Researchers

Mianna Meskus

My name is Mianna Meskus. I currently work as Associate Professor in Sociology at Tampere University and Docent in Sociology at the University of Helsinki. I lead the Reproductive Futures project together with Riikka Homanen. In my research I have studied how reproduction and embodiment are shaped through the development and use of various medical technologies. To complement this expert-based approach, I have investigated the experiences of pregnant women in maternity care as well as the experiences of women suffering from childlessness undergoing infertility treatment. Thanks to this research, I have been given the opportunity to act as a specialist in ethics of reproductive medicine in several training events and discussion forums for medical and health care staff. I am excited about the Reproductive Futures project, because the collaboration between researchers, authorities and citizens opens new perspectives and research questions to the links between family-building, population development and climate change. These themes, I think, play a crucial role in future societal challenges and the solutions developed to tackle them.

Riikka Homanen

I am Riikka Homanen, Academy Research Fellow in gender studies at Tampere University and a docent in sociology at the University of Lapland. My research and research projects I lead have almost always been concerned with reproduction, reproductive technology and healthcare, and social relations, such as kin, class, gender and race/ethnicity, in (assisted) reproduction. More recently, I have focused on the (global) markets and industry of reproduction. I am interested in the ethical and political work involved in maintaining, altering, advancing and participating in the fertility markets. I am the co-leader of the Reproductive futures project.

Anna-Maija Castrén

My name is Anna-Maija Castrén and I work as an Associate Professor of Sociology (tenure track) at the University of Eastern Finland, in Kuopio. My fields of interest include family and personal relationships studies as well as social network analysis. I am fascinated about the diversified ways to live as a family and the various social relationships and their figurations that surround us in our everyday life.

Kaisa Kivipuro

My name is Kaisa Kivipuro and I am doctoral student in the Unit of Sociology, University of Helsinki. In my PhD research, I study an involuntary absence of a uterus and childlessness that originates from the condition. My research explores novel and untypical means to have a child and form a parent–child relationship, such as gestational surrogacy, uterus transplant and kinning strategies in which the relation does not include shared genes. I’m also editor in chief of Perheyhteiskunta, an online publication which popularizes social scientific research on family in Finnish.

Tiia Sudenkaarne

I am Tiia Sudenkaarne (MSocSc, MA), a PhD Candidate at University of Turku and a grant researcher at University of Tampere. I analyse gender and sexual diversity in medical ethics by feminist and queer bioethical theory. I am particularly interested in reproduction paired with posthumanist issues, and in cutting-edge womb-related technologies.

Elina Helosvuori

My name is Elina Helosvuori. I’m writing my doctoral dissertation on how assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) change the notions of what it means to be fertile or infertile in contemporary high tech society. My research is grounded in sociology, science and technology studies, and gender studies. I apply ethnographic methods to explore clinical practices and laboratory technologies of ARTs, and the affective and embodied experiences of going through infertility treatments.

Johanna Sarlio-Nieminen

I am Johanna Sarlio-Nieminen. I am preparing my doctoral thesis in sociology in University of Helsinki and as part of a research team in ‘Finnish Birth Culture in Transition’ – project (Kone Foundation) where my focus is on midwifery, midwife’s place and agency in hospital births in Finland. After my MA I have also trained as a midwife and have worked both as a hospital midwife and a homebirth midwife. Reproductive health, fertility and family planning have also been my focus for several years as a coordinator of sexual health project in Eastern Africa.

Elli Lehikoinen

My name is Elli Lehikoinen. I am currently finishing my doctoral thesis in Finnish Literature in University of Turku. In my dissertation, I analyse contemporary Finnish literature discussing the human reproduction process. I am especially interested in how literature that analyses reproduction considers the concept of humanity and its futures. I scrutinize how literature depicts the entanglement of organicity and technologies, and how the themes of gender-related power and materiality are negotiated in it. I am interested in how literature tackles tense issues of the futures of reproduction, and how it contributes in the ethical and political discussions of the subject. I am very excited about participating the Reproductive Futures project, as the project offers diverse expertise and interesting discussions on the complex subject of reproduction.

Anna Moring

I am Anna Moring, I work as senior adviser in the Network of Family Diversity. My job is to make Finland a better place for children and their parents in all sorts of family constellations. Thinking about reproductive futurities and removing hinders of reproduction is an essential part of my work. In a perfect world everyone could achieve their preferred number of children. I wrote my PhD on family ideals, and have since been researching the borders of family and kinship both in my present job and as a researcher at the University of Helsinki.

Venla Oikkonen

My name is Venla Oikkonen, and I work as Academy Research Fellow in Gender Studies at Tampere University. I am a feminist science and technology studies scholar, who is interested in genetics, epigenetics and ideas of inheritance, technologies of tracking and measuring bodies, as well as cultural imaginaries of embodiment and biotechnology. My current project, funded by the Academy of Finland, analyzes cultural debates about vaccines, immunity, and risks.