Pertti Ranta

Pertti Ranta

I have divided my professional career in three parts: 1) practicing ecology and conservation biology in my own environmental consulting company Metsätähti Ltd (years 1985-2005), 2) doing research on conservation biology and urban ecology (after 2005), and 3) science writer for The Finnish Association of non-fiction writers and in Science Editors and Journalists (after 2005).

1) As a leading consultant in Metsätähti Ltd., I participated in hundreds of projects in Finland and abroad. To mention a few, my company surveyed all the endangered vascular plants in the province of Åland. The results were published in yearly field reports (in Swedish) in the 1990s (Ålands hotade kärlväxter-kartering, skydd och vård), about 1000 pages in seven yearly reports. The vascular plant flora in the city of Vantaa was systematically and comprehensively mapped in 1990-1995. The results were published in a book “Plant life in Vantaa” in 1996 (442 p). The book was the first modern urban flora publication in Finland. My company participated in several development cooperation projects in Mozambique (Nacala, Nampula and Chimoio), Honduras and Brazil. >>read more
2) My main research interests are focused on plants in urban environment and my Ph.D. thesis was a collection of papers on urban ecology: e-thesis. Another interest is the conservation of endangered plants and specifically Viola uliginosa and Cephalanthera longifolia. A combination of these is my interest in urban rarity: what makes urban plants rare and extinction prone.

But urban ecology is not only ecology and botany. It is also about people. From 1997-2002 I participated as a researcher in a multidisciplinary project of the Finnish Biodiversity Research Programme (FIBRE). Some results are now included in my Ph.D. thesis. Currently I am collaborating with Dr. Ari Jokinen from the University of Tampere School of Management in a research project “Flexible knowledge and multidimensional knowledge generation”. In connection with this I completed a survey of urban plants in the city of Tampere (1998-2010).

I am also collaborating with Ari Jokinen, Ville Viljanen, Tarmo Virtanen and Antti Tanskanen in projects dealing with the spatial distribution of urban biodiversity and application of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the municipal level.

I have been supervising an MSc student in her thesis on river ecology in the urban context.

3) As a writer, I have published books on applied science, urban ecology and translated books for Charles Darwin’s bicentennial (The Voyage of the Beagle for the first time into Finnish and a new translation of the Origin of Species). A new book on urban climatology will appear soon.


P.O. Box 65
FI-00014, University of Helsinki