Tallinn University of Technology

Dynamics of Gradient Systems

Research group leader: Prof Urmas Lips


We study multiscale physical processes that influence the biogeochemical cycle of substances and control the transport and mixing in the stratified Baltic Sea, including the hypoxic layer and redoxcline. Main focus is on submesoscale processes, their local and largescale impact on water and matter exchange between the sub-basins, coastal and open sea, and vertically between the water layers that influence the dynamics of the spring bloom, mixotrophic organisms and carbon fluxes. Marine ecology studies focus on pelagic and benthic primary producers, benthic invertebrates, their dynamics and role, and impact of micro-litter and hazardous substances on marine biota.


The main method is field studies using RV Salme and autonomous instruments based on new technologies, including a unique bottom-mounted profiling station and underwater glider. Numerical modeling is used for process-oriented studies. For the water sample analyses flow-cytometry, spectroscopy, microscopy, and metagenomics are used.


Results feed into the development of marine environmental monitoring and assessment methods, including micro-litter monitoring, assessment of human pressures, advising the Ministry of the Environment on marine strategy development, participating in international co-operation on the protection of marine environmental and Estonian maritime spatial planning.

Selected publications:

Liblik et al., 2020. Ocean Sci., 16(2), 1475−1490.                                      
Liblik and Lips, 2019. Front. Earth Sci., 10.3389/feart.2019.00174. 
Sildever et al., 2019. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 219, 384−394. 10.1016/j.ecss.2019.02.034.

Academic staff: Inga Lips, Ants Erm, Taavi Liblik, Madis-Jaak Lilover, Germo Väli, Ivan Kuprijanov, Kai Künnis-Beres, Peeter Laas, Sirje Sildever, Irina Suhhova, Natalja Buhhalko

PhD Students: Natalja Kolesova, Nelli Rünk, Kai Salm, Oliver Samlas, Stella-Theresa Stoicescu, Arun Mishra

Non-academic members: Jaan Laanemets, Villu Kikas, Fred Buschmann, Silvie Lainela, Kati Lind, Maarja Lipp, Anne Aan, Enriko Siht

Modelling and Remote Sensing of Marine Dynamics

Research group leader: Prof Urmas Raudsepp

Research topics.

(I) Research on cause-response relationships of large-scale circulation patterns and biogeochemical fields in the Baltic Sea;
(II) Development and operational implementation of marine monitoring methods, which are based on satellite and airborne remote sensing as well as on bio-optical measurements: marine physics, water quality, sea ice, atmospheric processes etc;
(III) Bulk processing and statistical analysis of large remote sensing datasets using machine learning methods for process studies in marine research;
(IV) Development, testing and implementation of real time marine operational measurement systems;
(V) Development of coupled circulation-wave-ice-atmospheric models for climate and process oriented studies, near-real time marine services and reanalyses;
(VI) Sea and ocean hazards in the coastal zone including tsunami, rogue waves, extreme storms and storm surges, ship generated waves, internal waves, their dynamics in the coastal zone and impact on coast.

Research methods

Numerical modelling (NEMO, GETM, HBM, FABM, SWAN, WAM, SWASH, XBEACH, HIRLAM, HARMONIE, RCA4 etc.), remote sensing (satellites, UAVs, coastal radars), laboratory experiments (surface waves), in situ and autonomous measurements.


Bjorkqvist et al., 2020. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. doi:10.5194/nhess-20-3593-2020
Liibusk et al., 2020. Rem. Sens., doi:10.3390/rs12244062
Ytreberg et al., 2020. Mar. Pollut. Bull. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.110891

Academic staff: Victor Alari, Ira Didenkulova, Jüri Elken, Tarmo Kõuts, Priidik Lagemaa, Ilja Maljutenko, Aarne Männik, Sander Rikka, Liis Sipelgas, Rivo Uiboupin

PhD students: Ahmed Alkarory Ahmed Abdalazeez, Age Arikas, Mari-Liis Kasemets, Mariliis Kõuts, Siim Pärt, Laura Siitam, Nikon Vidjajev, Mihhail Zujev

Non-academic staff: Alina Lerner, Kaimo Vahter, Svetlana Verjovkina