Last week, the Government of the Republic announced this year’s laureates of the national research awards. ERR Novaator has compiled an overview of what these scientists do.
Award in the field of geology and biology
Academic Ülo Niinemets (born 1970) is a professor with the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the Estonian University of Life Sciences and has been given the award for his cycle of research works, “Integration and adaptation mechanisms of plant photosynthesis: from foliage gradients to global patterns”.
All organisms on Earth are dependant on plant photosynthesis – it is the foundation of life. Ülo Niinemets asks: Which structural and physiological properties of plants determine the speed of photosynthesis? By posing this question he is actually asking how global climate change affects the capability of Earth’s vegetation to provide us with clean air and sufficient food. Additionally, he offers insights for developing a new generation of climate models that can predict the production of vegetation and the processes of the biosphere, while also hinting at ways to increase the yield of plants.
Ülo Niinemets has previously been presented with the following awards:
- 2000 national research award of the Republic of Estonia (together with Olevi Kull) in the field of geology and biology for the work, “Adaptation of photosynthesis in foliage”
- 2006 national research award of the Republic of Estonia in the field of chemistry and molecular biology for the work, “Physiology of volatile organic compound emissions”
- 2012 Order of the White Star of the Republic of Estonia, Fourth Class