Riikka Kinnunen


I am queer and I am an urban ecologist.//


I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Manitoba, studying how animals respond to rapid environmental change, such as urbanization. I do this studying population persistence and colonization in cities using both synthetic analyses and fieldwork. My path to becoming a scientist has not been the most straightforward and I spent years working in a completely different field. As a first-generation student, fully embracing my STEM identity has been difficult, but I can now say that I really love what I do.
Similarly, I fully realized I was queer/bi at 25, but have been proudly out since then. Being queer in academia means constantly coming out to new lab members and colleagues, but I’ve made a conscious decision to talk about my life with my wife as soon as possible, as I want people to get to know the real me – and visibility matters!