Scientific Project Officer 
Mountain Research Initiative



Aino Kulonen is a geographer who holds a dual citizenship of Finland and Switzerland. In her position as a Scientific Project Officer at the MRI Coordination Office in Bern, Aino’s work includes promoting and supporting global change research in mountains through coordinating scientific projects, organising events, and managing the MRI Expert Database.

Aino started her academic path at the University of Helsinki (Finland), where she studied geography, finishing her Masters with expertise in artic vegetation change, spatial modelling tools, and a teaching diploma. In 2013, Aino moved to Davos (Switzerland) to work as a doctoral student in the 'Summit Flora' project at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF. In her thesis, she studied the patterns and mechanisms of vegetation change on European mountain summits over the past 130 years. She obtained her PhD diploma in ecology at the University of Bergen (Norway) in 2017. After a short stop over at the Plant Ecology Group at the ETH Zürich (Switzerland), she started her current position at the MRI in April 2018. Over the years, Aino has actively engaged with international collaborations and synthesis projects, especially in alpine and arctic ecology.  In her free time, Aino keeps herself busy with jogging, singing, yoga, and supporting the activities of the Finnish School in Zürich.

Research Focus

Keywords: Alpine and Arctic Ecology, Community Ecology, Functional Ecology, Biodiversity, Mountains, Global Change, Long-term Monitoring, Synthesis Work.

Aino’s research spans thematically from arctic biogeography to mountain ecology. In particular, questions related to the fate of mountain biodiversity under global change and mechanisms affecting it have kept her busy in recent years. Methodologically, Aino’s work spans from small scale field observations and experiments to monitoring and conducting continental scale synthesis. At the MRI, Aino coordinates and contributes to scientific projects and collaborations from various fields with the common goal of ensuring sustainable development for mountain people and environments under global change.


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