In 1951 an independent university - the Estonian Academy of Agriculture - was founded comprising the University faculties of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science. From 1991 our educational institution was called the Estonian Agricultural University. New specialities like Environmental Protection, Landscape Architecture, Production and Marketing of Agricultural Products, Landscape Protection and Preservation, Applied Hydrobiology, Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Management were adopted. The name of Estonian Agricultural University was changed on 27.11.2005. Since then the official name is Estonian University of Life Sciences, which reflects the new direction of the University – to offer education in bio- and environmental sciences in addition to the traditional agricultural sciences.
Estonian University of Life Sciences is one of the six public universities in Estonia and fourth in size among public Estonian universities. Estonian University of Life Sciences is responsible for research and development in the fields of sustainable use of natural resources and rural life/economics; develops its ability to address various areas of bioeconomy in research and development in a coherent and value chain based manner, thereby increasing the University's international visibility and impact, also the volume of applied research, product development and knowledge transfer carried out in collaboration with enterprises. The collaboration in the responsibility areas of academic activities of the University are concentrated into six focus areas: agriculture, environment, forestry, food and health, engineering and technology, and rural economics.
Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is composed of 11 chairs and 3 research centres. In the Chair of Environmental Protection and Landscape Management areas of responsibility for example are environmental protection and management measures; ecosystem services; environmental policy; stakeholders involvement in environmental planning; sustainable development; rural development and planning, etc. The chair is currently involved in several EU-funded initiatives, like ERASMUS +, Europe Interreg, Life +, BiodivERsA, JPICH, Natura 2000.
Meet the team involved in the project
Junior Researcher - Estonian University of Life Sciences
Siiri Külm is a Junior Researcher at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Chair of Environmental Protection and Landscape Management. She holds a MSc in Engineering (Landscape Architecture) and a BSc in Environmental Protection, both from Estonian University of Life Sciences. Currently she is a PhD student under the supervision of Professor Kalev Sepp and interested in cultural changes and ther effects on landscapes.
Siiri has worked in and lead several research projects on different environmental subjects. For example she has participated in research projects dealing with integrated coastal and marine planning (consentrated in human-ecological networks); evaluated and mapped Estonian cultural hertage objects; leaded project that focused on mapping and assessing of priority ecosystem services by ecosystems on national scale in Estonia.
Researcher and focal point for UNESCO MAB in Estonia
Toomas is a PhD in geography, specialising in landscape studies and cultural heritage. Since the early 1990s, he has been actively involved in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, in particular, in the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, where he worked as a research director. From 2014-2021, Toomas was the director of the Hiiumaa Island Museum. He is currently involved in a number of projects implementing the concept of biosphere reserves in Estonia and more broadly in the Baltic Sea region. The list of projects he has completed over the past decades spans from northern Russia to southern Italy, from the Baltic Sea to the West African savannah, from local traditional knowledge to ecosystem management.
Kalev Sepp is a professor in Environmental Protection and Landscape Management and head of the department at the Estonian University of Life Sciences. He is also the head of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and head of Ph.D. and MSc study programs in environmental sciences at the EMU. He teaches several courses like basic environmental protection, research methodology, nature conservation, landscape ecology and management, environmental policy and management, natural resource management.
His research and publications focus on evaluating the human impact on the environment, including land-use change impact on cultural landscapes and biodiversity, and methodological approaches for mapping and evaluating ecosystem services of meadows, arable fields, forests and wetlands. He has a wide experience of landscape and biodiversity monitoring, applying the concept of green infrastructure to spatial planning and integrated coastal management, climate change impact on biodiversity, mapping high nature value (HNV) areas, remote sensing of land-use change.
He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, supervised 16 Ph.D. students.
He is a member of several expert committees in the field of environment and higher education (a national expert of the Horizon Europe Programme Committee - Cluster 5. He has experience with running and leading numerous research and educational EU projects funded by Horizon 2020, Life+, Interreg, Europe Culture, Biodiversa (ALTER-Net, ESMERALDA, SELINA, VivaGrass, EBONE, SALBES, IRENE'S GreenBelt etc).