Stefan Heinänen

Stefan Heinänen

Stefan Heinänen is a senior lecturer, Head of Degree Programme and Researcher at the Faculty of Bioeconomy. Stefan is a spatial ecologist with key expertise in species distribution modelling, GIS, statistical applications and spatial planning. Stefan completed both his Master’s and PhD studies at Åbo akademi University. The title of his doctoral thesis was “From Individual species to communities – Modelling spatial patterns of breeding bird species in a complex and changing landscape”.

After graduating Stefan worked as an environmental biologist at DHI in Denmark between 2010 and 2019. During his time at DHI he worked with a wide variety of applied marine ecology projects often related to offshore wind farms and seabirds or other human-nature interaction in coastal or marine environments. Stefan has mostly been working with projects in European countries surrounding the North Sea and Baltic Sea but also elsewhere in the world.

Since 2019 Stefan has been working for Novia as Head of the Degree Programme Sustainable Coastal Management.



Current projects

Stefan is currently involved in the following projects:
  • “DIVERLOG”, investigating impacts of offshore windfarms on Red-throated Divers
  • “GeoICT4e”, pedagogical capacity building in Tanzania in the field of geospatial applications
  • “Våtmarkskartan", mapping constructed wetlands in western Uusimaa

Selected Publications & Research Output

Peer reviewed
  • Kleinschmidt, B., Dorsch, M., Heinänen, S., Morkūnas, J., Schumm, Y. R., Žydelis, R., & Quillfeldt, P. 2022. Prevalence of Haemosporidian Parasites in an Arctic Breeding Seabird Species—The Red-Throated Diver (Gavia stellata). Microorganisms, 10(11), 2147.
  • Kleinschmidt, B., Burger, C., Bustamante, P. et al. 2022 Annual movements of a migratory seabird—the NW European red-throated diver (Gavia stellata)—reveals high individual repeatability but low migratory connectivity. Marine Biology 169, 114.
  • Skov, H., Theophilus, T., Heinänen, S., Fauchald, P., Madsen, M., Mortensen, J.B., Uhrenholdt, T., Thomsen, F. 2021. Real-time predictions of seabird distribution improve oil spill risk assessments, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 170, 112625.
  • Heinänen, S., Zydelis, R., Kleinschmidt, B., Dorch, M., Burger, C., Morkunas, J., Quillfeldt, P., Nehls G. 2020. Satellite telemetry and digital aerial surveys show strong displacement of red-throated divers (Gavia stellata) from offshore wind farms. Marine Environmental Research 160: 104989.
  • Bouchet, P.J., et al. 2019. Better model transfers require knowledge of mechanisms. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 34(6):489-490.
  • Burger, C., Schubert, A., Heinänen, S., Dorch, M., Kleinschmidt, B., Zydelis, R., Morkunas, J., Quillfeldt, P., Nehls, G. 2019. A novel Approach for assessing effects of ship traffic on distributions and movements of seabirds. Journal of environmental Management 251: 109511.
  • Kleinschmidt, B., Burger, C., Dorsch, M., Nehls, G., Heinänen, S., Morkūnas, J., Žydelis, R., Moorhouse-Gann, R.J., Hipperson, H., Symondson, W.O.C., & Quillfeldt, P. 2019. The diet of red-throated divers (Gavia stellata) overwintering in the German Bight (North Sea) analysed using molecular diagnostics. Marine Biology, 166:77.
  • Žydelis, R., Dorsch, M., Heinänen, S., Nehls, G., Weiss, F. 2019. Comparison of digital video surveys with visual aerial surveys for bird monitoring at sea. Journal of Ornithology, 160: 567-580.
  • Heinänen, S., Chudzinska, M.E., Mortensen, J.B., Teo, Z.E.T, Utne, K.R., Sivle, L.D., Thomsen, F., 2018. Integrated modelling of Atlantic mackerel distribution patterns and movements: A template for dynamic impact assessments. Ecological Modelling, 387: 118-133.
  • Yates, K., et al. 2018. Outstanding challenges in the transferability of ecological models. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2418: 1-13.
  • Heinänen, S., Zydelis, R., Dorsch, M., Nehls, G., Skov, H., 2017. High resolution sea duck distribution modeling: Relating aerial and ship survey data to food resources, anthropogenic pressures, and topographic variables. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 119: 175–190.
  • Skov, H., Desholm, M., Heinänen, S., Kahlert, J.A., Laubek, B., Jensen, N.E., Zydelis, R., Jensen, B.P. 2016. Patterns of migrating soaring migrants indicate attraction to marine wind farms. Biology Letters 12.
  • Skov, H., Heinänen, S.  Thaxter, C. B., Williams, A. E., Lohier, S. & Banks, A. N. 2016. Real-time species distribution models for conservation and management of natural resources in marine environments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 542:221-234.
  • Heinänen, S., Erola, J. & von Numers, M. 2012. High resolution species distribution models of two nesting water bird species: a study of transferability and predictive performance. Landscape Ecology 27:545-555.
  • Heinänen, S. & von Numers, M. 2009. Modelling species distribution in complex environments: an evaluation of predictive ability and reliability in five shorebird species. Diversity and Distributions, 15:266-279.
  • Heinänen, S., Rönkä, M. & von Numers, M. 2008. Modelling the occurrence and abundance of a colonial species, the arctic tern Sterna paradisaea in the archipelago of SW Finland. Ecography, 31:601-611.
Book chapters
  • Skov, H. & Heinänen, S. 2015 Predicting the Weather-Dependent Collision Risk for Birds at Wind Farms. Pp. 3-21 in Hull, C., Stark, E., Jau, J., Bennett, E. & Smales, I. (Eds.) Wind and Wildlife. Proceedings from the Conference on Wind Energy and Wildlife Impacts, October 2012, Melbourne, Australia (Springer, 2015).

  • Skov, H., Heinänen, S., Arrenborg Hansen, D., Ladage, F., Schlenz, B., Zydelis, R. & Thomsen, F. 2014. Marine habitat modeling for harbor porpoises in the German Bight. Pp 152-168. In: BSH & BMU (Eds.) Ecological Research at the Offshore Windfarm alpha ventus - Challenges, Results and Perspectives. Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Springer Spectrum. 201 pp.

Project reports (selection)
  • Skov, H., Heinänen, S., Žydelis, R., et al. (2011). Waterbird Populations and Pressures in the Baltic Sea.

  • Andersen, J.H. & Stock, A. (eds.), Mannerla, M., Heinänen, S. & M. Vinther, M. 2013. Human uses, pressures and impacts in the eastern North Sea. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy. 136 pp. Technical Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy No. 18.

  • Heinänen, S. & Skov, H. 2015. The identification of discrete and persistent areas of relatively high harbour porpoise density in the wider UK marine area, JNCC Report No. 544, JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 0963-8091.

  • Edelvang K., Gislason H., Bastardie F., Christensen A., Egekvist J., Dahl K., Goeke C., Petersen I.K., Sveegaard S., Heinänen S., Middelboe A.L., Al-Hamdani Z., Jensen J.B. & Leth J. (2017). Analysis of marine protected areas – in the Danish part of the North Sea and the Central Baltic around Bornholm. Part 1: The coherence of the present network of MPAs DTU Aqua Report No. 325-2017. National Institute for Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, 105 pp.

  • Skov, H.; Heinänen, S.; Norman, T.; Ward, R.; Méndez-Roldán, S.; Ellis, I. (2018). ORJIP Bird Collision and Avoidance Study. Report by Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP). Report for Carbon Trust.


Stefan Heinänen

Senior Lecturer