Pekka is professor of Folkloristics at University of Turku. One topic of his latest research is the told memories and experiences of Soviet citizens as they arrived in the regions and homes deserted by Finns in areas of Karelia ceded to the Soviet Union as a result of the Second World War (Moving in the USSR: Western anomalies and Northern wilderness. Ed. by Pekka Hakamies. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 2005). This research is based on fieldwork made jointly with Russian colleagues from the European University in St.Petersburg.
Apart from the orientation towards Russian Karelia, Hakamies has been interested in research into Kalevala poetry and paremiology. Hakamies worked at University of Joensuu for 22 years and moved to his present post as professor in folkloristics at University of Turku in 2006. Hakamies is working as editor-in-chief of the series Folklore Fellows Communications (FFC) and FF Network since 2010.