Erik Abner

Research fellow of functional genomics, University of Tartu

PhD: Barcelona Pompeu Fabra University, Biomedicine, „Identification of HIV-1 reactivating quinoline compounds as bromodomain inhibitors“ 2016.

Research area: genetics of human diseases, virology, micropeptides

Mission ENTAs: My goal is to popularize the scientific way of thinking in the general populace, to educate on the peculiarities of the functioning of modern science and to explain the usefulness of our work in society at large. I also wish to inspire the next young generation in Estonia to become scientists and to teach them how to ask the right questions about the world around them.

Kaur Alasoo

Lecture of Bioinformatics, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Cambridge, computational biology, "Regulation of gene expression in macrophage immune response", 2017.

Research area: genetics and molecular mechanisms of complex diseases

Mission in EYAS: Supporting underrepresented minorities in Estonian research and facilitating research-intensive biotech entrepreneurship in Estonia.

Jaan Aru

Associate professor, University of Tartu

PhD: Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, psychology and brain research, "Distilling the neural correlates of conscious perception,"  2014.

Research interests: brain research, AI.

Mission in EYAS: Propagating science and scientific thinking in society. I want to show young people that scientists are cool people and do interesting things. I am always ready to answer all questions that young Estonian scholars may have about academic life.

Juhan Aru

Tenure-track assistant professor, EPFL

PhD: ENS Lyon, mathematics, "The Geometry of the Gaussian Free Field Combined with SLE Processes and the KPZ Relation" 2015.

Research interests: random geometry, stochastic processes.

Mission in EYAS: play my part in assuring that the contribution of our whole is larger than the sum of its individual parts. I hope that our varied backgrounds and ways of thinking will help us approach freshly the questions about the nature and the role of sciences & scientists, both at our workplace and in the society.

Anastasiya Astapova

Associate Professor of Folkloristics, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, Folklore, “Negotiating Belarusianness: Political Folklore betwixt and between” Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, 2015
Institute for Russian Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, Philology, “Contemporary Student Jokes: Plots and Themes,” 2016.
Research interests: humor, political folklore, nationalism, migration, conspiracy theories, vaccine hesitancy
Mission in EYAS: Bring academic and public attention to issues important to Estonian society, including the language and integration policies as well as how these function on a daily basis; contribute to the increasing international and public image of Estonian science.

Helen Eenmaa

Researcher in Information Technology Law, University of Tartu School of Law

JSD (Doctor of the Science of Law): Yale Law School, law, “The Principle of Corrective Justice: Problems of Dependency and Emptiness” 2013.

Research interests: technology law, legal philosophy, law & economics.

Mission in EYAS: To empower science and society by helping them develop together. To inspire a worldview, which takes into account the advances in legal studies and philosophy.

Maarja Grossberg-Kuusk

Tenured full professor, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, natural and exact sciences, “Optical Properties of Multinary Semiconductor Compounds for Photovoltaic Applications” 2010.

Research interests: semiconductor physics, optoelectronics, optical spectroscopy, studies of defect structure, photovoltaics, building integrated photovoltaics.

Mission in EYAS: Making the voice of young researchers heard in the society. Also to increase the contribution of young researchers as the future of science in the design of the science policy. Popularization of science based approaches.

Mario Kadastik

Senior Researcher / Research Director, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, particle physics, “Doubly charged Higgs boson decays and implications on neutrino physics” 2008.

Research interests: experimental particle physics.

Mission in EYAS: My main mission is to make sure that both current and future researchers have the best environment to work towards Estonia becoming a knowledge-based society. In that light I actively partake in science policy making, especially by inclusion of top international research labs for research cooperation as well as education and training. In addition I’m keenly interested in enhancing the cooperation between public research and private sector, as a more knowledge based and R&D intense private sector would give added value to the society.

Mihkel Kama

Assistant professor, University College London

Associate professor, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Amsterdam, „Intermediate-mass young stars“, 2013.

Research interests: the formation processes and diversity of planets.

Mission in EYAS: Advance the role of scientific thinking in society, support the professional development of academics, and enrich the Estonian science vocabulary.

Karin Kogermann

Associate Professor / Senior Researcher, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Helsinki, pharmacy, “Understanding Solid State Transformations During Dehydration: New Insights Using Vibrational Spectroscopy and Multivariate Modeling” 2008.

Research interests: solid state, drug-excipient interactions, process analytical technology, design and preparation of nanocarrier systems, antimicrobial drug delivery systems, bacterial (wound) infections, antibiotic action mechanisms.

Mission in EYAS: Help to increase the public awareness and understanding of science and pharmaceutical sciences in Estonia, promote the development opportunities for young researchers and strengthen the collaboration between young researchers in different scientific fields.

Heisi Kurig

Research Fellow, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, chemistry, "Electrical Double-Layer Capacitors Based on Ionic Liquids as Electrolytes" 2011.

Research interests: electrochemistry, physical chemistry, energy storage, gas sorption, hydrogen, neutron scattering methods.

Mission in Young Academy of Estonia: Being an ENTA member gives me a chance to contribute actively in developing towards to a scientific fact based society. In my opinion, one of the key objectives of ENTA is to make the Estonian young scientists’ opinion heard and increase the influence of science-based argumentation in different decision making processes in our society.

Vladimir Kuts

Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, “Novel digital twin development methodology for the robot cell connectivity in a smart industry environment”, 2019.

Research interests: digital twins, human-robot interaction and virtual reality in the industry.

Mission in EYAS: Popularization of Estonian science and international mobility, advising young researchers about possible career-paths after finishing their doctoral studies. 

Rainer Küngas

Chief Technology Officer, Stargate Hydrogen OÜ

PhD: University of Pennsylvania, chemical engineering,  “Factors Governing the Performance and Stability of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes Prepared by Infiltration” 2012.

Research interests: heterogeneous catalysis, solid state electrochemistry, fuel cells, electrolysis cells, battery materials, ceramics processing, application of Design of Experiments statistical tools to industrial processes.

Mission in EYAS: demonstrate that it is possible to do high quality research in an industrial setting. Promote the industrial career as a viable alternative for young researchers and PhD students in Estonia. Improve collaboration between young researchers and entrepreneurs.

Triin Laisk

Associate Professor, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, medicine, “Genetic variation as a modulator of susceptibility to female infertility and a source for potential biomarkers”.

Field of Research: female health, genetics of fertility and infertility, genetic epidemiology.

Mission in EYAS: As a member of the EYAS, I would like to bring scientists closer to people and the society, help spread evidence-based information, and set an example for other scientists with both my experiences and actions.

Innar Liiv

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), informatics, “Pattern Discovery Using Seriation and Matrix Reordering: A Unified View, Extensions and an Application to Inventory Management” 2008.

Research interests: e-government and data science, computational social science, information visualization, and data mining technology transfer to industrial and governmental applications.

Mission in EYAS: sparking discussion about future of work, professions and researchers, supporting big data-driven policy making; technology transfer to industrial and governmental applications; entrepreneurship.

Lili Milani

Research Professor, University of Tartu

PhD: Uppsala University (Sweden), molecular medicine, "Gene Expression in Cancer Cells: Detection of Splice Variants, Allele-specific Expression and DNA Methylation" 2009.

Research interests: human genetics, disease genetics, pharmacogenetics, epigenetics.

Mission in EYAS: inspire future scientists, work towards better science funding and networking opportunities for young scientists in Estonia, and reduce unnecessary.bureaucratic barriers.

Twitter: @MilaniLili

Kerli Mõtus

Associate Professor, Estonian University of Life Sciences

PhD: Estonian University of Life Sciences, veterinary epidemiology, "Epidemiology, Impact on Herd Health and Control of Bovine Herpesvirus 1 in Estonian Dairy Cattle Herds" 2012.

Research interests: veterinary epidemiology, dairy and beef cattle, mortality, euthanasia, risk factors and causes.

Mission in EYAS: contribute in topics essential for young scientists (financing, career development, popularising science and sharing with community).

Miina Norvik

Research Fellow in Finnic languages, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, Finnic languages, “Future time reference devices in Livonian in a Finnic context “ 2015.

Research area: Finnic languages, areal typology, structural features of languages

Mission in EAYS: My goal is to make sure that the voice of the linguists is also represented.  I want to contribute to popularizing science among youth and the general public. I regard highly important advancement of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. 

Kärt Ojavee

Senior Researcher, Estonian Academy of Arts

PhD: Estonian Art Academy, art and design, “Active Smart Interior Textiles: Interactive Soft Displays” 2013.

Research interests: sensing textiles, responsive environments, calm technology, textile displays, spatial textiles, haptic materials in architecture, living materials.

Mission in EYAS: represent the interests of designers and artists whose work is based on practice led research. In the future I would like to contribute to finding opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations.

Ester Oras

Associate Professor, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Cambridge (UK), archaeology, "Practices of Wealth Depositing in the 1st - 9th Century AD Eastern Baltic" 2014.

Research interests: archaeological sciences, analytical chemistry, organic residue analysis, ancient foodways and health, prehistoric migrations.

Mission in EYAS: multidicipliary reseach, the role of young scholars in academia and society, funding opportunities for young researchers.

Sander Pajusalu

Associate Professor, Tartu University

Medical Geneticist and Head of the Genetics and Personalized Medicine Clinic, Tartu University Hospital
PhD: Tartu University, Medicine “Genome-wide diagnostics of Mendelian disorders: from chromosomal microarrays to next-generation sequencing” 2017.

Research area: Clinical genomics, Inherited diseases
Mission in EAYS: I stand for interdisciplinarity and against arbitrary borders between different fields in science. I wish that everyone – both researchers and society – would benefit from the best research. I want to help Estonia to develop into a more evidence-based and research-based society.

Sille Pihlak

Researcher at Timber Architecture Institute PAKK, Estonian Academy of Arts 

PhD: Estonian Academy of Arts, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, “Prototyping Protocols, Protocolling Prototypes: A Methodological Development of Somatic Modularity for Algorithmic Timber Architecture in Estonian Context”, 2020.

Research area:  Sustainable architecture, modularity in timber structures, design in infrastructure, artistic research

Mission in EYAS: I wish to expand the scientific potential behind artistic research, strengthen the research driven architecture and build bridges between science and private enterprises.

Gert Preegel

Researcher, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, “Cyclopentane-1,2-dione and Cyclopent-2-en-1-one in Asymmetric Organocatalytic Reactions” 2016.

Research interests: organic chemistry, industrial chemistry.

Mission in EYAS: improve the career prospects of young researchers and promote evidence-based decision making in society.

Marju Raju

Researcher, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

PhD: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, "Some aspects of singing development, the song creating process and favorite songs of Estonian children" 2015.

Research interests: music psychology, development of singing (infants and toddlers)
Mission in EYAS: promote the position of young scientists in the society and promote scientific thinking.

Tuul Sepp

Associate Professor of Animal Ecology, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, animal ecology, "Hematological Health State Indices of Greenfinches: Sources of Individual Variation and Responses to Immune System Manipulation" 2012.

Research interests: animal ecology, animal physiology, evolutionary biology, urban ecology, aging in the wild.

Mission in EYAS: popularising science outreach activities among scientists, improve the opportunities for young scientists with families.

Andra Siibak

Professor of Media Studies, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, media and communication, "Self-presentation of the 'digital generation' in Estonia" 2009.

Research interests: Internet use, social media, audiences, privacy, generations, digital literacy, mediation of internet use.

Mission in EYAS: developing science communication, popularisation of science in particular. I would like to see to that (young) scientists are provided with a chance to gain additional knowledge on how to communicate their scientific results intelligebly, appealingly, accurately and through various mediums to different audiences.  Furthermore, I also believe it to be crucial that (young) scientists would immediately have a chance to practice their newly learnt skills.

Jaak Sikk

Lecturer, Estonian Academy of Music and Theater
PhD: Estonian Academy of Music and Theater, contemporary improvisation, “The Influence of Stimulus Based Imagery on the Process of Improvising Freely” 2020.
Research interests: improvisation, imagery, potential self
Mission in EYAS: As an artistic researcher and practitioner, the in-depth experience of putting philosophical and neurocognitive models into performance happens on a daily basis. I am motivated to create new value that derives from the border area of theory and practice. Also the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration is a high priority for me.

Tõnn Talpsepp 

Associate professor of financial technology, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, financial economics: „Investor behavior and volatility asymmetry“ 2010.

Research area: behavioral finance, financial technology

Mission in EYAS: Advocate scientific and data based approach to decision making; help young scholars at the beginning of their academic career and people interested in continuing their studies at doctoral level. 

Martin Thalfeldt 

Assistant professor in building service systems, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, "Total Economy of Energy-Efficient Office Building Facades in a Cold Climate" 2016.

Research area: Energy-efficiency and indoor climate of buildings; design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; real-time building performance assessment

Mission in ENTA: I wish to promote interdisciplinary research and development within and between universities and the industry. I also consider it important that young researchers are supported when transforming from supervisee to supervisor.

Aare Tool

Lecturer of Music Theory, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

PhD: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, musicology, "The Modes of Limited Transposition and Form in the Music of Eduard Oja" 2016.

Research interests: music theory, music analysis, Estonian music.

Mission in EYAS: active presence of humanities in the Young Academy will contribute to our better understanding of the relationship between various fields of study and open up new perspectives for cooperation.

Toomas Vaimann

Senior Researcher, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, Energy and Geotechnology, “Diagnostics of Induction Machine Rotor Faults Using Analysis of Stator Signals” 2014.

Research area: electrical machines, diagnostics of electrical machines and drive systems, condition monitoring, prognostics.

Mission in EYAS: My mission in EYAS is to promote and encourage engineering as a knowledge-intensive applied science field. I stand for the financial and development possibilities of young researchers.

Heli Valtna

Senior Researcher, University of Tartu; LightCode Photonics OÜ founder and CEO

PhD: University of Tartu, physics "Superluminally propagating localized optical pulses" 2010.

Research area: wave optics, design and characterization of ultrawideband optical wave fields.

Mission in EUAS: I believe in wisdom and desire of young researchers to contribute to evolution of Estonian ecosystem of science, higher education and knowledge based economy to make it sustainable, self-renewing and visionary. Forthcoming 30-40 years of professional career poses both responsibility and opportunity to shape the future.

Aro Velmet

Assistant professor of European history, University of Southern California
Visiting research fellow, University of Tartu

PhD: New York University, history and French studies, “Pasteur’s Empire: Bacteriology, politics, and transnational science, 1890-1945,” 2016.

Research area: History of science, technology, and medicine, colonialism, empires, transnational governance, gender studies, history of computing and information politics, cultural history

Mission in EYAS: To represent the interests of scholars in the humanities and in science and technology studies. Contributing to scientifically informed policymaking in Estonian society and critical scientific thinking in Estonian media. Improving gender equality, non-discrimination and humane labor conditions in science.

Alumni and Supporting Members


Anneli Veispak, member 2017‒2019
Peeter Espak, member 2017‒2021
Äli Leijen, member 2017‒2021
Priit Purge, member 2017‒2021
Elmo Tempel, member 2017‒2021, 2021 member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences
Els Heinsalu, member 2017‒2022, ENTA president 2017‒2019
Eva Näripea, member 2017‒2022
Hannes Tõnisson, member 2017‒2022
Hendrik Voll, member 2017‒2022
Kajar Köster, member 2017‒2022
Katrin Tiidenberg, member 2017‒2022
Kristo Karjust, member 2017‒2022
Leho Tedersoo, member 2017‒2022
Ringa Raudla, member 2017‒2022

Supporting Members

Kristo Karjust
Leho Tedersoo
Äli Leijen
Katrin Tiidenberg
Kajar Köster


Anneli Veispak, member 2017‒2019
Peeter Espak, member 2017‒2021
Äli Leijen, member 2017‒2021
Priit Purge, member 2017‒2021
Elmo Tempel, member 2017‒2021, 2021 member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences
Els Heinsalu, member 2017‒2022, ENTA president 2017‒2019
Eva Näripea, member 2017‒2022
Hannes Tõnisson, member 2017‒2022
Hendrik Voll, member 2017‒2022
Kajar Köster, member 2017‒2022
Katrin Tiidenberg, member 2017‒2022
Kristo Karjust, member 2017‒2022
Leho Tedersoo, member 2017‒2022
Ringa Raudla, member 2017‒2022