Biography: Prof. Milla Rautio, PhD
Dr. Milla Rautio obtained her PhD in Hydrobiology from University of Helsinki, Finland. She did her postdoctoral studies at Université Laval, Canada. She then worked as an Academy Research fellow at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She was appointed to a faculty position at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) in 2011.
Dr. Rautio holds the Canada Research Chair in Boreal and Polar Aquatic Ecology which builds upon her extensive experience working on lakes in the Canadian Subarctic (Northern Quebec), Arctic (Cambridge Bay) and High Arctic (Resolute, Lake Hazen, Ward Hunt), Alaska (Toolik), and Fennoscandia (Kilpisjärvi). She also conducts research on boreal lakes (Saguenay) and the St Lawrence River.
Dr. Rautio’s research group has a special interest in food web interactions and her expertise, including winter limnology, plankton, fatty acids, stable isotopes, dissolved organic carbon and land-lake interactions, have led to leading-edge research and new insights into boreal and polar ecosystem functioning.
Most of Dr Rautio's research and articles have focused on the Arctic regions. Working with the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), she played an early role in making the guidelines for monitoring of Arctic aquatic biodiversity. She was invited by the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) to initiate the long-term lake monitoring program at CHARS in Cambridge Bay. Currently her work is directly linked to baseline studies and the establishment of long term freshwater monitoring in the CHARS Experimental and Reference Area (ERA).
Dr. Rautio is currently working with American and European collaborators on several projects on under ice ecology, but most of her research activities are in the Canadian North. She leads a Polar Knowledge Canada project on Ecosystem Health of Arctic freshwaters, and co-leads ArcticNet and NSERC Strategic Partnership projects in the Canadian Arctic. She is working closely with Hunters and Trappers Association in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and samples lakes where the local community has seen a change in fish numbers, taste or health. Her research contributes to the IASC program Terrestrial Multidisciplinary distributed Observatories for the Study of Arctic Connections (T-MOSAiC), allowing her to collaborate with many groups internationally and to place her findings in a broad circumpolar context.
Dr. Rautio is a member of several national and international groups, boards and panels. Since 2018, she is an Associate Director of Center for Northern Studies (CEN). She is also a member in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, and a member in the Freshwater Expert Monitoring Groups (FEMG) of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). She is a member of the Interuniversity Research Groups in Limnology (GRIL). She has served or serves in several funding committees, including Garfield Weston Foundation and NSERC Northern Research Supplement committee.
In addition to her university teaching commitments, Dr. Rautio serves as a mentor for the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and has been invited to give lectures and field courses to international students in Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
At the same time, she leads the fatty acid and aquatic analytical laboratory at UQAC that she established after her recruitment to UQAC in 2011. This laboratory serves as a core for many of the projects in Dr. Rautio’s lab and also receives samples from several other researchers from Canada and abroad.