Personlig profil



  • Professor of Development Studies, University of Helsinki
  • Director of "Political, Societal and Regional Changes (PSRC) Doctoral Programme, University of Helsinki
  • Affiliated Professor of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
  • Affiliated Professor of Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEG), University of Helsinki
  • Adjunct Professor of Political Ecology, University of Tampere
  • Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy, University of Helsinki
  • Honoured Member of the Teachers' Academy, University of Helsinki

I am Professor of Global Development Studies and Director of the "Political, Societal and Regional Changes" (PSRC) Doctoral Program at the University of Helsinki. I am also Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Helsinki and Adjunct Professor of Political Ecology at the University of Tampere.

Fields of expertise:

  • global extractivisms, oil conflicts, resource frontiers
  • political ecology of resource frontiers
  • water and vulnerability
  • disasters and displacements
  • environmental justice
  • urban politics and planning
  • certified coffee and cacao
  • political ethnography
  • global South, Latin America (Mexico and Central America)

I got a PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki in 1995. I have worked as a visiting scholar in various international universities, including University of Texas-Austin, USA; University of Missouri-Columbia, USA; University of Florida-Gainesville, USA; University of London (Goldsmith College), UK; University of Wageningen, the Netherlands; University of Copenhagen; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico; Universidad Autónoma Juárez de Tábasco, Mexico, United Nations’ Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Switzerland; and Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica.

I am Honorary Member of the Teachers' Academy of the University of Helsinki, which is the Network of Distinguished Teachers in Higher Education.  I have also received an Award of Excellent Teacher and an Award of Excellent Thesis Supervisor at the University of Helsinki.

Information om forskning och undervisning

My research focuses on global extractivisms and altered socio-environments, with special interests in access to resources, state-making, politics of scale, and dynamics of socionature. I am carrying out research on hydrocarbon extactivism and oil conflicts, political ecology of resource frontiers, environmental justice, water and vulnerabilities, disasters and displacements, urban politics and planning, and certified coffee and cacao. I have long-term field research experience in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

My research results have been published in various international scientific journals, including Development and Change, World Development, Journal of Latin American Studies, Journal of Peasant Studies, Annals of American Association of Geographers, Geoforum, Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Journal of Agrarian Change, Society and Natural Resources, Journal of Hydrology, Environmental Values, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Agriculture and Human Values, Applied Geography, Environmental Sociology, Latin American Perspectives, and Urban Planning, among others.

I am currently leading the following research projects:

1) Water and Vulnerability in Fragile Societies, Consortium project funded by the Academy of Finland, 2018-2023. In this consortium by the University of Helsinki and the Aalto University, with several Mexican, Indonesian and Cambodian research partners, we are studying water governance, resource politics, environmental vulnerabilities and socionature in Mexico, Indonesia and Cambodia. This project consists of scholars from different disciplines, including global development studies, anthropology, political science, history, hydrology, and environmental sciences. 

2) Towards Convivial Conservaiton: Governing Human-Wildlife Interactions in the Anthropocence, Consortium project funded by EU Nordface/Belmont Forum, 2018-2022. Consortium leader Prof. Bram Büscher, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Subproject on Wolf Conservation in Finland, led by Prof. Anja Nygren, University of Helsinki. This Con-Viva project focuses on the prospects for convivial conservation by comparing cutting-edge conservation cases that address human-wildlife conflicts involving apex predators in Brazil, Finland, Tanzania, and USA. 

3) Water and Fire: Volatile Ecologies and the Politics of Vulnerabilization, funded by the Kone Foundation, 2018-2023. In this project, we are studying volatile ecologies and politics of vulnerabilization related to risk-prone environments in Mexico, Peru, Laos and Indonesia. 

4) Fragile Cities in the global South, funded by the Academy of Finland, 2016-2021. In this project, we analyze the interlinkages between societal security, enviromental safety and representative justice in different cities of the global South, including Bogóta (Colombia), Guatemala City (Guatemala),  Calcutta (India) and Villahermosa (Mexico).

I have taught many courses at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral level, including Environment and Development, Environment and Politics, Political Ecology, Methdologies of Development Studies, Global Urban Studies, Resource Politics, Introduction to Development Studies, and Urban Justice. I have supervised 10 PhD candidates (completed) and I am currently supervising 10 PhD students. I have acted as an Opponent/External Examiner in 25 PhD Dissertation Defences.


  • 5203 Globala utvecklingsstudier
  • 519 Socialgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete

Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.