New PhD thesis: Bayesian Network applications for environmental risk assessment

Environmental risk assessment (ERA) is a process of estimating the probability and consequences of an adverse event due to pressures or changes in environmental conditions resulting from human activities. Its purpose is to search the optimal courses of action under uncertainty when striving for the sustainable use of environment through minimizing the potential losses. As environmental issues are typically multidisciplinary, addressing large amount of eco-societal inter-linkages, an optimal tool for the ERA should enable the efficient integration and meta-analysis of multidisciplinary knowledge. By describing the causalities and studying the interactions among its components, this kind of integrative analysis provides us better understanding about the environmental system in focus. In addition, the functional ERA application should allow exploring, explaining and forecasting the responses of an environmental system to changes in natural and human induced stressors, serving as a decision support model that enables the search of optimal management strategy, also in the presence of imperfect knowledge.

Master of Science (Agriculture and Forestry) Annukka Lehikoinen will defend her PhD thesis in Auditorium of the Maritime Centre Vellamo, Tornatorintie 99, Kotka, on 5th of September 2014 at 12 a.m. The examiner will be Professor Emeritus Kenneth Reckhow, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, USA, and the custos Professor Jukka Horppila, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland.

The thesis can be downloaded at E-thesis.