Vision and Integration Committee of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences

Welcome to the homepage of the Vision and Integration Committee of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences.
We are a group of researchers with a vision to promote and support a diverse and inclusive environment at the Institute. Specifically, we aim to:

  • facilitate inter-departmental cooperation in research and teaching activities;
  • encourage communication between graduate students, PhD students and researchers;
  • support the integration of international researchers and PhD students;
  • organize the annual conference of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences;
  • promote environmentally friendly behaviour and actions.

Feel free to contact us with any enquiries or questions you have about our activities or upcoming events. You can find the contact details of all committee members below.

Who are we?

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Photo of Polina Degtjarenko

Polina Degtjarenko

Chair of the Committee

Research Fellow in Lichenology

Department of Botany

 

Polina completed her PhD studies at the University of Tartu in 2016. Then she has been working as Postdoc in Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (ETH domain). Polina studies lichens, enigmatic organisms made up of an intimate symbiotic association of a fungus with microalgae and/or cyanobacteria. Her main research interests are population genetics, bioindication, lichen conservation, functional ecology of lichens, and biodiversity of lichens in general.

 

J. Liivi 2 (Oecologicum)

Email: polina.degtjarenko@ut.ee

UT Lichen Team: https://eseis.ut.ee/

Folia Cryptogamica Estonica: https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/FCE

ETIS: https://bit.ly/3pmw1VD

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Kadi Kalm

Kadi Kalm

Research Fellow in Human Geography

Department of Geography

 

Kadi is a researcher in human geography at the University of Tartu. She defended her PhD thesis in 2018 and her PhD research focused on ethnic residential segregation and integration of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia. She has previously worked as a visiting researcher at Delft University of Technology, and she did her post-doc at Charles University (Prague) in URRlab research team. Currently, her main research focuses on spatial inequalities, domains of inter-ethnic contacts, and residential mobility and migration. Much of her work examines the mobility of immigrant population and changes in residential segregation in urban regions.

 

Vanemuise 46

Email: kadi.kalm@ut.ee

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2983-2447

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Kaarel Lumiste

Kaarel Lumiste

Research Fellow in Geology

Department of Geology

 

Kaarel earned his PhD from the University of Tartu in 2021. He has since been working as a Research Fellow at the Department of Geology, where he specialises in the geochemistry of sedimentary environments. Kaarel's research interests are focused on the behaviour of rare earth elements in marine sediments, low-temperature alteration of rocks, and the processes that lead to the formation of phosphorites

 

Ravila 14a (Chemicum)

Email: kaarel.lumiste@ut.ee

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0009-5569-3135

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Jeffrey Malherbe Carbillet

Jeffrey Malherbe Carbillet

Research Fellow in Animal Ecology

Department of Zoology

 

Kaarel earned his PhD from the University of Tartu in 2021. He has since been working as a Research Fellow at the Department of Geology, where he specialises in the geochemistry of sedimentary environments. Kaarel's research interests are focused on the behaviour of rare earth elements in marine sediments, low-temperature alteration of rocks, and the processes that lead to the formation of phosphorites

 

J. Liivi 2 (Oecologicum)

Email: jeffrey.malherbe.carbillet@ut.ee

Twitter/X: @J_Carbillet

Lab web page: https://zooloogia.ut.ee/en/researchers-animal-ecology 

Mohit Masta

Research Fellow in Soil Biogeochemistry

Department of Geography

 

 

Vanemuise 46

Email: mohit.masta@ut.ee

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0656-3288

Peeter Paaver

Research Fellow in Geology

Department of Geology

 

Ravila 14a (Chemicum)

Email: peeter.paaver@ut.ee

 

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Kärt Paiste

Kärt Paiste

Research Fellow in Geology

Department of Geology

 

In between completing her undergraduate studies and her current position as a Research Fellow at the University of Tartu, Kärt obtained a geochemistry PhD in 2018 from the University of Tromsø, Norway, and received post-doctoral training under the MSCA global fellowship from Washington University in St Louis, MO, USA (2020 – 2022). She is part of an international research team investigating Earth’s early history, where her focus lies in disentangling chemical signatures of biogenic and abiogenic origin in ancient sedimentary rocks and how such signatures were generated in the first place, transferred into the rock record, and modified over geologic time. 

 

Ravila 14a (Chemicum)

Email: kart.paiste@ut.ee  

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0997-8860  

Blog: https://rockarchive.org  

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Moonika Teppo

Moonika Teppo

Project Manager of Science Education

Centre for Science Education

 

Having defended her doctoral thesis in 2023 at the University of Tartu focusing on investigating lower secondary school students’ intrinsic motivation in science learning, Moonika currently works as a project manager at the University of Tartu based on her long-term research experience in the field of education. She has been participating in different projects (local and EU level), primarily as an expert in management, quantitative data analysis and reporting. Moonika’s research interest focus on students’ motivation and interest in science learning.

 

Vanemuise 46

Email: moonika.teppo@ut.ee

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2430-2233

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Enrico Tordoni

Enrico Tordoni

Research Fellow in Macroecology

Department of Botany

 

My current research within the Macroecology workgroup focuses on studying the consequences of global change on the evolutionary and functional aspects of vertebrates and vascular plants and their relations with extinction risk. Specifically, I am studying how to integrate in a comprehensive metric different facets of biodiversity (taxonomic, functional and evolutionary information), and developing new statistical tools for application in macroecology and biodiversity conservation. During my PhD thesis, I studied how the introduction of non-native species modified taxonomic and functional diversity patterns of plant communities across different spatial scales. 

 

J. Liivi 2 (Oecologicum)

Email: enrico.tordoni@ut.ee

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9722-6692

UT Lab/working group: https://macroecology.ut.ee/en/

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Siim-Kaarel Sepp

Siim-Kaarel Sepp

Research Fellow in Plant Ecology 

Department of Botany

 

After defending his thesis on plant-mycorrhizal interactions in 2020, Siim-Kaarel has been working in the Plant Ecology Lab in the Department of Botany on “all things soil microbiota”. His research currently spans from global macroecology to the effects of agricultural practices on soil microorganisms, with a particular interest in exploring different avenues to approach the questions from the data analysis side. 

 

J. Liivi 2 (Oecologicum)

Email: siim-kaarel.sepp@ut.ee 

ORCID: 0000-0003-2906-4609 

UT Lab/working group: plantecology.ut.ee 

Maarja Vaikre

Research Fellow in Wetland Ecology

Department of Zoology

 

 

 

J. Liivi 2 (Oecologicum)

Email: maarja.vaikre@ut.ee

 

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