Maija Toivanen

Doctoral Researcher
Physical geography, geodiversity, science communication

Faculty of Science

Maija Toivanen

MSc, MA Maija Toivanen is a doctoral researcher in the Physical Geography Research Group. Her primary focus is investigating geodiversity – the abiotic diversity of nature – and its intricate connection to biodiversity, the biotic counterpart. Her doctoral research centers on developing quantitative measures of geodiversity, particularly at regional or landscape scales. Her study areas range from smaller regions, such as single geoparks, to continental scale in Europe. Most recently, Maija has been constructing European geodiversity data to be used in various research applications. She is especially interested in how information on geodiversity can contribute to conservation efforts. The overarching goal of her research is to deepen our comprehension of the diversity of nature, including both geodiversity and biodiversity. Thesis has been funded by Maj & Tor Nessling Foundation, The Finnish Cultural Foundation and Societas Pro Fauna et Flora Fennica.

Alongside research, Maija teaches computer labs in basic and advanced geoinformatics courses (GIS) in the University of Oulu.

She worked in the GlobalFood project in 2020–2021. Focus of the project is to model global accessibility to food resources using modern spatial analysis techniques.

Maija has a particular interest in science communication, having earned her MA degree in the field in 2023. In her thesis, she studied how researchers popularize their own science and what kind of popularization strategies they use in written text.

Research interests

  • geodiversity
  • biodiversity
  • nature conservation
  • geographic information systems
  • biogeography
  • freshwater ecology

Researcher information

Research groups

Contact information


Visiting address

Pentti Kaiteran katu 1
90014 Oulu

Postal address

P.O. Box 3000
FI-90014 University of Oulu