Ranunculus nivalis. Photo by: Julia Kemppinen

Global change and northern environments

Dr. Julia Kemppinen

Julia Kemppinen


Postdoctoral researcher


I am a physical geographer by training and a plant lover to the core. My heart beats especially for the northern environments, as both its abiotic and biotic systems intrigue me. Climate change and Arctic biodiversity are a major motivation for me personally, but most of all as a scientist.

My research approach is holistic, as I am keen on analysing complex systems and their structures and processes. My investigations have taken me from high-Arctic Svalbard to sub-alpine South Africa, as I have been on the search for global, generalisable relationships between organisms and their environment.

Science has led me to exciting opportunities and global networks, and I find that the most important aspect of work life is good team spirit, which I cherish and find to be vital for science.

Recent publications

Kemppinen, Niittynen, le Roux, Momberg, Happonen, Aalto, Rautakoski, Enquist, Vandvik, Halbritter, Maitner & Luoto (2021). Consistent trait–environment relationships within and across tundra plant communities. Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Kemppinen, Niittynen, Virkkala, Happonen, Riihimäki, Aalto & Luoto (2021). Dwarf shrubs impact tundra soils: Drier, colder, and less organic carbon. Ecosystems.

Niittynen, Heikkinen, Aalto, Guisan, Kemppinen & Luoto (2020). Fine-scale tundra vegetation patterns are strongly related to winter thermal conditions. Nature Climate Change.

Lembrechts, Aalto, Ashcroft, De Frenne, Kopecký, Lenoir, Luoto, Maclean, Nijs … Kemppinen et al. (2020). SoilTemp: a global database of soil temperatures. Global Change Biology.

Kemppinen, Niittynen, Aalto, le Roux & Luoto (2019). Water as a resource, stress and disturbance shaping tundra vegetation. Oikos.

Happonen, Aalto, Kemppinen, Niittynen, Virkkala & Luoto (2019). Snow is an important control of plant community functional composition. Oecologia

Kemppinen, Niittynen, Riihimäki & Luoto (2018). Modelling soil moisture variation in a high-latitude landscape using LiDAR and soil data. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.


Social media

Research groups

  • Physical Geography Research Group (PGRG)