SNSH Research Groups

Educational and Cultural Psychology Research Group


Educational and cultural psychology research groups 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 developmental 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 Kätlin Peets, PhD Piret Soodla, PhD Grete Arro, Kati Aus (PhD student), Elina Malleus (PhD student), Kaja Mädamürk (PhD student), Valdar Tammik (PhD student), Hard Sigus (PhD student), Olga Lutova (PhD student), Margit Emberg (PhD student).

Hydrocolloids and Marine Biomasses Analysis Research Group


The main research topics:

  • structure-property relations of polysaccharides from marine algae;
  • bioactive compounds from terrestrial plants and macroalgae;
  • dynamics of microelements in marine algae;
  • functional components from marine-derived biomasses;
  • polysaccharide degrading enzymes from marine bacteria.

Members of the research group:

  • PhD Rando Tuvikene – leader of the research group;
  • PhD Kalle Truus – structure and technology of gelling galactans;
  • PhD Renu Geetha Bai (postdoctoran researcher) – biological activity of native and modified polysaccharides;
  • MSc Marju Robal – Extraction, structure and properties of seaweed-derived polysaccharides;
  • Mihkel Saluri (PhD student) – valorization of marine biomasses;
  • Kadri Saluri (PhD student) – degradation and biological activities of seaweed polysaccharides;
  • Musa Howlader (PhD student) – cultivation and characterization of seaweed polysaccharides degrading marine bacteria;
  • Shareef Muzyed (PhD student) – characterization and purification of polysaccharide degrading enzymes.

Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics Group


The main avenues of research focus on clinical, biological and ecological systems.

The main avenues of research focus on clinical, biological and ecological systems.

All projects use approaches from:

  • Genomics and Next Generation Sequencing Technologies
  • Metabolomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Systems Biology

Group members: Kairi Koort (PI),  Danilo Mladenovich (PhD student), Maarja Mirjam Rajasaar (MSc student), Aune Altmets (MSc student), Susanna Uusmaa (MSc student), Laura Jaakson (MSc student), Evelin Mutli (MSc student), Yasir Demirtas (intern).

Almuni: Triin Palmiste, Siim Iskül, Merlin Matvere, Hanna-Liisa Kappel, Kristiina Sõsa, Kristina Setškova.

Collaboration: ELIXIR Metabolomics Use Case, Center for Neurology of Eastern Tallinn Central Hospital, North Estonia Regional Hospital Department of Heamatology, University of Tartu, The Competence Centre on Health Technologies, HansaBioMed Ltd., Lonza Ltd., University of Luxembourg, Uppsala University, Karolinska Institute.


Human-Nature Interactions in The City Research Group


Human-nature interactions in the city research groups main topics.

The research group working on “Human-nature interactions in the city” aims to enhance the knowledge on urban green spaces and ecosystems (incl. urban green commons), environmental behavior (such as environmental degradation, person-environment engagement), environmental justice (especially issues of accessibility) and sustainable urban planning (with focus on inclusive planning and citizen science) by uniting the approaches from different environmental disciplines, incl. ecology, environmental management, architecture and city planning, environmental sociology and anthropology. The working group is headed by Helen Sooväli-Sepping (Professor of Environmental Management) and includes

  • Tiiu Koff, PhD (Professor at School of Natural Sciences and Health, Senior researcher at Institute of Ecology, TLU)
  • Bianka Plüschke-Altof, PhD (Researcher in Environmental Sociology)
  • Piret Vacht, PhD candidate (Lecturer in Environmental Management)
  • Anni Müüripeal, PhD candidate (Junior Researcher)
  • Joonas Plaan, PhD candidate (Lecturer in Environmental Anthropology)

For more information, feel free to contact: Also read latest news about this research group HERE.

Plasma and Materials Research Group


Main areas of the plasma and Materials research group.

Experimental studies of interaction between high temperature plasma and metals: eg development of surface damage, formation of thin films and structures on solids.

  • Modeling of physical processes occurring on the surface of materials and internally by plasma
  • Development of non-destructive methods of analysis of material defects, eg formalism of multifractalism, measurement of electrical conductivity, etc.

Members of the research group: prof. Tõnu Laas, docent. Katrin Laas, lecturer Jaanis Priimets, doctoral students Jana Paju, Merike Martsepp, Siim Tõkke.



Kirke Williamson, research coordinator at School of Natural Sciences and Health.

address25 Narva Road, 10120 Tallinn

Phone(+372) 640 9413