Close X
Hawk Owl Oulu, Finland

Our Staff

Finnature is a friendly working community and we believe that this shows in all of our actions. We respect our staff because they make us what we are! We choose our staff carefully. Our guides have expertise in birds, mammals or plants, or they are keen photographers ready to share their vast knowledge about photography or our unique northern nature. One thing is common for all – we are nature lovers. Meet our staff!


Jari Peltomäki

Chairman of the board, wildlife photographer 

Jari is the founder and co-owner of Finnature Oy Ltd. He is a professional wildlife photographer whose images have been awarded in numerous international photo competitions. He has also judged many of the international wildlife photography competitions. Jari is the author of several bird and wildlife books and articles, and his images have been used in magazines and books worldwide.

Jari is an OM SYSTEM Ambassador and a passionate bird photographer. He is always ready for new adventures! His extensive photo material from Finland and abroad represents all wildlife and landscapes. Jari leads most of Finnature’s photography tours abroad and wintery Hokkaido is his favorite destination.

Jari’s photos can be seen at:

Kaisa Peltomäki

Managing director, wildlife photographer

Kaisa is a nature lover through and through. Her backgrounds are in economics but she has photographed through all of her life, first as a hobby and then as an event photographer. After joining Finnature, she has focused only on nature photography. Kaisa is OM SYSTEM Ambassador and a passionate nature photographer.

Kaisa is the co-owner and managing director of Finnature since 2015. She has strong experience as an EU project manager and in regional marketing projects. While she mostly stays behind the scenes, at times you can find her leading Finnature’s photography tours!

Kaisa’s photos can be seen at on her Facebook and Instagram pages.

Irene Hiltula

Sales specialist

Irene has worked within the tourism field for many years. She loves traveling and enjoys nature in many ways, at times by hiking, biking or skiing, and at times relaxing at her summer cottage by a river. You will meet her at our office and via email – she is passionate in creating quality tailored tours and making your tour successful!

Pirita Latja

Principal guide

Pirita is always happy and always ready to help. She has worked with us for almost fifteen years already, guiding birdwatching and photography groups. Her passion for nature led her to academia and she has a Ph.D in ecology – her studies took her to the heart of Africa. Lucky for us, her father Ari Latja, a long-term guide for Finnature, guided her into the world of birds already in early childhood. Since then, birds and nature have always been close to her heart. Nowadays, when she is not guiding, she can be found at our office.

Jukka Sainio


Juke is Finnature’s maintenance master. Wherever we have something to be fixed, whether it is at our Villa Finnature Guesthouse or at one of our hides, Juke will fix it before we even know! Our hides in Oulu are built by Juke.

Sunna Oksala

Chef and housekeeper at Villa Finnature

If your group is staying at Villa Finnature Guesthouse, you will meet Sunna – our chef and housekeeper! She has a 30 years long history in the restaurant industry: she had her own restaurant in Lapland and has worked as a chef in Ireland and as a chef and waitress in various restaurants for over 10 years. She will make you feel at home at Villa Finnature and prepare tasty meals from local ingredients for the group!


Antero Topp

Antero is a nature and bird enthusiast born in 1952. He has been interested in birds almost 60 years. He is naval architect by profession but since 2000 he has guided birding trips for Finnature and led other nature trips for Olympia travel company mainly to Africa but also to Asia, South America and even Antarctica. He was also the editor-of-chief of Alula magazine since 1995.

In Finnature Antero has guided birding trips besides in Finland also in all Baltic countries. About ten years he has guided photographic trips to Norway.

Antti Peuna

Antti has been fascinated by nature and birds since his childhood in Kuusamo. Even today the northern Taiga forest with its skulking birds it the place where he feels most at home! Antti likes to keep his birding versatile: he enjoys migration watching, ringing, bird races and photography – the feeling of improvement and learning keeps him addicted to birdwatching and photography! He has continued his hobby into guiding for Finnature and likes to share his enthusiasm for nature and birds with our clients.

Arto Keskinen

Arto has been a birder for decades! His first bird notes are from the 1970’s and his passion for birds has continued ever since, taking him to all corners of Finland from southern-western remote islands to eastern-northern wilds of the country. Birding has also led him abroad, to neighboring countries and beyond – Africa and America. In addition to birding, he also enjoys bird photography.

When on the field, Arto enjoys not only the birds, but also the overall nature experience, aesthetics of landscapes and environments, birding company and even the physical challenges you might encounter! Sharing the moments with others and striving for the best is the main thing Arto wants to deliver as a guide.

Elmeri Juuti

Elmeri is a birder, professional nature photographer and OM SYSTEM ambassador from Turku. He enjoys every second in nature with or without the camera. At the age of six, Elmeri first started birdwatching and one year later he started photographing as well. His interest in nature was inspired by his father. Elmeri’s pictures have received several awards in Finnish photo competitions and in other Nordic countries as well as in Europe.

Jari Ullakko

Jari lives with his family year round in beautiful Baltic outer archipelago, Stora Ångestö island in Ingå municipality. It’s here nearby at Rönnskär bird migration observatory he started his ornithological career as a ring marking assistant when still a teenager. Jari is educated as an industrial designer and has spent over thirty years of his career working in design and marketing in different parts of the world. While working in metropolis of the world and constantly travelling he never lost his passion for ornithology. Jari is now back in Finland enjoying nature and his original passion, birdwatching again.

Jarmo Manninen

Jarmo is a professional photographer and fascinated especially by northern nature. He moved to Kuusamo 10 years ago to fulfill his dreams as a professional photographer. Since 2014, he has guided photographers and shared his passion for birds, wildlife and landscapes of the north.

Jarmo has photographed elsewhere in Europe as well, and received awards in several nature photo competitions both in Finland and abroad. His images have been published in many magazines and books.

Jason Dain

Jason is an IT Professional but his true passion is birding and wildlife photography.  He has been actively birding and photographing wildlife for almost 10 years now but has been passionate about the great outdoors his whole life. Jason studied biology in university to dive deeper into the natural world and has over 25 years of experience working in the field.  He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada and travels extensively around the world having visited 20 countries in his travels. As part of Jason’s work and travel experience, he has travelled extensively to Europe and especially the Nordic countries.  His travels have taken him through all parts of the Nordics including the south, central and arctic regions.

Jason has experience on both side of the table both as a guide and as a tour participant for various companies around the world.  This experience gives him a unique perspective on guiding and how to make the most of a trip. You can find Jason’s work on Instagram.

Jyrki Makkonen

Whenever Jyrki goes outdoors, he must watch and listen to birds! The birds are his role model and Jyrki admires their ability to fly thousands of miles, find the best air currents and rise upwards – and Jyrki knows how it feels to fly because he goes paragliding as a hobby. The birds’ beauty also fascinates him, and he loves to take photos of them whenever he can.

Hiking in the old woods and listening to birds sing especially during springtime are among Jyrki’s favorite activities at home. Some of his favourite places to watch birds are in Northern Finland and Norway: Varangerfjord, Lofoten, and Båtsfjorden with their unique sceneries and special birds. Jyrki is also a professional exercise instructor and licensed massage therapist.

Kalle Meller

Kalle is a biologist and a keen bird watcher. Originally, he is from Joensuu in Eastern Finland, but has lived in Helsinki for the past 20 years. He has been somewhat interested in birds for his whole life but got more seriously involved with birds when he started his biology studies.

Kalle has worked with birds in many ways: by doing a PhD about birds, teaching bird ecology and identification in the university, managing the bird wetlands of Helsinki, coordinating national bird census schemes, working with bird protection in a birding society, counting birds from Åland to Kilpisjärvi, and also occasionally working as a guide. In his free time Kalle likes to watch bird migration, but also enjoys some non-bird-related things, preferably with friends and with a quality beer in hand.

His favorite areas to watch and count birds are the wilderness areas in Lapland, and in them, especially the largest mires.

Kari Engelbarth

Kari has been a nature lower since a young boy. As a youngster he visited with his father the  nature areas around Helsinki.

Birding he started when he was 22 years old and since then it has been his passion. For 25 years ago when birding he started to carry a camera with him  and nowadays when in nature birds, camera and Kari are always together. Kari has been working as a Finnature guide for more than 15 years and has been guiding german and english speaking groups. Hi is a Management Consultant specialized in headhunting, assessments and coaching.

Matti Komulainen

Matti is celebrating 20th anniversary in guiding for Finnature in 2019 together with our other guide Ari! Komu, as we call him, comes from southern Finland but the north has a special draw to him. He has been birding all of his life and enjoys showing Finnish birds to visitors.

His life has taken him around the world, when in UN-forces or when with friends, but always focusing on birds – at least in part. Usually you can see him guiding Finnature’s German groups.

Mikko Oivukka

Mikko lives in the birding hotspot of Kuusamo, but the beautiful archipelago of the Baltic Sea remains always close to his heart – it is there where he started his life-long birding hobby.

Mikko is an active member of the birding society in Finland, participating in various bird research, ringing and counting projects and leading kids’ clubs. He also enjoys bird and landscape photography, and has traveled all around the world. He has spent a lot of time in Panama and Costa Rica with his Panamanian wife.

Niko Björkell

Niko has been interested in nature since childhood when his parents took him to the nearby nature areas in the capital city of Helsinki. Birdwatching came into picture quite soon after although for a long time birds were not the center of attention. During his years of studying biology, however, the interest in birds bloomed. Niko has since participated in many bird events and trips, held courses about birding for beginners, worked as a guide for the local birding society and helped in bird monitoring in valuable nature areas.

Although being a southerner through and through, the northern nature still has a very special place in Niko’s heart. He likes to travel north to enjoy the silence, the vast wilderness and the gorgeous northern nature.

Pasi Pieniniemi

Was born in Vaala, where he lived in the countryside as a child. Pasi has always been fascinated by birds, among other things in nature. He finds everything about birds to be more and more interesting year after year.

Pasi has studied Outdoors Guiding, and worked as Nature guide in Oulu region for some time, and every time he take customers kayaking, fat biking, snow shoeing, or on any other nature trip, he tells about the local birdlife, and what bird species might be there to view and to listen to during any given season.

Bird photography has also been his hobby for a long time. He is well familiar with the bird observing towers and other good places for bird watching and photography near Oulu and the Bothnian Bay.

Pekka Lilja

Already as a young boy Pekka was fascinated of the beauty of the birds and got his first own binoculars as a christmas present in 1979 at the age of 12. His favourite bird watching spots are in his hometown Liminka, Oulu area, Hornoya and Båtsjford in Norway and Kuusamo area in Finland.

He started bird watching and photographing around 40 years ago with black and white. In 2005 he bought his first digital camera at working trip in New York. He is a member of Northern Nature Photography Society as a member of board and member of the local bird watching society for over 30 years. He has done bird watching and photography mainly in Nordic countries, USA, Europe and in Thailand. You can find his photos for example at Facebook.

Pentti Kallio

Pentti   has a long experience in birding overseas and in Finland. Art of finding and identifying birds is based on longstanding continuous training, boosted by skilled good friends. Pentti loves to participate several birding competitions annually. Birding and competing in a team, in various habitats, in all four seasons, in all sorts of weather, has been the birding high school, college and university of him.

His special interest and passion is focused in birds and  wildlife of  Kuusamo.  Early morning walk in a taiga forest may make an  immemorable experience. Suddenly, a relative silence under tall trees may sometimes turn into a raucous concert of birds after bird call mimicking by Pentti.

Pentti´s background is in medicine and surgery. He is still practicing part time – excluding the Finnish birding high season of spring and early summer!

Riku Lappalainen

One of our younger guides, Riku is a 27 year old fifth year biology student in Oulu university who majors in ecology. He first was introduced to birding by his father but really got the gist of it after starting his studies. He has worked with birds in Kevo arctic research station doing all things bird related and also as a volunteer with lesser white-fronted geese. He is originally from the capital city of Helsinki but ever since moving to Oulu has been spending more and more time in the wilderness of the north and does not intend to stop!

Taru Suninen

Taru is passionate about birding and photography. Her mind is always tuned in towards the north and the beauty of the Arctic. She has a special interest in bird studies as well and has spent numerous nights at different bird observatories ringing birds and enjoying the migration. She thinks the best thing about birdwatching is that there are never two days alike – and we couldn’t agree more!

Tero Linjama

Tero is nature recordist, artist, and although he claims to be a little bit of a photographer too, we think he is a lot! He is an active member of Finnish birder and twitcher societies. He has been guiding birding tours to Asia and Europe, and we are glad to have him aboard!