turku

“I study the eudaimonic, or value-based, welfare effects of nature. My research addresses perhaps the most essential, and challenging, part of ecological sustainability: the values and emotions associated with nature. Through my research, I promote the visibility of these issues in the media, and thus their social and cultural acceptability. Although the main focus of my work is research, I am committed to and passionate about the popularisation of science, and this will always be a central part of my work. Writing and being visible on social media comes naturally to me, and I maintain an Instagram account  @luonto_eudaimonia related to my research.


I’m doing my research for the University of Turku, so my work community is far away. It would be great to find research communities in my hometown Helsinki, and I hope that the Science Attic will help me to build lasting relationships with other environmental researchers.”

Lotta Kaila
Lotta Kaila, PhD Researcher, University of Helsinki

“My research focuses on one of the most important environmental problems of our time: the loss of biodiversity. The aim of my research is to find out how much exposure pollinators have to pesticides in agriculture and how this exposure affects the cognitive abilities of bumblebees. This research will allow more effective conservation measures for pollinators such as bees and bumblebees.


I believe that openly sharing information between researchers is the key to more impactful science. My philosophy is not to withhold the preliminary results and insights of my research, but to discuss them as early as possible. When sparring with others, I know my own research will improve, and I hope that someone else will benefit from the work I do.”

Katri Koivuneva
Katri Koivuneva, PhD Researcher, University of Lapland

“I am developing digital university pedagogy in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As part of my research, I am collecting data on the meanings and proposals for solutions that university teachers and students give to the SDGs, particularly in the Arctic and other non-urban areas. In addition to the Sustainable Development Goals, the research focuses on cognition and embodiment in digital environments. The research will be complemented by the production of a digital dance piece on sustainable development in the Arctic.


The aim of my work is to promote basic research in the field, to bring an educational perspective on building an ecologically sustainable future to the Science Attic, and to contribute to the completion of my doctoral thesis.”

Maija Lassila
Maija Lassila, PhD Researcher, University of Helsinki

“I explore how people articulate and represent alternative ways of being, ontologies, in relation to the futures created by mining projects; how, for example, resistance succeeds in thwarting a mining project in the early reservation phase. These alternative ways of living can be seen as guidelines for creating a sustainable planetary future. I have done ethnographic research in New Caledonia, Ohcejohka and Sodankylä – in recent years mainly focusing on Finland.


I have a Master of Fine Arts in my second degree and have also used non-textual, visual methods in my research. In the future, I would like to delve more into combining research and visual arts. I see painting as a powerful way to approach alternative ways of knowing and being, and to question and disrupt conventional dualisms.”

Pauliina Latvala-Harvilahti
Pauliina Latvala-Harvilahti, Docent, University of Eastern Finland

“I study the forms and impact of bog art in Finland. In particular, I examine how bog art, as an intangible cultural heritage that combines natural and cultural values, addresses our relationship with nature. In the past, I have studied, among other things, the characteristics, changes and visions of the relationship with the sea in interviews with residents of Suomenlinna. I have also been working on a museum development project to strengthen the future and sustainability orientation of museums.


In the Science Attic, I want to contribute to the community in many ways: by discussing, presenting, working on collaborative projects and communicating my research on social media.”

Linda Mustajärvi
Linda Mustajärvi, PhD Researcher, University of Jyväskylä

“I study the protection of biodiversity through ecological compensation. Compensation seeks to compensate for the damage caused to nature through the benefits it generates, such as new protected areas and restoration. I aim to perceive the protection of biodiversity from the perspective of both ecology and environmental law, understanding it in a multidisciplinary way as part of our society and creating development proposals that combine ecological and legal relevance.


I am in the finishing stages of my dissertation, where different views help to summarise and outline the research done as part of a larger whole. I have noticed that low-threshold everyday conversations can have tremendous significance.”

Mikael Nurminen
Mikael Nurminen, PhD, University of Tampere

“I study corporate stakeholder conflicts in the transition to a circular economy. I am part of Wastebusters, a food waste and circular economy research group at Tampere University. The consumer citizen is the main unit of analysis in the work of our research team, but my own research focus is more at the macro level, in understanding and dismantling the socio-cultural and structural barriers to the circular economy.


Communicating clear and accessible scientific information to the outside world is of paramount importance, and I can contribute to this with my expertise. I am on the editorial board of Alusta!, an e-publication of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tampere University. Alusta! publishes interdisciplinary and general science journalism on university research.”

Alma Onali
Alma Onali, PhD, University of Tampere

“My research is about the plastics crisis, waste and unravelling the human waste relationship. All human activity generates waste, and dealing with it is essential for our future on this planet of limited resources. Philosophical, cultural and social reflection on the relationship between people and waste is, in my view, an integral part of an ecologically sustainable future. How we see ourselves in relation to the waste we produce and how we treat it matters.


I want to come to the Science Attic to read, think, reflect, be inspired and meet other researchers. I am at the beginning of my dissertation path, so in addition to specific research topics, I would like to talk to others about doing research in general and the everyday life of a researcher. I long to be surrounded by a working community and like-minded people with whom I can have interdisciplinary discussions on more or less shared interests.”

Hanna Paulomäki
Hanna Paulomäki, Researcher, Aalto University

“I am working on a textbook project on planetary boundaries for energy engineers. In my book, I bring together existing research on planetary boundaries and the natural impacts and technical solutions of renewable energies in a new way. My aim is to increase energy engineers’ understanding of the potential impacts of major projects on nature, and how to avoid, minimise and compensate for these impacts.


My intention at the Science Attic is to write, network and exchange thoughts and ideas with researchers in different fields. I hope that the Puistokatu community will give rise to novel ideas on how to build an ecologically sustainable future and communicate solutions.”

Sara Peltola
Sara Peltola, PhD Researcher, University of Jyväskylä

“The aim of my PhD research is to clarify how the relationship between humans and the rest of nature is described, constructed and replicated in educational guidance practices. I want to stimulate debate on the role of guidance in the sustainability transition of society and in developing education and working life for a sustainable future.


At Puistokatu, I like to be involved in everyday discussions, debates around different themes, and various interdisciplinary research projects and papers.”

Sonja Pietiläinen
Sonja Pietiläinen, PhD Researcher, University of Oulu

“I am working on a doctoral thesis on the climate-denialism of the radical right and the relationship between the tightening border policy and the climate crisis. Increasing nationalism contradicts the perspective needed to solve the climate crisis: environmental problems and climate change do not respect national borders, but affect those who are already in the most unequal positions. My research is based on textual analysis, ethnographic observations and interviews where I have tried to understand climate skepticism and the spatial dimensions of anti-climate policy on a personal level.


The Science Attic is a fruitful place to work in terms of my doctoral dissertation. My dissertation is not part of any larger research project, which is why my work is sometimes lonely. From the point of view of my work and coping, I consider all community and social issues to be very meaningful and important, such as interesting discussions, new encounters and spontaneous insights.”

Olli Pyyhtinen
Olli Pyyhtinen, Professor, University of Tampere

“In my research projects, I work with my teams to examine the relationship between waste and circular economy practices in society. For a more sustainable future to be possible, knowledge is needed firstly about waste streams and waste cycles in society, secondly about the problem areas of waste practices and thirdly about possible ways to deal with and manage problematic and leaky waste. My research projects provide information on these issues.


My intention is to use the Puistokatu premises for research project meetings and seminars. I also want to be able to exchange ideas and network with other people working at the Science Attic across disciplines. I am interested in organising national and international symposia/seminars at Puistokatu 4 in the framework of our projects.”

Kukka-Maria Ranta
Kukka-Maria Ranta, PhD Researcher, University of Lapland

“My research focuses on indigenous peoples’ rights in the midst of the climate and nature crisis. The pressure to use Arctic natural resources is increasing, as Europe struggles to escape its fossil fuel dependence. In my work, I map the overall picture of industrialisation in the Sámi homeland in order to assess the cumulative effects. My goal is to identify assimilating societal structures and to ensure an ecologically more sustainable future and the wellbeing of the Sámi as a part of a just transition in cooperation with Sámi communities, human rights actors and researchers.


I bring to Puistokatu my knowledge of indigenous peoples’ rights and the state of the environment and human rights in the Arctic region. I am happy to discuss topics and share information, and I am eager to learn about the work and research of others. My own university is located far away in Rovaniemi, which is why Puistokatu 4 offers me a particularly important multidisciplinary environment for the development of thought and research.”

Johannes Roviomaa
Johannes Roviomaa, Researcher, University of Lapland

“I am working on a documentary film about the future of the Arctic, produced by Rare Media. I want to bring Arctic research closer to southern Finland. The Arctic is warming up at a pace four times faster than the planet on average, so Arctic study is crucial for the future of our globe. However, the Arctic is not just a stage for tragedy, it is home to more than four million people and must be protected using every means at our disposal. One way to do this is to popularise the region’s research by making a film.


Finding answers to seemingly impossible questions requires a variety of narratives and, above all, new networks. I believe that the documentary is a prelude to a longer journey. My intention is to be involved in organising events and debates together with researchers, journalists, artists, activists and others.”

Sonja Salomäki
Sonja Salomäki, PhD Researcher, University of Lapland

“My artist-led action research provides insights into the effectiveness of arts activism. For my research, I conceived and organised an experimental laboratory for activism art, the Climate Channel (2018), which tested the hypothesis that art methods can complement factual communication with an emotional dimension and make the reality of climate change more personal. The research is intended to promote active citizenship, hope and resilience. Its results can be used in areas such as art education, civic activism and the social sector.


I am interested in all kinds of research-related discussion, sharing, critique and problem-solving, as I have done my research far away from my university community – mainly working on my own. As an artist, incompleteness and even creative chaos (but with reason and a striving for methodology) are normal for me.”

Frans Saraste
Frans Saraste, PhD researcher, Aalto University

“In my dissertation Heating Helsinki: An Architectural History of Fuel and Space, I examine the heating revolutions that took place in Helsinki in the 20th century. In my research, I use three case studies to find out how different fuels and their availability have affected the design and use of spaces of different scales.


Puistokatu 4 arouses great inspiration and admiration in me both as a building and as a community. The spontaneous encounters, conversations and events that take place here keep my soul warm and hopeful for the future.”

Pasi Takkinen
Pasi Takkinen, PhD Researcher, University of Tampere

“In my dissertation, which is located in the field of philosophy of education, I research the issues of post-sustainability and the sustainable relationship with technology. I continue on the problem by my dissertation supervisor Veli-Matti Värri, ‘Education in the era of eco-crisis’ (2018).


I will be happy to talk about my dissertation and my already completed research articles on Puistokatu. I am also open to various joint projects and events. Some of the Puistokatu 4 residents are already familiar to me through the events of the Nessling Foundation and Puistokatu 4, which I have had time to visit a lot!”

BIODIFUL, Group of researchers

BIODIFUL is a team and network of researchers at different stages of their careers. Our aim is to create and empower a network that generates biodiversity-respectful leadership in business, in social decision-making and in everyone’s daily life. Our research team includes experts from biodiversity to social sciences and from marketing to tourism. Our work is based on a research project funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland.”

Puistokatu 4's researcher alumni
Katja Enberg
Katja Enberg, Professor, University of Helsinki and University of Bergen

“I study sustainable use of the oceans: how to produce more food with the smallest possible carbon footprint, while taking care of the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. My aim is to stimulate a multidisciplinary debate on the sustainable use of the oceans and how to potentially slow down the loss of terrestrial habitats. The main objective of my research is to understand the role of fisheries in a sustainable future.”

Oscar Hartman Davies
Oscar Hartman Davies, PhD Researcher, University of Oxford

“The ways people know and govern ecosystems are increasingly shaped by digital technologies and the vast volumes of data they produce. My doctoral thesis focuses on transformations in how industrial fisheries in the Southern Hemisphere and their impacts on marine life are monitored and managed, drawing on perspectives from more-than-human geography and science and technology studies. Additionally, I’m part of the interdisciplinary Digital Ecologies research group, which researches relationships between humans, digital technologies, and nonhuman life. I’m also the co-founder and lead researcher at Youngwilders, an environmental not-for-profit focused on nature recovery and providing environmental leadership opportunities for young people in the UK.


I was a researcher at Puistokatu 4 when I was writing the last parts of my dissertation from May to September 2023. The writing period, which I thought would be difficult, was one of the highlights of my research career so far. The Puistokatu 4 team and members have created a wonderful atmosphere of openness and care, and I was welcomed with enthusiasm and encouragement. I wanted to spend as much of my working week in the building as possible because it is so welcoming and there are wonderful people working there. Puistokatu 4 is a one-of-a-kind place where I left with a renewed sense of what is possible.”

Johanna Hedman
Johanna Hedman, PhD Researcher, University of Helsinki and University of Tampere

“The central theme in my research is the young people’s attachment to society and their experience of themselves as actors. I’ve studied how young people in a particularly vulnerable position are identified and acknowledged in the social and healthcare service system, and how their experience as part of society can be strengthened with the help of these services.


I spent an incredible six months at Puistokatu 4! At first I was a bit nervous about how I would fit in with my research topic as I thought I was far from a traditional sustainability researcher. However, my time at Puistokatu showed me that there is no such thing as a traditional sustainability researcher and that a social science perspective is also important. Puistokatu 4 was a great place to write and think, but also to be inspired, to learn and to see things differently. I remember every lunch meeting and coffee break as a moment when the world opened up from a slightly different angle. Not to mention the good spirit and respect for others that is apparent in the house.”

Roni Lappalainen
Roni Lappalainen, PhD Researcher, University of Jyväskylä

“In my research, I combine the concepts of responsible marketing and degrowth. Degrowth research aims to outline an economic system which, instead of pursuing continuous economic growth, would focus on increasing well-being. In other words, the economy must be placed within the ecological boundaries so that the opportunity to live a good is guaranteed for everyone. This also means that the marketing paradigms must be reconsidered.

I am doing my research as part of the BIODIFUL research project, which aims to create leadership that respects biodiversity. BIODIFUL consists of researchers and actors from all over Finland, and Puistokatu 4 serves as a perfect meeting place for our Helsinki researchers. At the same time, Puistokatu 4 provides us a great opportunity to exchange ideas and lessons with experts in many different research fields.”

Annina Lattu
Annina Lattu, PhD Researcher, Tampere University & Peking University

“My research is about open science practices in research cooperation between companies and universities in Finland and China. I apply institutional theory, especially institutional logics and theories of institutional change, to describe how the open science movement has changed the norms of cooperation between academy and industry. As corporate-funded academic research increases and open science becomes more common, it is important to understand what are the factors preventing and enabling openness of science in this context. Open science, i.e. for example open accessibility of scientific knowledge and academy’s cooperation with other sectors, is important in terms of the sustainability transition.


In Puistokatu 4 there is a great understanding that happiness is important and possible even in times of ecological crisis. The more difficult times we are in, the more we need well-being to draw from. Puistokatu 4 has a constructive and gentle atmosphere, which makes it a good place to do research. In addition, Puistokatu 4 gives me hope for a better working life: that there are wonderful working communities where difficult things are done with ambition, and at the same time within the limits of people’s ability to cope.”

Sanna Lehtinen
Sanna Lehtinen, PhD Researcher, University of Helsinki

“The climate crisis is also a crisis of cultural heritage. In my dissertation, I examine the right of future generations to cultural heritage in situations where cultural heritage is degraded, deserted, submerged and destroyed due to climate change faster and more definitively than ever before. My research focuses particularly on the regulation of the protection of cultural heritage sites in coastal regions and the protection of the cultural heritage over generations. The study illustrates how future generations will suffer above all from legal loopholes and conflicts in the protection of cultural heritage.


It was very inspiring working in Puistokatu 4 which renovation itself has been an important act of cultural heritage protection. By working in the building, you become part of a multidisciplinary research community, where you can always find company for lunch, conversation and writing.”

Salla Mikkonen
Salla Mikkonen, PhD, University of Tampere

“I am writing my first postdoc article on EU forest lobbying in Puistokatu. Finnish forest lobbying has attracted a lot of media attention and created a divided debate, in which shades of grey and the actual content of legislation have received less attention. In our article, we focus on the effects of EU lobbying on Finnish forests and current EU policy, where forest and climate issues have become increasingly important. The analysis framework of the article combines legal and policy research.”