Biosketch illustrated

First publication

Collecting data for first scientific publication.
Peatland bird census early in the morning.
June 1979. (Photo: Jukka Meriläinen)
See the publication...

Field assistant

Assisting Gerald Niemi (Florida State University) to collect data for his PhD. Bird census work and vegetation measurements on peatlands in eastern Finland. May-June 1981. (Photo: Ari Rajasärkkä) More...

First extended working
period abroad 1986

After completing MSc, working at the Natural Resources Research Institute,
University of Minnesota, for 4 months.
July-October 1986. More...

Co-authored a textbook

Co-authored textbook "Biometry – Statistics for Ecologists" (together with Esa Ranta and Hannu Rita).
Published 1989, currently in its 10th print.

Working on PhD

Collecting data for PhD from
field experiments of herbivory patterns.
May-October 1989.

PhD examination

Opponent was prof. Jorma Tahvanainen (left) and custos prof. Juha Tiainen.
November 1991. PhD thesis...

Post doc at the
Michigan State University 1994-95

Studying forest insect populations and landscape structure. With profs. Bill Mattson and Deb McCullough. 1994-1995. (Photo from H J Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon.)

Professor of Forest Ecology, Joensuu 1996-

Started August 1996. Full-time. Initially a temporary appointment for 5 years,
since 2002 with an open-ended contract.
(Photo: Petri Martikainen)

Starting the FIRE
experiment 1999

Establishing large scale experimental facility FIRE, to study the effects of fire and harvest intensity on forests. (Main photo: Kauko Salo)
More on the FIRE...

2005/06 & 2017/18

Working in Wisconsin, Alberta, Arizona, British Columbia, Hawaii, Tasmania. Photo: Visiting Drs. Sue Baker (on the right) and Marie Yee, University of Tasmania, April 2018. (Photo: Simon Grove)

Reaching 25 years as a professor in 2021...

Measuring dead wood in a burned forest.
Autumn 2021. More detailed CV below.
(Photo: Helsingin Sanomat/Jukka Gröndahl)

Editor-in-Chief of Forest Ecology and Management

From Jan 2022 onward.

Curriculum vitae

1. Current position

Professor of Forest Ecology
(in Finnish:
metsäekologian professori)
University of Eastern Finland (UEF),
since August 1996

2. Education, docentships

1994 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Michigan State University, USA

1992 Docentship, University of Helsinki

1991 PhD, University of Helsinki

1986 MSc, University of Helsinki

3. Major professional appointments (after receiving PhD in 1991)

2017 Sabbatical Leave (part of the current position) (8/2017–7/2018), funded by the Foundations’ Professor Pool Grant

2005 Sabbatical Leave (part of the current position), funded by the Academy of Finland (8/2005–7/2006).

1999 Vice Leader (part of the current position), Centre of Excellence for Forest Ecology and Management, Academy of Finland (1/1999–12/2005).

1996 Professor of Forest Ecology, University of Joensuu/University of Eastern Finland (8/1996-current)

1996 Senior Fellowship at the University of Helsinki (6/1996–7/1996).

1996 Post doc Fellow, University of Helsinki, Dept. Ecology and Systematics (2–4/1996).

1995 Senior Scientist, Academy of Finland, Research Council for Environment and Natural Resources (10/1995–1/1996).

1995 Researcher, University of Helsinki, Dept. Ecology and Systematics (8–9/1995).

1994 Adj. Ast. Professor, Michigan State University, Dept of Entomology, USA (7/1994–12/1995).

1992 Researcher (external), Finnish Forest Research Institute (currently: Natural Resources Institute Finland, 6/1992–5/1995).

1992 Junior Scientist, Academy of Finland (8/1992–7/1995).

1992 Senior Scientist, National Board of Waters and Environment (currently: Finnish Environment Institute, 4-12/1992).

1991 Researcher, Academy of Finland (8/1991–3/1992).

Extended periods working abroad:

2018 USA, Arizona, Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University

2018 Canada, British Columbia, Vancouver, University of British Columbia

2018 Australia, Tasmania, Hobart, University of Tasmania

2006 USA, Wisconsin, Madison, University of Wisconsin

2006 Canada, Alberta, Edmonton, University of Alberta

1994-95 USA, Michigan, East Lansing (adj ast professor), Michigan State University, Dept Entomology

1986 USA, Minnesota, Duluth, University of Minnesota, Natural Resources Research Institute, including shorter visits to Colorado State University, Florida State University, University of Kansas and Princeton University

4. Academic awards and honours

2018 Gold Medal Award, The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, for servicing science and scientific community for 30 years

2016 Cajander Bronze Medal, The Finnish Society of Forest Science, for the merits in advancing forest science

1989 The British Ecological Society, second prize in the competition for the “Best oral presentation by PhD students”, BES annual congress, Swansea, UK

5. Other academic and professional activities

International research evaluation tasks, review panel memberships and positions of trust in international research funding institutes:

  • Austria (ASF-FWF), Canada (NSERC, SFM), Germany (DFG), Czech (CSF), Tanzania (CCIAM climate research programme), Norway (RCN), Sweden (FORMAS), Estonia (ERC), South Africa (NRF), the Netherlands (NOSR)

  • European Science Foundation ESF. Linking community and ecosystem ecology, member of the council 2001–2003 (nominated by the Academy of Finland)

Evaluator tasks of professorships, docentships and PhD theses:

  • 8 times professorship evaluation

  • 11 times docentship (adj ast prof) evaluation

  • 16 times as an opponent (vastaväittäjä) or external examiner in public PhD examinations in Finland and abroad

  • 18 times as a pre-examiner (pre-reviewer, väitöskirjan esitarkastaja) of PhD theses

Serving scientific journals and societies

  • Forest Ecology and Management, Editor-in-Chief, 2022–ongoing

  • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Associate Editor, 2020–ongoing

  • Forest Ecology and Management, editorial board, 2015–ongoing

  • Annales Zoologici Fennici, editorial board, 2010-ongoing

  • Silva Fennica, editorial board, 2009–2018

  • Metsätieteen Aikakauskirja, editorial board, 2009–2018

  • Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, editorial board, 2009–2015

  • Finnish Ornithological Society, president, 1996-1999

Reviewer in about 50 scientific journals (1987–).

Academic and research leadership tasks

Director of the Doctoral PhD Programme ”Forests and Bioresources FORES”, Faculty of Science and Forestry, UEF

Head of the School of Forest Sciences, UEF

Vice Head of the School of Forest Sciences, UEF

Person in charge of the study major “Forest Sciences”, University of Eastern Finland

Vice Head of the Centre of Excellence in Forest Ecology and Management, appointed by the Academy of Finland

Leader of the Research Group “Forest Ecology and Biodiversity”, UEF, with
25 completed PhD theses and 62 completed MSc theses under Kouki’s supervision (incl. co-supervised students)

Other administrative tasks, expert group memberships, extension work etc.

University administration

  • Chairman of the coordinating committee for multidisciplinary Environmental studies at the Univ of Joensuu (1996–2010)

  • University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, Faculty Council Member (1998–2010)

  • University of Joensuu, Centre of Continuing Education, Member of the Board (1999–2002)

  • University of Joensuu, member (vice) of the University Board (2002–2005)

  • Chairman of the multidisciplinary University committee on the development in the university’s strategic area “Forests and Environment” (2003–2004)

  • Director of the International Study Programme in Environmental Science and Forestry at the Univ of Eastern Finland (2008–2020)

Expert group memberships (selected, expert and extension work)

  • Member of the expert group “Restoration of forests in Finland”, Ministry of Environment, 2001–2003

  • Member of the expert group “Biological criteria for selecting valuable forest conservation areas”, Ministry of Environment, 2002–2003

  • Member of the scientific advisory board of the Nature Conservation unit of the Finnish Forest and Park Service, 2003–2006

  • Member of the national steering committee of the assessment of threatened species, Ministry of Environment, 2006–2010

  • Member of the Science Committee, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Centre, University of Alberta & Alberta Research Council, 2009–2011

  • Chairman of the national expert group “Assessment of forest habitats in Finland”, 2010–2018

Teaching, coordination, administration and leadership

see Teaching

6. Grant-based research funding

Total amount of grants:

Total ca. 3 600 000 euros