The Department of Botany is a member of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, which in turn forms part of the Faculty of Science and Technology.
Our department studies ecology and systematics of plants at several organisational levels – from photosynthetic apparatus to global vegetation patterns. Traditionally, the Department of Botany also accommodatesmycologists, who study systematics and ecology of different groups of fungi, as well as mutual interactions between plants and fungi. Modern science views most living creatures as complex organisms that may consist of multiple macroscopic and microscopic species; we can therefore say that we study mainly biotic interactions involving plants and fungi, often seeking (and finding) help from zoologists and microbiologists.
Molecular methods have found their way into all branches of biology. Our department attempts to be at the cutting edge – utilisation of novel molecular techniques has become the rule rather than exception. At the same time, we have not forgotten classical botany and ecology – we still respect our plants and fungi and teach our students to be able to identify them from sight.
We also participate in projects involving inventory and protection of Estonian plant species and communities. We are always ready to lend our expertise in research, planning and organising the nature protection.