ökoloogia keskus

The Institute of Ecology and Marine Research was founded in 1989. After it was integrated with Tallinn University in 1997, the new Institute of Ecology remained a distinct, self-governing entity within the University and today it is primarily a researchinstitution.

Contact us:

addressUus Sadama 5, 10120 Tallinn

phone(+372) 6199 800


Research and Development

The basic research at the Institute of Ecology concentrates on the study of the structural-functional organisation of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and their responses to changing environmental conditions. As a practical result, the data obtained in basic research is used to prognosticate the development of ecosystems, landscapes, communities and physiological changes in plants connected with natural processes, climate changes and human activities.

Research Associates from the Institute are largely engaged in the teaching process in different universities as well as in supervising PhD and MSc degree students.

Main activities of the Institute are:

  • evaluating the temporal-spatial impact of natural and anthropogenic processes on ecosystems;

  • developing paleoecological research methods;
  • modelling ecosystem development scenarios;
  • analysing the influences of climate change and the hydrodynamics of coastal seas on the development of active coasts;
  • modelling coastal developments and forecasting changes in coastal zones;
  • analysing the impact of disturbances on the structure, functioning and nutrient cycles of wetland ecosystems which are in different stages of development;
  • developing research methods for, and the scientific principles of, the ecological restoration of wetlands.

The Institute is also involved in applied research in the following topics:

  • the problematics of oil shale mining and air contamination in northeast Estonia;
  • the methodology of scientific research of environmental conditions and nature conservation;
  • environmental communication and developing education for sustainability.

Cost projects 

Action TU1208 Civil Engineering Applications of Ground Penetrating Radar http://gpradar.eu/index.html

Research projects

Look up all current projects at Estonian Research Information System.

  • Coastal habitats

Coastal habitats project "Development of relevant criteria and monitoring methodology of favourable conservation status of the coastal (terrestrial) habitats (EU Nature Directive Annex 1: 1210, 1220, 1230, 1310, 1620, 1640, 2110, 2120, 2130, 2140, 2190 and 2320) in Estonia." is funded by EEA Financial Mechanism 2009–2014. The project lasts from May 2014 to April 2016.

  • Assessment and mapping of ecosystem services

Project "Development of methods for assessment and mapping of ecosystem services of marine and inland waters" is funded byis funded by EEA Financial Mechanism 2009–2014. The project lasts from Juli 2014 to December 2015.

  • Sea bottom sediments

Project "Assessment for ecosystem based management of marine environment on the basis of sea bottom and sediments of the Gulf of Finland.  The project lasts from Juliy 2014 to April 2016.


Assessment for ecosystem based management of marine environment on the basis of sea bottom and sediments 
of the Gulf of Finland



Lead partner: Geological Survey of Estonia

Contact: Sten Suuroja s.suuroja@ctc.ee



  • Institute of Ecology, Tallinn University
  • Marine Systems Institute at the Tallinn University of Technology
  • Institute of Geology at Tallinn University of Technology
  • Geological Survey of Norway



There is a lack of an adequate dataset on the seabed of the Gulf of Finland for evaluating and managing its state in reference with the ecosystem. A dataset exists from the 1980's and 1990's, collected during geological mapping of the seabed. These data contain information on seabed morphology of the Gulf of Finland, geology of seabed sediments and content of important environmentally hazardous elements. The data have not been digitalized or systematically organized, and are thus difficult to be compared with results of present measurements.


The Aim:

The aim of this project is to compile a data model on the seabed of the Gulf of Finland and its environmental state. This will form the basis for proposals on actions regarding monitoring and evaluation of changes in the state of environment.



Produced data layers will increase the awareness of decision makers, making possible integrated managing of the seabed of Gulf of Finland. In addition, this project provides scientifically-based evaluation results on the state of marine environment and on monitoring measures. These are helpful in developing plans for sustainable use of seabed, and thus further for gaining or preserving a good state of seabed ecosystems.


Role of TLÜ ÖI

Institute of Ecology at Tallinn University is responsible for carrying out geophysical measurements and takes part in diving works during the fieldworks Data collected by geophysical equipment will be analyzed and integrated into the central data model by our experts. Moreover, our laboratories are responsible for carrying out lithological analyses and analyses to determine the content of poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the collected samples. Data will be analyzed by our experts and integrated into the central data model. We expect to establish knowledge base and elaborate methodological approach suitable for monitoring and evaluation of the environmental state of the sea bottom together with our partners.