Doctoral School in Environmental, Food and Biological Sciences

Ym­pä­ris­tö-, elin­tar­vi­ke- ja bio­tie­teel­li­nen tut­ki­ja­kou­lu
Mil­jö-, livs­me­dels- och bio­ve­ten­skap­li­ga fors­kar­sko­lan


Tutkijakoulun johtoryhmä
Styrgruppet för forskarskolan

Paula Kurittu

I have started my PhD studies in 2017 in the Doctoral Programme in Food Chain and Health right after graduating from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. My thesis focuses on antimicrobial resistance found in animals, the environment and people. As a student representative of our doctoral school I want to make sure the students’ voice is heard in the board by bringing current issues to the meetings. Good communication between the doctoral school, doctoral programmes and PhD students is vital. Also, I hope to advance more interaction and sense of community among PhD students which is important especially when starting your PhD studies.


Luonnonvaraisten eliöiden tutkimuksen tohtoriohjelma
Doktorandprogrammet i forskning om vilda organismer

Niko Johansson

Hei kaikki! Olen Niko, ja tutkin Luonnontieteellisessä keskusmuseossa jäkälien leviämisbiologiaa ja haen LUOVA-tohtoriohjelman johtoryhmään. Olen kiinnostunut tohtorikoulutuksen järjestämisestä Helsingin yliopistossa, ja erityisesti haluan tuoda opiskelijoiden ääntä kuuluviin päätöksenteossa. Olen valmistunut Aberdeenin yliopistosta Skotlannista, jossa minut äänestettiin biotieteiden laitoksen opiskelijaedustaksi. Minulla on siis kokemusta (hyvin byrokraattisen) yliopiston päätöksenteosta opiskelijajäsenenä. Rooliin kuului jäsenyys yliopiston päättävissä elimissä (University Senate, Education Committee, Biological Sciences Teaching Committee) sekä n. 50 kurssien opiskelijaedustajien koordinointi. Asioita, joita haluan ottaa esille johtoryhmässä ovat erityisesti opiskelijapalautteen käyttö opetuksen suunnittelussa, tiedonhaun helpottaminen opintojen alkuvaiheessa sekä opiskelijan tuki kriisitilanteissa, kuten ohjaajasuhteiden kiristyessä tai mielenterveysongelmien sattuessa kohdalle.

Hi all! I’m Niko, studying lichen dispersal ecology in the Finnish Natural History Museum LUOMUS and running for the LUOVA student representative. I’m interested in how doctoral education is organized in the University of Helsinki, and keen to incorporate student voice in it more. I did my undergrad in the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and was elected the School Convenor for the School of Biological Sciences, giving me ample experience in getting student voice heard in university management. The role included membership in the University Senate, Education Committee and Biological Sciences Teaching Committee, as well as managing 50+ student representatives in all School of Biological Science courses. Topics I’m bringing to the table include use of student feedback, issues with scattered information and promoting quick and smooth action if something goes wrong during doctoral education. The latter could include issues with supervisory arrangements, mental wellbeing or student support.

Wenfei Liao

Hi, my name is Wenfei. I’m a third-year PhD candidate, working on urban wetland biodiversity in Helsinki. I am applying for the position because I want to develop my organisational skills, assist fellow students with having their voice heard, and have a better understanding of how our doctoral programme works. If I am selected as a student representative, I will keep in close touch with what my fellow students want by collecting their ideas, needs, and concerns about their study and career plans, such as what courses students want to develop their skills for their future career after graduation. Also, I would like to organise recreational events to ease students’ stress from their PhD study. I care for my fellow students and feel that I can voice their opinions and concerns. I am able to communicate and connect with others easily, which qualities make a good student representative.


Ympäristöalan tieteidenvälinen tohtoriohjelma
Doktorandprogrammet i tvärvetenskaplig miljöforskning

Aina Brias Guinart

Being a PhD student can be challenging sometimes. Even lonely. If, on top, you are trying to do interdisciplinary research, then you are lost. I am a second-year DENVI student, and I would like to be part of the DENVI board to contribute to making our doctoral programme a stronger network of students – who can support and collaborate with each other. For this reason, and to accentuate the full potential of DENVI, I believe that the most important topics where I could contribute are: – Ensuring a fair and transparent selection of the future DENVI candidates. – Working to improving the student well-being at the university and promoting equal access to opportunities. – Proposing and developing educational opportunities tailored to the specific needs and interests of the DENVI students. – Promoting and continuing activities that enhance the exchange between the DENVI community (for example, the writing retreat). – Giving a voice to the students’ perspectives and ideas in DENVI. Since I joined DENVI, I had been keen on contributing to building an even better DENVI. I hope this is my chance to even do more for our community.

Megan Resler

My name is Meg Resler and I am a first-year PhD student in DENVI. My research explores pathways towards sustainable food system transformation. I am particularly curious about application of agroecology to urban and peri-urban contexts and am eager to engage with transdisciplinary collaborations and projects that produce tangible benefits for communities and individuals. My main motivation in running for the student representative position on the DENVI steering group is to engage my voice in the decision-making process. I am keen to expand my understanding of how these decisions are made, and contribute my perspective (and the perspective of my peers) as someone who has been on the opposite side of those decisions. Vote for me!


Kasvitieteen tohtoriohjelma
Doktorandprogrammet i botanik

Marina Leal Gavarrón

I am interested in the position due to I would like to increment the contact of the PhD students between the different doctoral programs of the University. I would like to discuss the topics of PhD students mental health, possible careers after PhD studies and improvement in the announcement of the courses. I am an easy approchable person, so if they need someone to tell the problems they are facing I would like to be able to try to solve them.

Richard Gossens

I’m interested in the position for the steering group of the doctoral programme since I wish to get a more in-depth insight into the workings of our doctoral programme. As the PhD programme is one of the few educational programmes where student key in deciding the learning material, I believe that it is important that we deepen on this and let the students drive their learning process. The DPPS already provides us with many opportunities to develop ourselves based on our learning questions and goals. This is great, I think it is important to maintain the level where we are and encourage more independent learning by providing learning opportunities were needed. When elected, I will pursue to safeguard and build upon the learning opportunities that DPPS provides to encourage independent learning questions from our students.


Uusiutuvien luonnonvarojen kestävän käytön tohtoriohjelma
Doktorandprogrammet i hållbart utnyttjande av förnybara naturresurser

Mohammad Imangholiloo

I am happy to stand for student representative of AGOFREE. I will aim to help connecting students with the board and influence on decisions for the benefit of students. About me: I did my MSc in Forest Sciences (2015-2018), worked as research and teaching assistant for >1 year then I got AGFOREE salaried position (2019-2023). I was tutor of international MSc students (August 2016) and graduated with distinction. I was in university news ( Here is my research profile in our research lab: My supervisor, Prof. Markus Holopainen, is green for my application. If you get more than 2 candidates for this position, please feel free to reject mine.

Florencia Franzini

I am most interested in providing feedback and assistance in the development of future courses being arranged for the AGFOREE programme. Having just completed my masters with the faculty of agriculture and forestry, I have a lot of input to provide e.g., about how the transition between the masters level courses and the PhD level course could be streamlined. Additionally, because of my previous experience managing and forecasting budgets for large programs in research institutions abroad, I believe I could provide reasonable inputs on matters related to fund expenditures. To me, having a student representative is extremely important to ensuring that students have fair access to information and a capacity for leveraging their requests and needs. Therefore, if elected, I would be happy to engage with any AGFOREE student who would like to voice their opinions about what could be done to improve our doctoral programme.


Mikrobiologian ja biotekniikan tohtoriohjelma
Doktorandprogrammet i mikrobiologi och bioteknik

Aleksi Husso

My name is Aleksi Husso and I’m a second year PhD student, working at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. My goal as a representative is to be a link between the board and doctoral students, increasing transparency of decision making, while also bringing everybody’s opinions to the discussions. Please feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or feedback to the doctoral programme!

Rafael Vicentini Popin

The MBDP covers a wide range of areas related to microbiology and includes students from all around the world. Therefore, I would like to bring this diversity of ideas and points of view to the doctoral programme board. If elected, I aim to defend the interest of doctoral students while respecting the policies of the University. For that, I can count on my experience as a student representative in a graduation committee during my bachelor’s degree. Moreover, I’m half way through my PhD so I known how this experience affects our lives.


Ruokaketjun ja terveyden tohtoriohjelma
Doktorandprogrammet i livmedelskedjan och hälsa

Iida Loivamaa

Beginning of 2020 starts my third year as a Doctoral candidate of University of Helsinki. I´m proud of my title, research, work place and colleagues. I see that two years experience as a doctoral candidate gives me a good background to contribute to the decision making to improve our doctoral education and to let the candidates’ voice to hear. And other way round, I would inform candidates about new decisions and what will, and have been decided. In last two years, I do not know what have been decided or discussed in Foodhealth executive team – a point to be developed. I will work so that the executive team work is more visible. In addition, because I got the four year salary position from Foodhealth, I have expired the application process, which I see beneficial when working as a representative. In my personal point of view, I want to learn how to discuss and develop processes at executive team level.

Jenni Kaskela

I started my PhD in 2016 at Viikki Campus. I am a veterinarian studying the effects of food control result publication system “Oiva”. I have been a doctoral student representative in the steering group of Food Health doctoral program for the last two years and I would like to continue as a student representative. I think it is important that doctoral students are represented in the steering group and student perspectives are considered. Communication between students and steering group is one of the most important tasks of a student representative. I do my best to ensure that PhD students’ needs are taken into consideration at the doctoral program level and I am eager to hear about new ideas and development needs from my fellow PhD students.