Research News: from crisis management and astronauts’ health to Livonian nobility and invasive species

The Research News section regularly provides hints of most interesting studies conducted in different fields, the results of which have recently been published in top-level journals.

Social Sciences

Researchers work with the goal of better crisis management in the future

The University of Tartu, the Rescue Board and the company Positium have developed a tool that helps to identify the usual location and movements of people. This information makes it easier in an emergency to find people and help them. The tool helps to better target rescue and social assistance and thereby prevent or better tackle the crisis.

Read more here.
Further information: Kati Orru, Associate Professor of Sociology of Sustainability, 


Boosting gut microbiota helps strengthen astronauts’ health

Prolonged stay in a hermetically sealed room, restricted diet, and accumulating emotional stress can cause a variety of health problems for astronauts. Modern space medicine is looking for ways to strengthen the astronauts’ health during the long spaceflight by boosting their gut microbiota. At Tartu State University, researchers worked on this topic more than half a century ago already. The results of the research conducted back then are an inspiration for researchers today, helping them reach new scientific achievements.

Read more here.
Further information: Marika Mikelsaar, Professor emerita,

Arts and Humanities

Did Crusaders take the Livonian local nobility into consideration?

In the course of the Christianisation of Livonia, the conquerors may have sought ways to marry the daughters of local noblemen to secure their influence. As it was difficult to enter into a suitable marriage, they sometimes made other agreements to achieve their desired position and, in some cases, also took the local noblemen’s demands into account.

Read more here.
Further information: Anti Selart, Professor of Medieval History,

Science and Technology

What studies have been carried out on invasive plant and animal species in waterbodies?

Research on invasive species is becoming increasingly important as due to their very wide and rapid spread, they have a major impact on native species. To effectively curb the spread of invasive species, it is important to precisely identify their main pathways of introduction and to intervene in a timely manner. Research on waterbodies has helped to raise public awareness of the vulnerability of both freshwater and marine habitats. There has also been a marked increase in public interest in introduced species and over the past decade, the volume of research on invasive species in waterbodies has doubled.

Read more here.
Further information: Jonne Kotta, Professor in Marine Ecology,