Research interests

I am mainly interested in insect ecology and community ecology (carabid beetles are the main taxa of interest). Especially, my research is focused on various anthropogenic effects on insect biodiversity as well as on individual insect species. My research themes cover conservation biology, restoration ecology, landscape and urban ecology, biodiversity and insect physiology. My research reveals the integral picture of community/ecosystem formation, functioning and responses to anthropogenic activities. I aim to provide knowledge on practical issues of ecosystem restoration and conservation. Thus far I investigated many fundamentally different ecosystem types (from boreal to nemoral forests, mires, semi-natural grasslands, urban ecosystems, agroecosystems) and various organism groups (many insect taxa, spiders, plants, fungi). Currently, I am principal investigator in personal project which aims to reveal what are the effects of pesticide usage on carabid beetles in agroecosystems in Estonia (on their feeding conditions, physiology and diversity). My postdoctoral research at SLU (Uppsala, Sweden) was dealing primarily with restoration ecology. There I explored how plant-pollinator networks are re-wired due to the abandonment and subsequent restoration of semi-natural grasslands. As well, in order to make more general recommendations for ecosystem restoration I was performing meta-analyses on different ecosystem types. I worked on these topics in collaboration with Dr. Erik Öckinger. I did my first postdoc at the University of Tartu, Estonia (supervisor prof. Meelis Pärtel). My research there aimed to uncover the mechanisms of biodiversity-productivity relationship in forest ecosystems. To achieve this I considered various taxonomic groups (plants, soil fungi, carabids) and took into account species pool size variation and historical landscape dynamics. I completed my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Helsinki, Finland (supervisor Doc. D. Johan Kotze). There I investigated the effects of negative anthropogenic disturbances (drainage, urbanisation) and subsequent restoration on mire invertebrate communities. I finished my MSc studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. In my MSc thesis I demonstrated how differently contrasting urban forest edges affect carabid beetle assemblages. In addition, I performed research on behavioural and physiological aspects of insect ecology.

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