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Research groups

Educational and cultural psychology group

Main research topics:

  • To examine the role of parental and teachers’ beliefs and practices in the development of children’s academic skills in kindergarten and basic school.
  • To conceptualise general competencies described in the National Curriculum for Basic Schools (value, self-management, learning to learn, communication, social, citizen, entrepreneurship, mathematics competencies) in the theoretical framework of the research team.
  • To develop tools for assessing general competencies that can be used by teachers, school psychologists, and for external evaluation.
  • To examine the development of general competencies in upper elementary school.
  • To analyse the role of child-related, school-and classroom-related and family-related factors in the development of general competencies.
  • To examine the efficiency of different teaching practices in children and classrooms with different skills and motivation
  • To examine the develepmental profiles of children with different ability and motivational level
  • To study school effectiveness and factors related to it
  • To develop instruments for early recognition of student’s learning difficulties.
  • Cultural psychology aims at understanding how individual mind changes in the interaction with its cultural environment.

Group members: professor Eve Kikas, professor Aaro Toomela, PhD Katrin Mägi, PhD Mairi Männamaa, PhD Kätlin Peets, PhD Piret Soodla, PhD Grete Arro, PhD Mari-Liis Kaldoja, Kati Aus (PhD student), Anna-Liisa Jõgi (PhD student), Elina Malleus (PhD student), Kaja Mädamürk (PhD student), Valdar Tammik (PhD student)

Collaborators: Jari-Erik Nurmi, Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen, Eija Pakarinen, Gintautas Silinskas (University of Jyväskylä), Tiia Tulviste, Anu Palu, Anni Tamm (University of Tartu), Triin Kahre (Estonian Union of School Psychologists).

Plant and mycological material analysis group

Main research topics:

  • structure-property relations of polysaccharides from marine algae;
  • bioactive compounds from terrestrial plants, macroalgae and fungi;
  • dynamics of microelements in marine algae;
  • functional components from plant material and valorisation of biomass;
  • herbal fragrances and their dynamics.

Group members: PhD Rando Tuvikene, PhD Kalle Truus, Marju Robal (PhD student), Kristi Sootla (PhD student), Kadri Saluri (MSc student), Mihkel Saluri (MSc student).

Genomics and Molecular Ecology Research Group

The main avenues of research focus on clinical, biological and ecological systems. All projects use approaches from:

  • whole-genome approach
  • bioinformatics
  • systems biology - integration of multitude of datatypes to create predictive models for any complex biological system under investigation

Group members: professor Madis Metsis, PhD Kairi Tammoja, PhD Ats Metsis, Marina Suhorutsenko (technician),  Peeter Laas (PhD student), Karin Rosenstein (PhD student), Tiina Drell (PhD student), Alexandra Sauskina (PhD student), Susanna Uusmaa (MSc student), Triin Palmiste (MSc student).

Institute of Ecology

Research projects and groups of Institute of Ecolgy.


Helen Haab, research coordinator at School of Natural Sciences and Health
Phone: +372 640 9413
E-mail: helen.haab....at....tlu.ee