Environmental microbiology and biotechnology research group
At the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, the environmental microbiology and biotechnology group consists of researchers and doctoral students with backgrounds in environmental technology, microbiology, gene technology, and biogeography. Group's main research topics are related to the study of microbial activity and community structure in different natural habitats and engineered systems.
Currently, we carry research on microbial community structure and abundance of functional genes in wetlands, peatlands, forest soils and coastal zones. Treatment wetlands, constructed wetland-microbial electrochemical systems, and green roofs are some examples of the studied engineered environments. Besides, we work on the plants' microbiological communities in different systems.
We apply DNA and RNA-based molecular methods for characterising the phylogenetic and functional structure of microbial communities using next-generation sequencing and quantify the abundance of microbial groups functional genes using quantitative PCR.
We have carried out studies in collaboration with different partners in Estonia and abroad.
- Microbial communities in wetlands from local to global - impacts of climate warming and land use
- Microbiome in restored wetlands
- Soil microbial community analysis of forest ecosystems
- Soil microbial community analysis of coastal ecosystems
- Metagenome analysis of sediments in constructed wetlands
- Role and dynamics of microbial communities in bioelectrochemically enhanced artificial wetlands for agricultural pollution mitigation
- The microbial community of green roof soils
- Relationships between plants and microbes
Our cooperation partners in Estonia and other parts of the world:
- Estonian University of Life Sciences
- Latvian National Forest Research Institute "Silava" (Latvia)
- University of Latvia (Latvia)
- Finnish Institute of Natural Resources (Luke) (Finland)
- University of Helsinki (Finland)
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)
- Linné University (Sweden)
- University of Rennes (France)
- University of Lorraine (France)
- French National Agricultural Research Institute (INRAE) (France)
- East China Normal University (Shanghai, China)
- Chungbuk National University (South Korea)
- University of Aberdeen (UK)
- University of East Anglia (UK)
- University of California, Berkeley (USA)
Depending on the theme and students' interests, work may involve engineering, fieldwork, lab work, computer work (bioinformatics, statistics):
- Development, implementation and improvement of sustainable methods in different environments through the study of the microbial community
- Impact of wetland land use change on microbial community and biogeochemical cycles using sequencing (metagenomics, amplicon-based)
- Dynamics of the microbial nitrogen cycle in the deeper layers of peat soil in a drained forest by year
- Dynamics of the microbial carbon cycle in the peat soil in a drained forest by year
- The role of plants in emitting or sequestering methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O): microbiological analysis
- Design and development of microbiological methods for studying the carbon and nitrogen cycle
- Designing, installation and monitoring of bio-electrochemical systems treating nitrate polluted water
- A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of environmental technology methods
- Tropical peatlands and nutrient cycles
and many other themes. Just ask. We will find a way.