Dr. Anu Eskelinen

Associate Professor in Biodiversity Change and Ecosystem Health

PI of the group Global Change and Biotic Interactions Ecology

Email: anu.eskelinen(at) or anu.eskelinen(at)

Twitter: @EskelinenAnu

Google Scholar

Research Gate

I am a plant community ecologist who specializes in examining how different climatic and environmental factors like rainfall patterns and soil nutrient availability interact with biotic factors, such as herbivory and plant competition, to drive plant community composition and diversity. Currently, my research focuses on understanding the consequences of multiple interacting anthropogenic global changes on biodiversity and seeks to understand which factors drive community resistance and resilience to these global changes. I am especially intrigued by investigating the roles of plant traits, herbivory by mammalian grazers, competition for light and linkages between above -and belowground systems as mechanisms mitigating or magnifying community responses. I primarily work with grasslands and tundra using manipulative field experiments.

MSc. Maria-Theresa Jessen

PhD student

I am a PhD student in plant ecology, focusing on light competition – community composition/diversity relationships in temperate and high latitude grassland ecosystems. I am interested in how plants respond to changes in light conditions, induced by interactive effects of changes in grazing patterns, nutrient deposition and climate change. My research focuses on intraspecific trait changes in adult plants, establishment of seedlings and potentials of field-based light manipulation methods. My work is field-work based, where I use multi factorial manipulation experiments partly with additional illumination.

Dr. Noémie Pichon

Postdoctoral researcher

Email: noemie.pichon(at)

During my postdoc at the University of Oulu, I’ll be studying the effect of global changes on the functioning of a tundra ecosystem, with a focus on plant-herbivores interactions. My project is part of the Nutrient Network, which will enable us to look at herbivory around the globe. I am interested in interactions between drivers and how these drivers affect multiple properties of a system.

MSc. Nicolina Johanson

PhD student

I am a PhD student with an interest in Arctic plant ecology and plant-pollinator interactions. In my PhD project, I study the effects of grazing and soil nutrients on plant reproduction, floral resource production, and pollinator diversity and abundance. I am using Nutrient Network as my experimental platform, with factorially manipulated grazer exclusion and NPK nutrient treatment. I am working with two Nutrient Network sites located on tundra grasslands in NW Finnish Lapland.

MSc. Lena Huovinen

PhD student

I am a PhD student interested in community ecology and plant community assembly. My PhD project aims to study metacommunity dynamics by assessing the relative roles of spatial heterogeneity, dispersal, biotic interaction & environmental conditions by using a trait-based approach. I am conducting my research in the Åland islands, a system that consists of more than 4000 meadow patches at different sizes and distances..

Xuebin Yan

Visiting PhD student

I am a visiting PhD student from Nanjing Agricultural University. I am interested in the effects of foliar fungal pathogens on plant community responses to global changes. During my visit at Oulu University, I will be studying how different trade-offs, such as competition-defense trade-off and growth-defense trade-off, will drive plant responses to nutrient enrichment and mammalian herbivory.

Lab Alumni

MSc. Anna Leyendecker

Field and Lab Technician

I am a Field and Lab Technician with a Master‘s degree in Biotechnology and Applied Ecology with Specialization in Conservation & Utilisation of Biodiversity (M.Sc.). I am especially interested in forest ecology and nature conservation. To me the complexity and diversity of the environment with the interplay of its biotic and abiotic factors is fascinating. This job was a great opportunity to gain work experience and insights into scientific research and the chance to work in an excellently qualified and wonderful team.

MSc. Paul Kühn

Field and lab technician

I am a field and lab technician with an interest in grassland ecosystems and the interactions between plant functional traits and environmental changes. My tasks within this work group include, among other things, taking leaf and soil samples in the field, taking environmental measurements, processing said samples in the laboratory as well as carrying out data entry and preliminary statistical analyses.

Dr. Chhaya Werner

Postdoctoral researcher


Google Scholar

I am interested in the effects of contingency on plant community dynamics, particularly in the context of global change. For my postdoc in the Eskelinen lab, I am studying how herbivory and light limitation mediate the effects of nutrient deposition on plant communities. I focus on seedling recruitment in these manipulated communities, including whether we can use seedling traits to predict their responses to these conditions. Additionally, I am working on a project in Finland on the recovery of plant communities after cessation of nutrient deposition.