My research interests fall broadly on forest biodiversity, conservation and restoration. My main research questions have been how different forest restoration methods that resemble natural disturbances (forest fire, small-scale storm damage, gap-cutting), can enhance biodiversity in short- and long-term in boreal forest systems. To study short-term effects, I have used deadwood-dependent beetles and flat bugs, polypores, forest floor vegetation and tree stand structure as study objects. For long-term effects, we have used forest simulation tool MOTTI to predict the effects of the restoration methods on deadwood accumulation and tree species composition. Currently I work on questions related to measures of biodiversity, and on risks that active measures to restore forest biodiversity may cause to surrounding forest landscapes in the form of bark beetle invasions. In addition, I’m involved on projects of ecological offsetting and uneven-aged forestry.
In 2017-2018 I give lectures on various courses in ecology and conservation biology. I am the course convener in Conservation Biology, 15 hp (MX0119).
12/2017- Researcher, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden
11/2017 Postdoc, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden
07.11.2015 PhD in Ecology, Dept. of Ecology, University of Oulu, Finland
2011-2015 PhD-student, Dept. of Ecology, University of Oulu and Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), Finland.
2008-2010 Part-time Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Oulu, Finland
2005-2007 Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Oulu, Finland.
2005 MSc, Animal ecology, Dept. of Biology, University of Oulu, Finland.
I have supervised 3 MSc theses and am currently supervising one thesis for University of Oulu, Dept. pf Biology.
Hekkala, A.-M., Ahtikoski, A., Päätalo, M.-L., Tarvainen, O., Siipilehto, J. & Tolvanen, A. (2016) Restoring volume, diversity and continuity of deadwood in boreal forests. Biodiversity and Conservation 25: 1107-1132.
Hekkala, A.-M. 2015. Restoration of the naturalness of boreal forests. Acta Univ. Oul. A 654. Juvenes Print, Tampere, Finland.
Hägglund, R., Hekkala, A.-M., Hjältén, J. & Tolvanen, A. (2015) Positive effects of ecological restoration on rare and threatened flat bugs (Heteroptera: Aradidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 19:1089–1099.
Tarvainen, O., Hekkala, A.-M., Kubin, E., Tamminen, P., Murto, T. & Tolvanen, A. 2015. Soil disturbance and early vegetation response to varying intensity of energy wood harvest. Forest Ecology and Management 348: 153-163.
Hekkala, A.-M., Tarvainen O., & Tolvanen A. 2014. Dynamics of understory vegetation after restoration of natural characteristics in the boreal forests in Finland. Forest Ecology and Management 330: 55–66.
Hekkala, A-M, Päätalo, M-L, Tarvainen, O. & Tolvanen, A. 2014. Restoration of young forests in Eastern Finland: Benefits for saproxylic beetles. Restoration Ecology 22: 151-159.