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International network 


Long-Term Ecosystem Research  

  1. HORIZON  2020 projekts eLTER -  European Long-Term Ecosystem and Socio-Ecological Research Infrastructure.  (2015. - 2019. g.) (project leader Viesturs Melecis).
  2. HORIZON2020 projekts Advance-LTER „Advancing the European Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological Research Infrastructure towards ESFRI” (2016.-2018. g.) (project leader Viesturs Melecis).

Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) is an essential component of world-wide efforts to better understand ecosystems and the environment we depend on. Through research and long-term observation of representative sites around the globe, LTER enhances our understanding of the structure and functions of ecosystems, which provide essential services to people. LTER contributes to the knowledge base informing policy and to the development of management options in response to the Grand Challenges under Global Change.

LTER capitalizes on research infrastructures such as the in-situ network of sites and information technology. Thousands of research projects have been carried out taking advantage of this infrastructure. The increasing complexity of ecosystem research led to the networking and global organization of LTER.

Project "Investigations of the breeding success of duck species in Latvia"  funded by OMPOMigratory Birds of the Western Palearctic, European institute for the management of wild birds and their habitats  (Oiseaux Migrateurs du Palearctique Occidental, Institut europeen pour la gestion des oiseaux sauvages et de leurs habitats), project leader Māra Janaus (2015-2016). 

Objective of this project is a long-term sustainable management of duck populations in Latvia. The data on the annual nesting and breeding success will provide the essential tool for sustainable management of these populations also in Western Europe, where the majority of ducks are harvested. The hunting statistics scheme elaborated during this project can be used as an example for further application in the whole Eastern Europe. The results of this international program will significantly contribute to long-term sustainable management of migratory duck populations in Europe.

Project  „Bat migration” in cooperation with Leibnitz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, project leader Oskars Keišs, 2015-2016.

Euro+Med Plant Base. Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem. Berlin. 2005→ (The Euro+Med PlantBase provides an on-line database and information system for the vascular plants of Europe and the Mediterranean region).  Laboratory of Botany.

Atlas Florae Europaeae. Distribution of Vascular Plants in Europe. The Committee for Mapping the Flora et Societas Biologica Fennica Vanamo. Helsinki.  Laboratory of Botany.

EU COST Action FA1405 “Using three-way interactions between plants, microbes and arthropods to enhance crop protection and production“  10.03.2015. - 09.03.2019. Management Committee L. Jankevica  

Crop plants interact with both arthropods and microorganisms, including pests that reduce yields  and mutualists that promote yield. Direct and indirect interactions between microorganisms and arthropods on crops can strongly modify their impacts on yield. There is thus potential to enhance crop production and reduce pesticide use if we can better predict and manage Crop-Arthropod-Microorganism (CAMo) interactions to our advantage. Currently, knowledge of CAMo interactions is limited due to historical separation of the involved research fields. This action will form an interdisciplinary platform and incubator for research on mechanisms, impacts and utilization of CAMo interactions on crop yield and develop new monitoring and management support systems and CAMo-based applications.

EU COST Action FA1404 “Improving current understanding and research for sustainable control of the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae (COREMI)", 24.1..2014-23.11.2018. Dr. biol. Ineta Salmane.

The poultry red mite (PRM), Dermanyssus gallinae, is the most significant pest of laying hens in Europe. A relationship between infestation and hen mortality exists and at a sub-lethal level causes significant stress to birds and a decline in egg quality and production.

COREMI will look to advance and disseminate comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for PRM by collating knowledge of mite biology, the mite-host relationship and novel control and coordinating further research work in the area. This information will be used to produce Standards for PRM prevention and control, tailored to individual countries and production systems. A more complete understanding of PRM impact to poultry and other sectors, including public health, will also be achieved through the Action.

Sciex Fellowship programme

Project: “Compartmentation of de-icing salts and structural reactions to salt accumulation in foliage of declining street trees (Tilia x vulgaris) from Riga, Latvia”, a collaboration project between the Institute of Biology (Laboratory of Plant Mineral Nutrition) of the University of Latvia and the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, supported by the Scientific Exchange program NMS-CH (Sciex), 2014-2016, project code: 14.038. (Gunta Čekstere, Anita Osvalde).

In the framework of the collaboration project, the compartmentation of salt at leaf, tissue and cell level and associated stress defence and tolerance reactions within foliage material in the streets of Riga is being investigated. A salt microlocalisation assay in plants was started to develop using high-technologies available at facilities in Switzerland. 

National research programs 

Programm 2 Latvian ecosystem value and its impact on climate dynamics (EVIDEnT) VPP 2014/ VPP2014-2017. Project Nr.4.4 "Genetic  research of Latvian rare and endangered species".  (I.Rašals, 2015.- 2017).

Program 5 Biomedicine for public health (Biomedicine) VPP 2014/VPP2014-2017, Project „Molecular genetic and pharmacological studies of DNA repair enzymes in connection with the metabolic diseases”. Subcontract for research in molecular genetic and gene expression ( T. Sjakste).

Program 7 Agricultural resources for sustainable high-quality and healthy food production in Latvia (AgroBioRes) VPP 2014/VPP2014-2017,   Project VP29.3. “Genetic research of economically important characteristics of the local origin dairy cows and pigs  for qualitative food production and development and testing of natural origin feed materials.”

Local pig breed 'Latvian White' gene RYR1 and PRKAG3 polymorphism genotyping and their relationship with the quality of pork.

National and local projects

Elaboration and intercalibration of methods for the assessment of the surface-water biological quality. Project leader: Agrita Briede. Participants: Jolanta Jēkabsone, Agnija Skuja, Linda Uzule, Dāvis Ozoliņš. Financed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia

The project is aimed at the elaboration of methods to assess water quality in Latvian lakes and rivers by using biological quality elements, such as phytoplankton,macrophytes, and benthic invertebrates. National boundary values of the ecological quality classes are intercalibrated according to the requirements of EU WFD.

Project "Investigations of breeding and hunted waterbirds", 2016. Founded by "Foundation for Development of hunting management" (Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Latvia). project leader Dr. biol. Māra Janaus.

The aim of the study is obtaining of annual information about tendencies of numerical changes in local populations of game waterbirds, their breeding success, amount of hunters’ bag, species, age and sex structure of bagged birds. It will serve as justification of long-term restocking of waterbird management in Latvia. Data obtained in frame of this project are the only information source of this kind in the country.

Project "Distribution dynamics of Engure Lake Nature Park breeding birds". Project leader A. Stīpniece. Financed by Latvian Environmental Protection Fund. Partner: Nature Conservation Agency. 2016-2017.

Breeding bird distribution data will be collected in 1x1 km grid all over territory of Engure Lake Nature Park and compared with 1957 - 1997 data. Project results will provide Nature Conservation Agency fresh N2000 data and management recommendations.

Project Examination of prospective berry cultivars for integrated cultivation in different climatic regions of Latvia, as well as development and improvement of cultivation technologies”. Nr. 070515/S2S, Ministry of Agriculture of Latvia, 2015-2020 (Project leader: A. Karlsons)

The project is designed for examination of prospective berry varieties for integrated cultivation in different climatic regions of Latvia, as well as for development and improvement of cultivation technologies. The project is realized in close collaboration of the scientific institutions: Institute of Horticulture of the Latvian University of Agriculture, Latvian University of Agriculture, Institute of Biology of the University of Latvia, and commercial growers. The main project activities: research on suitability of cultivars for integrated berry production, studies on the impact of mulching, pruning, soil amendment, and fertilization technologies in different substrata on berry yield, quality, and growth success.

Project: “Research services for mineral nutrition monitoring of forest seedlings by water, substrate and plant analysis for nurseries of Latvia State forests”, the State Joint Stock company “Latvia State forests”, 2002-2016 (Project leader: Anita Osvalde).

Within the framework of this project balanced mineral nutrition regime was worked out for cultivation of tree seedlings (pine, spruce, aspen, birch, etc.) including development of new compositions of three- component nutrient solutions and peat substrates for forest trees. Complex screening of nutrient status of tree seedlings, improvement of fertilization technologies etc., provide cultivation of planting stock with high quality for afforestation needs in Latvia and Baltic sea region.

Project:  “Scientific research on natural habitats”, contract with “National Botanic Garden”, 2016 (Project leader: Anita Osvalde).

The aim of the project: to carry out investigations on habitats of protected plant species (Dracocephalum ruyshiana L., Saxifraga hirculus L., Glaux maritima L., Trifolium fragiferum L.) and evaluation of  plant nutrient status in soil for studied plant populations in collaboration with the “National Botanic Garden”.

Performed Projects (2010-2015)

Cross boarder cooperation 

Participation in the CELLDEX Project. Our group is collaborating with Scott Tiegs from the Oakland University, participating in a large- scale project. The goal of the project is to compare riparian and in-stream decomposition across all of the Earth’s major biomes using a standardized cotton-strip assay.

Each partner will receive the cotton strips, which have to be incubated in 4 reference streams for about one month and mailed back to Scott Tiegs.  Then a tensile-strength measurements (tensile strength characterizes a decomposition rates) will be performed.

LLIV-230 "Monitoring of Rivers and Enviromental Survey of Farmers in Lielupe and Venta Basin District" (project leaders vadītāji I. Kokorīte un A. Skuja)

EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC requires managing waters based on river basins. Insufficient coordination between Latvia and Lithuania left a number of water management issues to be resolved in the next period of the river basin management plans. The biological water quality indicators, as well as classification systems used in Lithuania and Latvia had not been fully coordinated. Due to difference in sampling methods, parameters and classification systems, status of the same river may be interpreted differently on Lithuanian and Latvian side of the border. Since both countries contribute to pollution of rivers, joint actions are needed to combat the pollution and improve ecological status of water bodies. Harmonized assessment of ecological status is essential prerequisite for planning and implementing measures necessary to improve ecological status of water bodies of international river basin districts. Therefore, the aim of the study described in the current report was to compare ecological status classification systems developed in Latvia and Lithuania and to identify nonconformities, which might cause assignment of the same water body to different status class. LatLit_WBstatus_assessment_finalreport_10_2014_LLIV230_LiVe_RiverBasins

Gauja/Koiva. Towards joint management of the transboundary Gauja/Koiva river basin districts.

The river basin district Gauja/Koiva is transboundary, shared between two countries - Latvia and Estonia. Even a majority of the basin lies in Latvia, the waters flow into the Gulf of Riga which is also shared by both countries. Thus, it is essential to cooperate for agreeing on environmental objectives, to use common methodology to assess water quality, pollution loads. It is important that people living in the basin know the waters which they share and how they can improve situation, use the resource better.

overall objective is to enhance management of shared surface and groundwater resources by development of a joint river basin management plan for the transboundary Gauja/Koiva river basin district.

Taiwan – Latvia – Lithuania 

Project “Proteasomal gene alleles as risk factors for bronchial asthma in Latvian, Lithuanian and Taiwanese populations” 2011 – 2013.    

The main idea that led us to propose our project consists in the necessity to obtain valuable information on the “genesis” of allergy and asthma and identification of the novel genetic risk factors for autoimmune disorders.

Project: Evaluation of nuclear power impact on perch (Perca fluviatilis) population by means of genetic based analysis and application of fish otoliths as natural recorders of radiocontamination and thermal polution " 2010-2013.


Latvia-France (CNRS unit UMR-8126) cooperation „Functional significance of the repeats in 14q13.2 and 4q35 regions predisposed to human pathologies” 2010 – 2011.  

Sciex Fellowship programme

Project “New approaches for the biological control of forest insect pests", cooperation with Plant Pathology group, Institute of Integrative biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (2013 – 2015); (Z. Metla, L. Jankevica)

The first aim of this project  is to to analyze the natural midgut microflora of significant forest pest gypsy moth and to screen isolated bacteria for insecticidal activity. The second aim is to find new combinations of bacteria with synergistic activity and the third aim is to screen the midgut flora of important forest insect pests for the presence of insecticidal pseudomonads. 

European Social Fund projects

ESF project “Establishment of new scientific group for urban environment quality research”, No2013/0060/1DP/, 2013-2015. Scientific leaders Gunta Čekstere & Dace Grauda).

ESF project "Establishment of an interdisciplinary research group of young scientists devoted to studies of Latvian bogs and sustainable use of their resources" (2014-2015) N≠ 2014/0009/1DP/

In Latvia bogs are important part of the landscape and source of natural resources and biological diversity. Relatively large number of investigations on bogs and peat in Latvia were conducted in the first half of 20 th century. Mainly these studies were conducted in University of Latvia, Bog Institute. While in the past 30 years complex studies on bogs and peat has not been conducted.

Project aim is to form a group of new scientists for investigation of bogs and peat in Latvia as a complex. 

ESF project 2013/0000/1DP/ „Jaunas starpnozaru grupas izveide efektīvu diabētiskās nefropātijas ārstēšanas līdzekļu meklējumi” (Scientific leader - Nikolajs Sjakste, Latvian Institute of Organic synthesis, LU BI Genomic and bioinformatic group, leader Tatjana Sjakste). 2013-2015. 

The project created a new, interdisciplinary group for novel  compound re-establishment of diabetic nephropathy treatment.

ESF project 2013/0014/1DP/ „Cilvēkresursu piesaiste integrētās atjaunojamo energoresursu enerģijas ražošanas sistēmas izstrādei”(Scientific leader – Marika Rošā, RTU;  LU BI Laboratory of Marine Ecology - E. Boikova ) 2013.- 2014.

European Regional Development Fund projects 

Project Nr.2011/0060/2DP/ "Enerģijas un vides resursu ieguves un ilgtspējas izmantošanas tehnoloģiju valsts nozīmes pētniecības centra izveide" (2011-2015).

Project Nr.2010/0315/2DP/ "Creation of a novel method for early diagnostics of autoimmune diseases", leader Nikolajs Sjakste (2011-2013). The project developed in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine of University of Latvia.

As a result, a new technology for forcasting and early diagnosis of autoimmune diseases was created. 

Project 2010/0321/2DP/ "Plant breeding technology development on the biocompatible microchips" (2011-2014).

Project Nr.2010/0249/2DP/ "Developing environment-friendly vegetable origin plant protection agents using conifer needle extractive substances as the base", project leader Māris Daugavietis from LSFRI Silava (2010- 2013). 

The project resulted in the creation an innovative new environmentally friendly plant protection product against grey mould for organic farming. The project was realized in cooperation of four organizations: LSFRI Silava (lead partner);  LU Institute of Biology; Pure Horticulture Research Centre; Latvian Plant Protection Centre.

Grants from Latvian Council of Science (2010-2013)

Biological plant protection, biodiversity conservation and the role of plant mineral nutrition in global changing environment”, Project of Latvian Council of Science (Project leader: Anita Osvalde). In collaboration with National Botanic Garden. 2010-2012: 

Fundamental interdisciplinary research project was carried out to study different aspects of plant stress and adaptation physiology under imbalance of nutrient and water supply, biological plant protection possibilities, and development of methodology and strategy for conservation of wild orchids in situ and ex situ in National Botanical garden.

Analytical works according to purchase procedure results for various projects:

„The research on impact of organically derived products in agriculture”, ERDF project Nr. 2010/0313/2DP/, contract with: State Stende Cereals Breeding, 2011-2013.

“Agrochemical analysis of plant tissues and soil for realisation of scientific projects in LSIFG”. Contract with: “Latvia State Institute of Fruit-Growing”, 2014-2015.