Pertti Ala-Aho

Pertti Ala-aho

D.Sc. (tech), M.Sc. (tech)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Cold climate hydrology

26 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 597 times, of which the most cited publication accounts for 169 citations. The author has a h-index of 14.00. (Scopus)


Ala-aho's research focuses on hydrological processes in Arctic and other snow-influenced regions. He gained his PhD in 2014 and has in total eight years of research experience in hydrology and hydrogeology, all as a part of international collaborations. Ala-aho is a motivated and curious young scientist who has built a strong track record in conducting high-level hydrological research in Northern environments.

Ala-aho is funded as a Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher (2018-2021) with a project: <<Where does water go when snow melts? New spatio-temporal resolution in stable water isotopes measurements to inform cold climate hydrological modelling>>. The project explores northern snow hydrology at Pallas atmosphere-hydrology-ecosystem supersite in Finnish Lapland, with collaborations in Alaska (UAA) and Sweden (SLU). 

Research interests

  • cold climate hydrology
  • hydrological modeling
  • isotope hydrology
  • groundwater - surface water interactions

Ala-aho has a keen interest to understand hydrological processes in cold regions of the world. He has leading expertise in combining hydrological modeling and environmental tracer techniques and a curious mind for research questions such as:

  • How runoff is generated in the Northern landscape: where does water go when snow melts?
  • How is climate change altering Northern hydrology and biogeochemistry: less snow, how about flow?
  • How snowmelt supports Northern ecosystems and societies: all life relies on groundwater, but is it form snowmelt or rain?

Ala-aho has explored these research questions at field sites in Arctic and Boreal and regions of Northern Scandinavia, Canada, Alaska, Western Siberia, and the Scottish Highlands.


Nutritional Landscape of Arctic Caribou, visiting scolar in studying how snow conditions influence caribou winter foraging in Arctic Alaska. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019)

Strategic research project of the University of Oulu, KVANTUM, Groundwater - surface water interaction in boreal peatland-esker systems (University of Oulu, 2017 ->)

VeWa; Vegetation effects on water flow and mixing in high-latitude ecosystems (University of Aberdeen, 2015-2017)

SIWA; Climate impact on the carbon emission and export from Siberian inland waters (University of Aberdeen, 2015-2017)

AQVI; Pohjavesien ja niistä riippuvien ekosysteemeiden kestävä hallinta (University of Oulu, 2013-2015)

GENESIS; Groundwater and Dependent Ecosystems: New Scientific and Technological Basis for Assessing Climate Change and Land-use Impacts on Groundwater (University of Oulu, 2010-2014)

Social media

Research groups

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2015-2017), University of Aberdeen - Northern Rivers Institute
  • Doctoral Student (2010-2014), Water Reseources and Environmental Engineering

Research visits

  • University of Waterloo - Earth and Environmental Sciences
    1.9.2012 to 31.12.2012

  • University of Alaska Anchorage - Department of Biological Sciences
    22.2.2019 to 27.6.2019

    Visiting researcher period: a fieldwork expedition in Arctic Alaska. Read "Science with arctic attitude" Blog