I grew up surrounded by forests and lakes in Central Finland where I did my combined BSc and MSc degree in Ecology and Environmental management in University of Jyvaskyla with an Erasmus exchange study period at the Department of Zoology in University College Dublin, Ireland. My Master’s thesis was entitled “Egg quality in a precocial bird – the effect of laying order, offspring sex and maternal age in black grouse (Tetrao tetrix)” under the supervision of Prof. Rauno Alatalo who has studied black grouse in Central Finland for decades. Through this research project I became fascinated by birds, especially Galliformes, as well as behavioural and evolutionary ecology. However, I wanted my research to also have an applied, practical aspect in terms of wildlife conservation and I was lucky enough to join WildCRU in 2005 as a D.Phil. student .