Research Team

Dr Satu Helske is the PI of the PREDLIFE consortium and leads the sociology subproject. She has a PhD in statistics and is currently working as a senior researcher in sociology on the INVEST flagship programme at the University of Turku. She has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford and in the Institute for Analytical Sociology at Linköping University. She works at the crossroads of sociology and statistics, with a strong interest in multigenerational and life course research. She has also developed new statistical methods and tools for the analysis and visualization of complex interdependent life trajectories and is a member of the executive team of the Sequence Analysis Association.

Dr Jouni Helske is the PI of the statistics subproject of the PREDLIFE consortium. He works in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Jyväskylä as a part of the thematic research area of decision analytics (DEMO), working on causal estimation problems and Bayesian inference. He has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in information visualization group at Linköping University, developing and evaluating visualization techniques. He has expertise in developing efficient algorithms for complex models especially in the context of time series, Bayesian statistics, prediction problems, and visualization of uncertainty. He has developed multiple statistical software packages for R.

Dr Simon Chapman is a senior researcher on the INVEST flagship programme at the University of Turku. He received his doctorate in evolutionary biology at the University of Turku in 2020, working with historic Finnish parish register data. His previous research combined biological theory with perspectives from demography, history, and sociology to investigate the context-dependence life-history outcomes associated with grandmaternal help, and how this may have played a role in the evolution of extended post-reproductive life. In PREDLIFE, he will analyse parental leave reforms and mechanisms in work-family trajectories.

Sanni Kotimäki is working as a senior researcher in the INVEST flagship programme in sociology at the University of Turku. She has been part of many research projects, the most previous being ‘Life course experiences, intergenerational processes, and child well-being and development’, an interdisciplinary collaboration with medical doctors and psychologists. She has also taught statistical methods for social scientists for many years. Her research experience is on intergenerational life course research and health disparities, with a focus on the role of early-life circumstances in health and socioeconomic wellbeing. In PREDLIFE, she continues with life course research and will analyse mechanisms in work-family trajectories.

Dr Patricia McMullin is a lecturer and a senior researcher on the INVEST flagship programme at the University of Turku. She received her doctorate from the European University Institute in 2016. She has been a member of the research team on two ERC funded projects (postdoctoral researcher on INDIRECT and PhD student on eduLIFE) and was a research assistant at the Geary Institute, University College Dublin. Her current research focuses on cumulative inequality over the life course, early childhood inequality, and childhood geographical mobility in the intergenerational transmission of (dis)advantage. In PREDLIFE she will work on impact evaluation of parental leave reforms.

Dr Santtu Tikka is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of University of Jyväskylä. Currently, he works as a part of the thematic research area of decision analytics (DEMO) with his main research topics being simulation of complex systems and causal inference – topics that he will continue to work on in PREDLIFE. In his previous research, he has worked on improving various identifiability algorithms as well as extending causal inference results to alternative causal models. He received the quadrennial doctoral thesis award for an outstanding doctoral thesis of the Finnish Statistical Society for the years 2017–2020. He has also developed open-source software packages for causal inference and simulation.