Research projects 11

The doctoral programme on sustainable management of forest resources is funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council, for the period (2022-2024). The programme will provide full funding for doctoral positions to 3 - 6 students from the North West Agriculture & Forest University in Yangling (China), to perform a doctoral degree at the School of Forest Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland. The main goals are to enable Chinese scholars from NWAFU to visit UEF, foster opportunities for students to publish research papers in high-profile refereed journals and also to receive industrial experience in companies and research institutions and foster opportunities for faculty to collaborate in both basic and applied research.

Team

Guangzhe Liu

Decision Support for the Supply of Ecosystem Services under Global Change (DecisionES) is a Marie Curie Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme (2021-2025). Pressures on forest ecosystems are very likely to increase as a consequence of socioeconomic and demographic trends. A growing population will demand more products (e.g., wood) to be extracted from forest ecosystems. At the same time, these harvesting activities and their interactions with global change drivers will impact the sustainability of the supply of a wider range of non-provisioning services (e.g., wildfire protection, water, and biodiversity). The integrity of ecosystems must be safeguarded when developing harvesting activities, and yet this is further complicated by the occurrence of natural disturbances such as wildfires and droughts, etc. New decision support approaches are needed that can cope with this challenge. European and the American experiences with the development and application of decision support approaches for the provision of ecosystem services (ESs), offer a solid base for continued improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of forest management in the context of global change (e.g., responding to changes in demographics, socioeconomics, and climatic conditions). This provided the rationale for a project that will help to strengthen research collaboration through active networking and staff exchange between 8 European organizations and 10 American organizations that are leaders in these fields. This project will build from the top-level multidisciplinary expertise (wildfire ecology and management, wildfire behaviour simulation, hydrology, process-based modelling, biodiversity, wildlife management, ecology, water services, operations research, management science, stakeholder engagement, forest ecosystem management planning methods, supply chain management methods and decision support systems) in these organizations to address the integration of operational, tactical and strategic forest ecosystem management planning levels and potentiate the supply of ecosystem services at various spatial and temporal scales.

Team

Jordi García-Gozalo

This research focuses on designing a smart learning environment (SLE) using virtual reality mini games to support students' computational thinking skills. Aside from enhancing the teaching and learning of CT, this research aims to support first-year students and novices of computer science with the opportunity to gain CT skills through an experiential learning approach. The goal of the research is to design and develop VR mini games through a rigorous process of the design science research methodology in order to provide artefact that allows students to learn CT concepts such as algorithmic thinking, recursive thinking, pattern recognition, and abstraction of problems. This research will measure students' learning achievement and cognitive benefits through a field experiment with first-year university students in Nigeria and Finland. Currently, we have developed a VR mini games application in the VR EdTech Lab located at the School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland. The mini games were co-designed with students from within Finland and abroad in order to achieve a student-centered learning environment. The research has produced over seven research papers published in ranked journals and conferences as shown in the link (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=mSqmwdgAAAAJ&hl=en). The research is being supervised by professors from the School of Computing, University of Finland, and Luleå University of Technology (LTU) Sweden. The professors are specialists in VR technology, educational games, and ICT4D.

Team

Professor Markku Tukiainen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen, Dr. Solomon Oyelere, MSc. Friday Joseph Agbo

I4Future - Imaging for the Future: Novel Imaging and Characterization Methods in Bio, Medical and Environmental Research and Technology Innovations is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie action co-funded international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral doctoral programme. The programme brings together complementary and supplementary expertise of internationally accredited researchers with the aim of training young researchers in an interdisciplinary manner in highly relevant sosioeconomic research areas using state-of-the-art techniques. The programme network consists of 17 University of Oulu research groups, 10 international partner universities, 11 private companies and 4 multidisciplinary public sector organisations.

Team

Marko Huttula, Matti Alatalo, Erkki Thuneberg, Nonne Prisle

The overall objective of the SuFoRUn project is to develop new models, methods and decision systems that may effectively integrate currently fragmented multidisciplinary knowledge to support forest management and policy development in a context of global change. The European and the American experiences with the development/application of models and tools to support forest management and develop innovative forest policies provide a solid base for continuous improvement of its efficiency and effectiveness in a context of global change (e.g. changes in forest policies, changes in forest owner structures, changes in climatic conditions).

Team

Heli Peltola, Timo Pukkala, Dr Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo ( Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya CTFC).

The aim of the BIOBM project is to investigate the transition to the bioeconomy as a profound change in production and usage, as well as in doing business and consumption. The study is driven by the social, ecological and economic considerations of a sustainable bioeconomy which call for rethinking how we define and utilize resources, how value is created in a networked world and how the circular processes of bio-based and other material flows connect in novel ways. Our aim is to identify the characteristics of successful business models of born globals for a sustainable bioeconomy.

Team

Mika Gabrielsson, Saara Julkunen, Emma Incze, Sara Fraccastoro, Jouni Pykäläinen, Päivi Pelli, Anu Laakkonen

RespMat studies fetal and childhood physical, psychosocial and environmental determinants of a key non-communicable disease, obstructive airways disease, in 15-year-olds and their mothers in rural Bangladesh, a least-developed and fragile country.

Team

Eero Kajantie, Pieta Näsänen-Gilmore

We aim at elucidating how plants acquire and use information about their abiotic and biotic environment. Perception of visible and ultraviolet regions of the daylight spectrum and the acclimation responses triggered by these cues are the main focus of our current research. Understanding cross-acclimtaion mechanisms can be used to develop new environmentally-friendly crop management strategies based on environmental cues, such as the light spectrum and/or temperature, replacing applications of chemical growth regulators and of some pesticides. Another application is enhancement of post-harvest shelf life of cut flowers, and leafy vegetables.

Team

Pedro J. Aphalo, Sari Siipola, Fang Wang, Neha Rai, Yan Yan (HU); Åke Strid (ÖU), Gareth I. Jenkins (GU), Andreas Albert (HZM), Susanne Neugart (IGZ), Otmar Urban (CZG), Victor O. Sadras (SARDI), Tarja Lehto (UEF), Anders Lindfors (FMI).

  • Head of research Sara Lindeman
  • Language n/a

The world needs hands on solutions to wicked problems such as climate change, resource scarcity and poverty, and we need to nd the pathways that enable such solutions to emerge. To maintain competitiveness in the future, Finland needs to improve it’s capacity to innovate and collaborate in new ways, to provide holistic and sustainable solutions to global challenges, both in emerging markets as well as disruptive new approaches to service provision in Europe. New global studies frugal and reverse innovations in complex global systems.

Team

Minna Halme, Teija Lehtonen, Jarkko Levänen, Helena Sandman, Emma Nkonoki, Tatu Lyytinen, Anne Hyvärinen, Sini Numminen, Sini Suomalainen, Marleen Wierenga, Marko Keskinen, Peter Lund, Olli Varis

In Yemen the number of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity remains high and more women become disabled as a result of pregnancy and childbirth complications. In addition, Yemen is among the country where female genital mutilation/cutting stills practice and many girls are undergo circumcise. The Project focuses on estimating the socioeconomic and other contributed factors of both maternal and child health outcomes including maternal mortality in the community setting as well as maternal health care seeking behavior. Also, the project investigates the prevalence and determinant factors for female genital mutilation/cutting

Team

Abdullah Alosaimi (Yemen), Riitta Luoto (Finland), Abdul Wahed Al Serouri (Yemen), Bright Nwaru (Finland), Halima Mouniri (Morocco), Birgitta Essén (Sweden).