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Anu Lounela is an anthropologist, University researcher in Development Studies, and Principal Investigator in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Science, University of Helsinki.

Her post-doctoral research (2012-2014) paid special attention to social values, climate change and human-nature relations in the severely degraded swamp forest landscape that is prone to fires and floods, exploring how local populations negotiate and reason their claims in the dispute over climate change schemes across different scales.  Currently, she explores how human-nature relations and values evolve in tandem with environmental activities and changes. Her research on water and vulnerability explores transformations of waterscape and related forest fires, which degrade local forests and gardens and open space for new commodity regimes in Central Kalimantan. In relation to this topic, Lounela explores the state formation, commodification of nature and landscape production.

Currently, she is University researcher for the research project “Water and Vulnerability in Fragile Societies” (Academy of Finland, 2018-2022), and Principal Investigator for the research project “New regimes of commodification and state formation on the resource frontier of Southeast Asia” (Kone Foundation, 2018-2022).

Her research interests include social values, nature-people relations, water, fires, landscape, state formation, climate change, Central Kalimantan and Borneo, Java and Indonesia.

Her recent teaching includes courses and seminars:

Courses on anthropology of value (Antropologian tutkimusala I: talous ja vaihto) 2014 and 2015
Ethnography of performativity (Etnografiaseminaari I/II) 2014
Research Seminar on Politics of the Environment in the Global South (2014-2017)                                   
Introduction to Social Anthropology (Introduktion till socialantropologin) 2018                                  
Contemporary Southeast Asia - State Formation and Environmental Change, Asianet, 2018, 2020             
State Formation and Environmental Change in Southeast Asia(Antropologian tutkimusala, Regional focus on society and change) 2018  
Ympäristö ja Politiikka (Kehitysmaatutkimus) 2019


  • 5143 Social- och kulturantropologi
  • Antropologi
  • Miljö
  • Indonesien
  • klimatförändring
  • Stat

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete

Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.