Harri T. Kankaanpää

Senior researcher

Harri T Kankaanpää kuva

Email: firstname.lastname@syke.fi
Tel: +358 295 251 258
Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)
Marine and freshwater solutions
Pollution effects
Address: Building A, Ultramarine Alley 4,
Kuninkaantammi, Helsinki, Finland




CV (pdf)

Current responsibilities

I work at SYKE as a senior researcher. My responsibilities include leading the monitoring project on harmful substances in the pelagic Baltic Sea. This is part of the activities of the Finnish marine monitoring outlined in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM). I evaluate the environmental impacts of oil spills in the marine environment.

How autonomous (in situ) underwater detectors are suitable to making chemical observations have been in my recent interest. Since 2016 have been involved as a specialist of acoustic research instruments in the modernisation of r/v Aranda, participated to the EU Horizon 2020 GRACE project (oil detection using field sensors) and participated to the development and fine tuning of the Finnish marine monitoring protocols (road map of Finnish marine monitoring).

I am responsible for the scientific planning of two research entities to be carried out on board the r/v Aranda in 2018 (FINMARI cruise). These upcoming projects examine the water currents and sedimentation within Baltic seafloor canyons, plus the origin of sulfide minerals in the water column.


M.Sc.1992, University of Helsinki, major: organic chemistry

Ph. D.1998, University of Helsinki, major: organic chemistry


I am a chemist by education. I worked with Fourier infrared spectroscopy at the University of Helsinki in the beginning of my scientific career. During the master thesis stage I got into the Finnish Institute of Marine Research to research and develop protocols to measure pulp and paper mill emissions in the marine environment. The topic of my Ph. D. thesis was man-made and natural organic halogen compounds in the marine realm.

I have a 25-year experience in marine research. Especially marine sediments and compounds produced by harmful algae have been targets of my research. I have worked approximately 450 days on various research vessels, predominantly on the Finnish r/v Aranda. I have been acting as a chief of numerous expeditions on r/v Aranda since 1994. I participated to the FINNARP marine expedition to the Antarctica in 1995/1996.

Special assignments

  • ICES Marine Chemistry working group, member, 1992 –
  • Peer reviewer for several scientific journals, 1992 –
  • Adjunct professor with teaching assignments at the University of Helsinki (Lahti), 2005 –
  • Editorial Board of Environmental Pollution, 2008 –
  • HELCOM EN-HZ Group, member, 2015 –

Selected publications

An updated list of these contributions can be found at @GoogleScholar and @ResearchGate. I have contributed to approximately 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and several other publications.

Akter S., Vehniäinen M., Kankaanpää, H., Lamminmäki U. 2017. Rapid and Highly Sensitive Non-Competitive Immunoassay for Specific Detection of Nodularin. Microorganisms 5(58); DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms5030058.
Kankaanpää, H.T., Virtasalo J.  2017. Rapid fluctuations in the northern Baltic Sea H2S layer. Journal of Marine Systems 176: 24-37.

Nuorteva, J., Kankaanpää, H.T. 2016. Relocation of soft mud deposits: An example from the Archipelago Sea, northern Baltic Sea. Marine Geology 380: 148-162.

Barda I., Kankaanpää, H., Purina, I., Balode, M., Sjövall, O., Meriluoto, J. 2015. Bioaccumulation of hepatotoxins – A considerable risk in the Latvian environment. Environmental Pollution 196: 313-320

Areas of interest

Improving field observation techniques * Underwater measurement stations * Small-time-window changes in marine chemical status * Relationships between seafloor quality and water currents * Smart use of echo sounding technology * Underwater sounds * Unknown marine phenomena, Space research * Popularisation of research findings * Visualisation and sonification of data * Audiovisual and music production plus editing

Published 2017-09-20 at 15:10, updated 2023-01-11 at 13:04

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