Otto Latva
 PhD, Adjunct Professor

+358 29 450 3450

+358 50 328 9846

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ORCID identifier

Areas of expertise
History; Biodiversity; Human-Animal Studies; Human-Plant Studies; Sea; Ocean; Baltic Sea; 20th Century; 19th Century; 18th Century; 16th Century; Environmental History; Cultural History; Posthumanism; More-than-human history; Oral History; History of Science; History of Zoology; History of Knowledge; Maritime History; Biodiversity loss; Climate Change; Digital Humanities; Big Data; Giant Squid; Mollusks; Insects; Sea monsters; History of Animal Farming; Maritime Literature; Seafarers; History of Whaling;


I am a historian focusing on human-animal and human-plant studies as well as environmental history. I have the title of docent in the field of more-than-human history. I have studied widely the early modern as well as the nineteenth-century and twentieth-century societies and cultures. In my previous studies, I have investigated the shared history of humans and animals, the long-term understanding of the marine environment, and the history of seafaring culture. I am also interested in many other matters concerning the relationship between humans and non-human nature.  In addition to this, I am interested in the methods of digital humanities.

I lead a research project Disappeared, Endangered and Newly Arrived Species: The Human Relationship with the Changing Biodiversity of the Baltic Sea (HumBio). The webpage of the project is The project is funded by the Academy of Finland 2021-2025.

I also lead the Memories of Porpoises: The shared past of humans and porpoises in the Finnish sea area  project. The project is funded by the Weisell Foundation 2022-2023 and the webpage of the project is

In addition to these, I lead Fauna and Flora Fennica (FaFFe) project, funded by the Alred Kordelin Foundation's Major Cultural Projects programme 2023-2025 . The webpage of the project is


From 2022 to 2024, I will be a University Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Studies. I will be responsible for the Graduate Seminar on the subject and will also teach several courses. I am also responsible for teaching and coordinating museology on the Pori campus.

Altogether, I have taught several lectures from the perspective of more-than-human history, mainly on Human-Animal Studies. I have also organized several popular courses mainly with the above-mentioned theme. For instance, I organized and coordinated a lecture course with multiple lecturers on Animal and Plant Studies within Humanities with my colleague Heta Lähdesmäki in 2015. In 2020, I organized and taught an international lecture course "Sea, Nature and Finnish Culture", which was especially popular among exchange students. In addition to sole lectures and courses, I have led thematic seminar courses for the MA students of Cultural History from 2013 to 2018. During the first years, I led the seminar on Oral History. Since 2015, I have led the "Memory and Narrative" seminar with my colleague Maarit Leskelä-Kärki and later with Karoliina Sjö. In 2021, I taught a seminar on Environmental and Maritime history. 

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Last updated on 2023-12-07 at 12:04