Dr. Virkkala’s research focuses on carbon cycling both at local and regional scales. She has spent several summers in northern Arctic Europe to understand the fine-scale heterogeneity in carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide fluxes. She is also one of the leading experts in northern carbon flux synthesis efforts and has extensive experience in leading research with collaborative networks across large scales. As a physical geographer, she is actively working to map and understand “carbon hotspots” across the entire region.
Passionate about teaching and working with curious early career researchers, Dr. Virkkala has co-supervised several bachelors and masters theses, taught eight courses at the University of Helsinki, and supervised research assistants at Woodwell Climate. She also served as a terrestrial working group fellow in the International Arctic Science Committee from 2018-2019 and is currently coordinating the Arctic-boreal carbon flux network for Permafrost Pathways as well as the Arctic-boreal carbon flux synthesis effort in the International Permafrost Association. She has also written articles that popularize her science.