People & Contact

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Consortium director
Marika Jalovaara

Communication manager
Erika Lilja

Mari Leino


FLUX researchers and staff

Marika Jalovaara FLUX Consortium director
University of Turku

I am a professor in sociology and demography. Most of my research focuses on links between fertility and family dynamics (that is, childbearing, cohabitation and marriage), social inequalities, gender, and the welfare state. I am the FLUX consortium’s Principal Investigator (PI) and director and the leader of FLUX-UTU sub-project and WP1 research. WP1 focuses on demographic, social, and economic drivers of changing fertility and family dynamics. FLUX/UTU sub-project participates in the implementation of many other work packages. I am thrilled about the FLUX project start!

Mikko Myrskylä FLUX consortium co-director
University of Helsinki

I am a professor of social data science at the University of Helsinki and a director at the Max Planck Institute of Demographic Research. Previously I have worked as a professor of demography at the London School of Economics, where I lead a research group funded by the European Research Council (ERC.) I conduct research in several fields of demography, including population health, trends of fertility, and population forecasts. In FLUX I am the consortium co-director and I lead the work packages 4 and 5.

Erika Lilja Impact and interaction manager
University of Turku

I am a research administration and impact professional with background in science studies and higher education research. My passion lies with research impact, especially societal impact and in developing societal interaction means and support structures – and in painting and writing novels. In FLUX, I am responsible for interaction activities.

Mari Leino FLUX project coordinator
University of Turku

I am an administrative professional with background in sociology and international affairs. My main goals in administration are ensuring a smooth workflow and facilitating engaging events and meetings between people. I work in FLUX as a coordinator, taking care of administrative matters and supporting the consortium’s work towards societal impact.

Milla Ikonen Communications Specialist
University of Turku

I am a communications professional specialized in science communication. In FLUX, I work with communication and interaction activities.

Katariina Salmela-aro
Katariina Salmela-Aro WP 2 leader
University of Helsinki

I am an Academy Professor at the University of Helsinki, and my main fields of research are educational sciences and psychology. I study many topics such as youth, motivation and well-being. I lead or have lead numerous research projects, and In FLUX I am responsible for the work package 2.

Pasi Moisio WP 7 leader
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

I am a research professor at THL and the co-PI of WP7, which focuses on family and social policy at FLUX. I am a sociologist by training and my research area covers socio-economic inequality and social policy. Along with research, I also work as an science advisor and policy expert in many  legislative drafting and experts groups for the government.

Eva Österbacka WP 6 Leader
Åbo Akademi University

I am an economist and my research interest has been within family economics. Previous research has included intergenerational income mobility, transition to the labour market, wellbeing, and household division of labour. I am the PI of WP6. I will study short- and long-term labour market outcomes of childcare leaves for both women and men, and furthermore the implications for fertility.

Mika Gissler WP 3 Leader
University of Turku & Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

I have a background in Economics and Statistics and I did my PhD in Epidemiology. Currently, I hold professorships and faculty appointments at the THL Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the University of Turku, Finland, the University of Oulu, Finland, and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. My main research focus has been in utilization of routinely collected health and welfare registers, and this I will also do in FLUX.

Heikki Tikanmäki WP 4 and WP 5 co-leader
Finnish Centre for Pensions

I am a pension geek with a background in mathematics. I am interested in demography as it is one of the main drivers of the future of pensions. My role in FLUX is to provide pension simulation models for WP4 and WP5.

Jessica Nisén WP1 co-leader, researcher
University of Turku

My background is in demography and sociology. I am interested in family-demographic questions, particularly in the determinants and consequences of childbearing. Cross-cutting themes in my research are gender and social stratification. My work is largely based on register data, and I am increasingly interested in regional and country comparative research designs. I am the Co-PI of the WP1 in FLUX and work on my research project “Low fertility in Europe in the beginning of the 21st century: patterns, causes, and consequences”, funded by the Academy of Finland.

Merita Mesiäislehto WP 7 co-leader, researcher
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

I am senior researcher at THL with a PhD in social policy. My research focuses on comparative welfare state research and social and economic inequalities. I have studied topics such as child support policies, lone parents and child poverty and the politics of gender and care work, with special interest in policy outcomes on vulnerable population groups in different countries. I am the Co-PI together with Pasi Moisio of WP7 that focuses on family and social policy.

Florencia M. Sortheix Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Helsinki

I am a Psychologist (Ph.D. in Social Psychology), Psychotherapist, and a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki. My areas of expertise are personal values, well-being and their interconnections across cultures. My research analyzes how the context shapes individuals´ values, the inequalities in well-being and their potential links to fertility.  I´m part of WP2 on the Psychosocial factors driving fertility and family dynamics in FLUX.

Rasmus Mannerström WP 2 co-leader, researcher
University of Helsinki

I am a social psychologist and Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki with a keen research interest in youth, higher education, life transitions, identity issues and well-being in a sociohistorical perspective. I have also studied values, political ideology and engagement among young adults. In FLUX I am part of WP2 on the Psychosocial factors driving fertility and family dynamics.

Johanna Lammi-Taskula Researcher
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

I am a sociologist. My research focuses on family policy and wellbeing of families with young children. Parental leave policies and gender equality are my favourite research topics. In FLUX I analyse the possibilities of national and local family policies such as leave schemes, benefits and care services to support the wellbeing of children and parents in everyday life.

Satu Helske Researcher
University of Turku

I am a senior researcher in the INVEST research centre at the University of Turku and I hold a PhD in statistics. I am interested in multigenerational and life course research, especially how educational, work, and family events are linked across the life course. I work in FLUX work packages 1 and 6, and I am the PI of the PREDLIFE research consortium where we study the causes fathers’ parental leave uptake and its consequences on the individual and his family.

Julia Hellstrand Doctoral researcher
University of Helsinki

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. My dissertation studies childbearing patterns in Finland and the Nordic countries, and focuses particularly on how the fertility decline in the 2010s relates to fertility postponement, partnership dynamics, and field of study. In flux I am part of WP4 and WP5.

Photo of Sanna Kailaheimo-Lönnqvist
Sanna Kailaheimo-Lönnqvist Postdoctoral researcher
University of Helsinki

I am a sociologist and my research interests have been in intergenerational inequality, life course, and family dynamics. I work as a postdoctoral researcher at FLUX and study family dynamics and fertility using register data.

Kelsey Q. Wright Postdoc Researcher (Ph.D.)
University of Helsinki

I am a post-doctoral researcher and teacher who specializes in demography and fertility, alongside research interests in inequity, culture, and uncertainty. My research often seeks to intertwine demographic and alternative components to better understand social phenomena and how to implement progressive social changes. I will be working on WPs 4 and 5 within the FLUX Consortium.

Johanna Närvi Senior researcher
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

I’m a sociologist with a PhD in Gender Studies and I work as a senior researcher at THL. My research focuses on work–family reconciliation, parental leave, parental division of labor and wellbeing of families with children. In FLUX, I will study mainly with survey data the effects of diverse family policies on the wellbeing of young children and their parents (WP7).

Photo of Katja Upadyaya.
Katja Upadyaya Associate professor, FLUX researcher
University of Helsinki

I am an Associate Professor on educational psychology at the University of Helsinki, and my research has focused on the well-being of students, parents, teachers, and school principals, examining also student engagement and socio-emotional skills, and taking into account various educational and occupational transitions. In FLUX I am part of WP2 and will study personal goals and fertility over time.

Photo of Lauri Hietajärvi.
Lauri Hietajärvi University Lecturer
University of Helsinki

My background is in educational psychology and I am a University Lecturer in University of Helsinki. One of my main research focus areas is youth and adolescent development and well-being from various perspectives. Methodologically my main field has been in latent variable and person-oriented modelling, but I’m currently exploring possibilities in utilizing and combining different sources of data from self-report to registers or physiological measurements, as well as text mining and natural language processing.

Maria Ponkilainen Doctoral researcher
University of Helsinki

I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. I am interested in family diversity and questions related to equality in family formation. In my dissertation, I study same-sex couples’ unions and childbearing.


Linus Andersson Researcher
University of Turku

I have a background in demography and economic history. My research interest includes the determinants of fertility, partnering, kinship, and family regimes in contemporary and historical populations. I am active in WP1 and also pursue research on partnership markets dynamics in my own project funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Anni Erlandsson Researcher
University of Turku

I am a sociologist with a background in demography. My research interests include family sociology and labor market inequality. In my dissertation work I focused on labor market discrimination based on gender, parenthood and ethnicity. In Flux I study childbearing, the use of family leaves and labor market outcomes.

Lydia Palumbo Researcher
University of Turku

I am a researcher with a background in demography and economics. My research area is in family demography and focuses on the intersection between young adults’ partnership dynamics and their economic resources. I mostly work with longitudinal data using both objective and subjective measures of economic uncertainty and adopting a “linked lives” perspective, e.g., performing analyses at the couple or intergenerational level. In the Flux project, I am part of the WP1.

Robert Stowe Project Researcher
University of Turku

I work as a project researcher (and coordinator) in the Flux consortium and University of Turku’s INVEST-flagship project. I have a background in sociology and previously worked at the University of Bath’s and European Research Council’s NEWFAMSTRAT-project as a field experiment lead on the Finnish branch of the project – researching gendered discrimination in hiring practices. Among Flux’s topics I am most interested in voluntary childlessness. Especially in the year 2023 I will focusing more on coordination tasks.