Announcement

Dear reader,

We are sorry to announce that the UT blog is no longer publishing new articles. On the positive side, you will still have access to our archive.

We also encourage you to keep an eye on our other blogs:

🌏 International student ambassadors’ blog

👩‍🎓 First-year student’s blog (in Estonian)

🧑‍💻 Study abroad blog (in Estonian)

Thank you for having followed the UT blog! 👋👋

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Peeter Paaver: A scientist with a camera

Peeter Paaver, a junior researcher of geology at the University of Tartu, is the winner of the Science Photographer of the Year award of the Estonian Science Photo Competition held by Wikimedia Estonia. Let’s find out more about Peeter and his hobby(ies).

I graduated last autumn with a PhD in environmental engineering and today I work as a research fellow in geology, focusing on solid waste recycling and circular economy in the Estonian oil shale industry.

I have dabbled with photography and videography ever since high school, but took it up more seriously in 2016 as I hitchhiked from Estonia to Vietnam over the course of six months before starting my doctoral studies. Since then my portfolio in photo and video production has gradually expanded. At the end of last year I also launched my own brand.

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An alumna explains: Why studying International Law and Human Rights in Estonia is a good idea

Since the beginning of my studies at the University of Tartu, I have received several questions on International Law and Human Rights programme. Therefore, I decided to sum up all of my points in this article.

Zeynab Nasibova. Image credit: private collection
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Winter Fieldwork: The North Sea and the Baltic Sea

The marine scientists of the University of Tartu are once again on a winter field expedition on the research vessel Walther Herwig III. On board from our team are Randel Kreitsberg and Ciara Baines. We document our experiences in a field diary and share photos and information about the daily life of a marine scientist.

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Rain Vagel: Using algorithms learned during the master’s programme in computer science in Wise

Rain Vagel graduated with a BSc degree in computer science from the Institute of Computer Science, University of Tartu in 2017. After serving a year in the defence forces, he continued his master’s studies in the same field, this time specialising in data science, which he completed cum laude in 2020. While still at the university, Rain applied for a software engineer internship at Wise (formerly TransferWise), and today works as a data scientist for the same company, collaborating extensively with its international teams and leading key projects.

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Taking care of oneself in times of stress

Stress as our everyday companion

Stress researcher Hans Selye was the first one who described stress as a “nonspecific response of the body to any demand”.1 Stress is our everyday companion, and it can arise in different ways. If we talk about stress, we usually talk about physical, mental, and emotional tension that is experienced in situations where life’s challenges exceed one’s ability to cope. So we can say that stress is a subjective phenomenon – everyone perceives it differently and reacts to stressful situations differently.

We often associate stress with negative experiences and harmful outcomes, but even Selye showed us that stress can also be good and even useful. Stress can make us act. In stressful situations, our body mobilizes all that it can and might help us to improve our exam performance or to be more productive if facing a deadline. But as chronic and long-term stress can take a toll on our physical and mental wellness, we are looking for different ways to reduce its negative effects.

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Preparing to study the acid clouds of Venus

Radar image of the surface of Venus

Venus is a planet similar to Earth in size, but it has a very thick atmosphere and, due to the combination of this thick atmosphere and closer proximity to the Sun, a very high surface temperature of over 400 degrees centigrade, complemented by sulfuric acid clouds. In this blog post we will talk about what would be needed to find any habitable places on Venus and how to design a mission to visit them, as well as Tartu Observatory’s team’s part in the mission.

Why to study venus and the VLF mission study

The Venusian atmosphere mostly consists of CO2 and has clouds of sulfuric acid, so it has long been thought to be uninhabitable for life. In 2020, traces of phosphine were found in the Venusian atmosphere, and earlier measurements seem to enforce this. As there is no known process that could produce this gas on Venus in these quantities without life, phosphine has the potential of being a sign of life. To investigate this further, Venus Life Finder mission study, mainly sponsored by the Breakthrough Initiatives (a final report with all the details can be found here) was performed with more than 50 scientists and engineers from around the world (led by Prof. Sara Seager from MIT), and in it results from previous missions to Venus were analyzed and a set of three missions was proposed to investigate the situation further and to figure out what is actually going on there.

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