Kerli Müürisepp successfully defended her PhD thesis – Mei-Po Kwan as the opponent!

Kerli successfully defended her PhD thesis on Saturday, 25 November! What a blast the day was for the entire Digital Geography Lab!

The defence took place on Saturday, 25 November 2023, with Professor Mei-Po Kwan from the Chinese University of Hong Kong as the opponent. The defence started with Kerli’s Lectio Praecursoria, and continued with a discussion with the opponent about Kerli’s thesis, the research topic at large and included even bursts of laughter in the middle of otherwise serious academic debate.

See Kerli’s thesis here: Capturing segregation through space and time: New insights from the activity space approach and big data”. Kerli’s work was supervised by Dr Olle Järv, Prof Tuuli Toivonen, and Prof Tiit Tammaru.

On Friday before the defense, we had the honour of hosting the opponent, Professor Mei-Po Kwan, at the University of Helsinki. She gave an exciting talk for a broad audience on-site and online, with the title “Big Data and Geospatial Technologies for Health Research“.

The busy days culminated in the cheerful Karonkka party on Saturday evening with senate square views. To rest a bit, we all had a day off on Monday.

Cheers once more & hugs to brilliant Kerli! 🥳🤗

And many thanks also to the opponent, Prof Mei-Po Kwan, for visiting us and leading the discussion with academic expertise and curiosity, in a cheerful spirit! 🤗

Enjoy the photos below, taken by Christoph Fink.

Prof Mei-Po Kwan giving a talk.

Ready for the examination.

Prof Mei-Po Kwan presenting her views on the thesis.

Cheerful supervisors Dr Olle Järv (back), Prof Tuuli Toivonen (left), and Prof Tiit Tammaru (right) with the stars of the day.

Yuhuu, says Digital Geography Lab – present and past members <3

Cheers to Kerli’s Voitto (Victory)!


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Kerli completed her doctoral thesis in the Digital Geography Lab research group under the project “Socio-spatial dialogues in the city: Tracing spatial mobilities, social engagement and integration using big data”, funded by the Kone Foundation. In addition, Kerli’s work has beed supported by the City of Helsinki Research Grant, the Academy of Finland-funded BORDERSPACE project, and the YLLI-project (funded from the development and research programme “Lähiöohjelma 2020–2022”).

The Digital Geography Lab is an interdisciplinary research team focusing on spatial Big Data analytics for fair and sustainable societies at the University of Helsinki.

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