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Saija Kuusela

Saija Kuusela

Head of unit (until 18.6.2017), project manager
Biodiversity Centre

PhD (Ecology and evolutionary biology)

Telephone: 0295 251 647

Finnish Environment Centre, Biodiversity Centre / Ecosystem services
Street address: Mechelininkatu 34a
Postal address: P.O. Box 140, FI-00251 Helsinki, Finland

@ Google Scholar, Twitter


Current position

  • Coordination and evaluation of R&D projects of the Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO
  • Communicating scientific results  to policy makers, stakeholders and the public
  • Organizing events and workshops, monitoring the results of the programme


  • Protection of forest biodiversity
  • Nature management, biodiversity-friendly forestry
  • Habitat restoration
  • Participatory research, cooperation with stakeholders
  • Science communication


I have worked in the Finnish Environment Institute since fall 2011. My job is to evaluate and develop Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO. Before coming to SYKE, I worked as a postdoc researcher in the research team of professor Atte Moilanen (University of Helsinki). With the help of Zonation software I identified suitable forest areas for Capercaillie lekking sites. The results have been useful in mapping lekking sites by the Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife. I defended my thesis in 2010 with a title “Effects of large-scale human land use on Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) populations in Finland”. My current expertise lies in forest biodiversity and includes communications and stakeholder co-operation.

Projects and working groups

Other activities


Kirjan kansi

Halme, P., Kuusela, S. & Juslén, A. 2015: Why taxonomists and ecologists are not, but should be, carpooling? Biodiversity and Conservation 24: 1831–1836.

Kuusela, S., Rantala, M. & Paloniemi, R. 2014: METSO luo yhteistyötä yli organisaatiorajojen. Metsätieteen aikakauskirja 2/2014: 101–109. (In Finnish).

Hallanaro, E.-L., Kuusela, S., Juslén, A. & Ryttäri, T. (eds.) 2016: Metsän salainen elämä. Gaudeamus Oy. 395 p. (Awarded the 1st prize in “the nature book of the year 2016” competition).

Juslén, A., Pykälä, J., Kuusela, S., Kaila, L., Kullberg, J., Mattila, J., Muona, J., Saari, S. & Cardoso, P. 2016: Application of the Red List Index as an indicator of habitat change. Biodiversity and Conservation 25: 569–585.

Korhonen, K.T., Auvinen, A.-P., Kuusela, S., Punttila, P., Salminen, O., Siitonen, J., Ahlroth, P., Jäppinen, J.-P. & Kolström, T. 2016 (eds.): Biotalousskenaarioiden mukaisten hakkuiden vaikutukset metsien monimuotoisuudelle tärkeisiin rakennepiirteisiin. Luonnonvara- ja biotalouden tutkimus 51/2016. Luonnonvarakeskus, Helsinki. 36 p. (In Finnish).

Sirkiä, S., Lehtomäki, J., Lindén, H., Tomppo, E. & Moilanen, A. 2012: Defining spatial priorities for capercaillie Tetrao urogallus lekking landscape conservation in south-central Finland. Wildlife Biology 18: 337–353.

Juslén, A. & Sirkiä, S. 2013: The unknown northern green: evaluation of a national forest biodiversity research program. Biodiversity and Conservation 22: 811–823.

Kuusela, S., Anttila, S., Halme, P. & Juslén, A. 2017: Tutkimus tehostaa suojelutoimia: yhteenveto Puutteellisesti tunnettujen ja uhanalaisten metsälajien tutkimusohjelman vaikuttavuudesta. Metsätieteen aikakauskirja, Tieteen tori, artikkeli id 6987. (In Finnish).

Sirkiä, S., Lindén, A., Helle, P., Nikula, A., Knape, J. & Lindén H. 2010: Are the declining trends in forest grouse populations due to changes in the forest age structure? A case study of Capercaillie in Finland. Biological Conservation 143: 1540–1548.

Kotiaho, J.S., Kuusela, S., Nieminen, E., Päivinen J., Moilanen A. 2016: Framework for assessing and reversing ecosystem degradation – Report of the Finnish restoration prioritization working group on the options and costs of meeting the Aichi biodiversity target of restoring at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems in Finland. Reports Of The Ministry Of The Environment 15en | 2016. 65 p.

Sirkiä, S., Pellikka, J. & Lindén, H. 2010: Balancing the needs of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and moose (Alces alces) in large-scale human land use. European Journal of Wildlife Research 56: 249–260.

Published 2017-05-08 at 16:24, updated 2018-01-08 at 9:48

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