I am an ecologist and my main research area covers community ecology and the responses of separate species to various anthropogenic disturbances. I am interested in fundamental questions on how the communities are formed as well as in practical questions on how communities could be saved or restored.
I finished my BSc degree at Vilnius University, Lithuania. There I investigated carabid beetle assemblages in deciduous forests of different age and management levels.
In 2009 I started my MSc studies in biology at Aarhus University, Denmark, and performed some experiments on the abilities of predatory beetle Anchomenus dorsalis to choose among differently composed (in terms of lipid, protein and carbohydrate proportions) artificial diets.
In the summer of 2010 I started to study the effects on ground beetle assemblages in urban forests in Helsinki in relation to differently contrasting forest edges (low vs. medium vs. high contrasting edges). I also assisted in research on meadow-like landfill hills in Helsinki, investigating patterns in carabid assemblages on north vs. south facing slopes. In addition, I assisted in the investigation of carabid beetle assemblages in catchment areas in Helsinki and Lahti.
I successfully completed my MSc studies at Aarhus University in June of 2011, and have been doing my PhD in the Urban Ecology Research Group, University of Helsinki since September 2011. The main purpose of my PhD thesis is to investigate the effects of the degradation of habitat quality (due to drainage and urbanisation) on the wildlife of pine mires and how effective efforts are to improve habitat quality (by restoring degraded habitat patches). As such, my studies will provide better solutions for the conservation and restoration of mires and the development of management strategies in urban and rural environments. I am collaborating with scientists and conservation practitioners from the University of Jyväskylä, University of Oulu, Metsähallitus, ELY-keskus, SYKE, Finnish Museum of Natural History, METLA and the Metapopulation Research Group, University of Helsinki. I also contributed to the PREDICTS project of Natural History Museum in London. All these collaborations help me to include a broad range of taxa into my PhD research. These include beetles (Carabidae), spiders (Araneae), ants (Formicidae), butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), crane flies (Nematocera) and plants.
Currently, I am co-supervising MSc student Teemu Juselius, who investigates mire vegetation responses to urbanisation.
Other scientific areas I’m interested in include biodiversity, metacommunities, landscape ecology, animal behaviour, evolutionary biology, macroecology and biogeography.