Dr. Virkkala completed a B.S. at the University of Helsinki, majoring in geography with minors in biology and geology. She earned an M.S. in physical geography with minors in geoinformatics and remote sensing in 2016, and she completed her Ph.D. in geography from the University of Helsinki in 2020. For her Ph.D. thesis, Dr. Virkkala combined her undergraduate and master’s work in tundra vegetation and soil quality with carbon cycling to study CO2 fluxes in Arctic-Boreal regions.
Dr. Virkkala is motivated by the natural beauty of tundra environments, the threat of climate change, and questions about carbon cycling and ecology that remain unanswered. She hopes to one day travel to Northern Siberia to collect data from poorly studied regions. Passionate about teaching and working with curious students, Dr. Virkkala has co-supervised several bachelor’s and master’s theses and taught eight courses at the University of Helsinki. She also served as a terrestrial working group fellow in the International Arctic Science Committee from 2018-2019.