05 December 2016

2005 YSSPer Mari Myllymäki receives key project funding from the Academy of Finland

The Academy of Finland granted funding to 101 research projects under the key project funding scheme "Forging ahead with Research." Below Mari describes her research project that recently received this funding.

© Mari Myllymäki

© Mari Myllymäki

Mari Myllymäki's relationship with the Academy of Finland began with the Young Scientist Summer Program (YSSP) at IIASA in 2005. The Academy of Finland provided the funding that made her YSSP experience possible. After the YSSP, Mari started as a PhD student at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. After graduating in 2009 and starting as a postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University (Finland) in 2010, Mari received postdoctoral funding from the Academy of Finland for 2011-2015, which allowed her to apply for the key project funding. Earlier in the year, Mari was also recognized and received funding as an Academy Research Fellow, which position she now holds at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Below Mari describes her current research on the effect of spatial patterns of trees on the optimal sample plot design in forest inventories. This project was recognized as one of the 101 projects under the key project funding scheme "Forging ahead with Research".

"The key project funding was targeted at utilization of results of a previous project, in my case the postdoctoral research project "Replicated and marked spatial point processes with applications". Discussing with my colleagues at Natural Resources Institute Finland, I got the idea to apply for funding for utilizing these types of statistical spatial point process methods for studying how the optimal sample plot design depends on the spatial pattern of trees. Presumably, a cost-efficient sample plot size in a rather uniform forest stand is much smaller than in a forest stand with variable patterns of trees and tree sizes, at least in the case of traditional field measurements. For new measuring devices the situation may be different. Although the inventory methodologies are under constant development in particular because of increased utilisation of remote sensing information, accurate and precise field measurements are of crucial importance also for remote sensing aided inventories, for example as training data. Because field measurements are expensive, allocation of the measurements for an optimal use of resources is important.

An important part of the project, under the key project funding, is that the project results are discussed with end-users who are responsible for conducting forest inventories, either for specific purposes or national forest inventories. The end-users will then decide whether they want to use results to save costs or to obtain more reliable inventories.

This key project funding was a continuation from my postdoctoral research, while my YSSP experience at IIASA was the start to my academic career. I was still an undergraduate student at that time and had the possibility to work in the Forestry Program at IIASA. The summer at IIASA was really a great experience, not only because of an interesting project but also because I got to meet people from all around the world and to participate many great events and trips."

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Last edited: 07 December 2016

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