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Who We Are

Our core team is a group of experienced professionals in science, technology, art, business, and media.

Helena Telkänranta

Founder and CEO

Helena has a Ph.D. in animal behaviour science and is one of Finland's leading experts in the science of animal minds. At Arador, Helena's responsibilities include project management, contributing to design and writing, and contacts to our partner organizations. Previously, Helena has worked as a research scientist at the University of Helsinki in Finland and the University of Bristol in the UK, and has planned and directed groundbreaking projects for improving animal management in Finland and abroad, such as piloting capacity-building in animal-friendly methods for training working elephants in south Asia. In Finland, she is also known as a nonfiction writer with multiple awards and a long career in the public communication of science. Alongside her career, Helena has done voluntary work in areas such as environmental protection and human rights. One of her favorite free-time activities is spending time in nature.

Maija Karala

Science writer and illustrator

Maija has a Master's degree in evolutionary biology and a versatile career in public communication of science - as a science journalist, non-fiction writer, illustrator, and lecturer. At Arador, Maija contributes to planning books and games, collects scientific information, and creates illustrations. Maija belongs to the development teams of our mobile game Lake Adventure and our documentary film Surprising Rats, and the beloved comic-book art in the Mind of a Horse is drawn by her. Maija belongs to the development teams of our mobile game Lake Adventure and our documentary film Surprising Rats.

Ville Sinkkonen

Concept artist and 3D artist

Ville is considered among the top in Finland among artists depicting animals with scientific accuracy. His diverse skills include high art drawings and paintings, 3D computer modeling, creating characters and assets for mobile and computer games, and concept art for virtual reality projects. At Arador, Ville contributes to the planning of book, game, and virtual reality projects and produces 3D models and illustrations. Ville belongs to the development teams of our mobile game Lake Adventure and the virtual learning environment for professional dairy farms. His work includes, among others, the 3D models in Dog's World VR, the elegant cover art of The Mind of a Horse, the colors of the comic-book art in the book, as well as the art drawings at the end of each chapter. Ville has previously worked in virtual reality and game studios and has produced art and 3D models as commissioned work for various domestic and international organizations, such as the BBC.

Taina Tengvall

Expert in administration and marketing

Taina has a Master's degree in economics and business administration, specializing in marketing, communications, and management. Taina has been involved in the development of Arador since its inception and is a member of the Board of Directors. Taina participates in planning Arador's strategy and communications, runs part of the administration, and participates in developing our medical innovations. With more than ten years of work experience in various companies, including in the legal and IT sectors, she has acquired a wide range of professional skills. Taina is interested in the well-being of people and animals, and one of her favorite free-time activities is spending time in nature.

Joonas Gustafsson

Expert in service design and usability

Joonas has a Master's degree in computer science. He is an experienced IT professional specializing in service design, usability, and concept design. During his IT studies, he also completed a course in zoology and is now one of Finland's leading experts in reptile and amphibian care. At Arador, Joonas belongs to the development team of our mobile game Lake Adventure and contributes to solutions requiring IT expertise. Joonas has twenty years of work experience in the IT sector. In addition to his daily work, he serves as an expert on the Advisory Board for the Welfare of Companion and Hobby Animals at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland. He is also involved in hands-on animal rescue at his local humane society and a voluntary group specializing in reptiles and amphibians. His remaining little spare time is spent on the upkeep of a countryside home and reading detective stories.

Mari Tienhaara

Expert in thermal imaging

Mari has a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine and is the leading expert in Finland in the use of thermal imaging as a diagnostic tool at veterinary clinics. At Arador, Mari is involved in planning and running research projects in the development of thermal imaging methods to improve pain detection and treatment. Parts of Arador's research are carried out at Veterinary Clinic Askel, a leading center in Finland for pain management in dogs, where Mari is a founder and co-owner. Mari works at Askel as a veterinarian, specializing in cardiology, laboratory diagnostics, and thermal imaging.

Johanna Oksanen

Expert in visual communication and international partnerships

Johanna has a Master's degree in visual journalism, and her expertise includes international networking and copyright. At Arador, Johanna is involved in planning and carrying out visual communication and global marketing. Johanna has been working in photojournalism for thirty years. In addition to Finland, she has lived and worked in the UK and Canada. Johanna is particularly interested in communication between animals. She is a member of the board of the Finnish Nature Association. In her free time, Johanna enjoys hiking and activities with her dog.

Matleena Lappalainen

Assistant in science communication

Matleena is studying environmental sciences and communications at the University of Helsinki, and one of her interests is the use of social media in science communication. At Arador, Matleena works on communication tasks such as producing social media content, maintaining social media accounts, and customer service. She belongs to the development team of our book The Mind of a Horse. Matleena's international experience stems from having spent time as an exchange student in the United States. Her hobbies include horses and dogs.

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