Eesti keeles

Rein Ahas


Professor of Human Geography in University of Tartu

I General

NameRein AhasRein Ahas
Date of birth
Place of birth
Family status

Tartu, Estonia
Married, 3 children
AddressUniversity of Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
Department of Geography
46 Vanemuise St, 51014, Tartu, Estonia
Telephone: +372-50-35914
Fax: +372-7-375825

1984Luunja High School
1991Diploma in Physical Geography and Environmental Studies (individual program), University of Tartu
1994MSc in Physical Geography, University of Tartu
1999PhD in Physical Geography, University of Tartu Spatial and temporal variability of phenological phases in Estonia. Dissertationes Geographicae Universitatis Tartuensis, 10.

Professional experiences
2006–presentProfessor of Human Geography, head of Chair of Human Geography and Regional Planning, University of Tartu, Estonia
2013–2015Research Professor of Estonian Academy of Sciences, University of Tartu, Estonia
2004–2006Holder of Chair of Human Geography, University of Tartu, Estonia
2002–2006Senior Researcher, Institute of Geography, University of Tartu
2000–2002Post Doctoral Research, Institute of Zoology and Hydrobiology, University of Tartu
1998–2000Lecturer, Institute of Geography, University of Tartu
1994–2003Board member and forestry coordinator, Estonian Green Movement – FoE (part-time)
1994–1998Research Fellow, Institute of Geography, University of Tartu

Visiting positions
2017-Visiting professor in University of Turku, Finland
2011–2014Visiting professor, Department of Geography, University of Gent, Belgium
2011–2011Visiting professor, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Sweden
2008–2008Visiting Scholar, Vienna Technical University, Austria
2001–2001Fulbright Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Milwaukee Wisconsin, USA
2001–2001Visiting Scholar in Environmental Change Institute of Oxford University, England. Supported by Open Estonian Foundation

II Scientific activities

Main research topics

Mobile positioning for studying and planning people's mobility
The aim is to develop the methodology for studying people’s spatial mobility using mobile positioning and ICT use. The passive and active mobile positioning data for tourism geography; space-time behaviour studies; everyday mobility and commuting studies; public security and crowd management; urban geography. Real time maps, GIS analyses and monitoring systems. The topic is being developed in the laboratory of mobility studies of the University of Tartu (UT) in co-operation with spin-off company Positium LBS. Two patent applications have been submitted. Co-operation in the field of applications with governmental institutions of Estonia, for example the Virtual Situation Room for emergency management.

Urban geography
The aim is to acquire new knowledge about the development of the cities and urban regions in Estonia. Research is conducted by using different methods (mobile positioning, censuses, questionnaire surveys, secondary databases etc.). The topics include land usage, changes in transportation and street-life, development of city centres, public space, distribution of HIV risk groups, ethnic segregation, creative industries, temporal rhythms of cities and environment.

Environmental impacts
The aim is to assess the environmental impacts of development plans and to advise the planners when designing environment friendly systems. Use of forest and tourism resources. Climate change impacts.

Seasons and climate changes
The aim is to clarify the connections between human activities and the seasonal changes of environmental factors and to further develop the seasonal measurement methodology (co-operation with chronobiologists and Estonian Genome Center) and its connections with the impacts of climate changes.

Research grants and fellowships

2016-Coordinator of Estonian Research Infrastructures Roadmap Project "Infotechnological Mobility Observatory (IMO)" (2016-2022)
2015-SmartEnCity (Towards Smart Zero CO2 Cities across Europe), H2020-SCC-2015, SCC-01-2015, grant no. 691883 (1.02.2016-31.07.2021)
2015-Live Baltic Campus, European Regional Development Fund, Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020, 25.1.2016.
2015-Coordinator of Infotechnological Mobility Observatory (IMO) of Estonian Research Infrastructures Roadmap (2017-2022).
2012-2014Eurostat Contract No. 30501.2012.001-2012.452 Feasibility study on the use of mobile positioning data for tourism statistics, Coordinator for University of Tartu.
2013–2018Institutional Research Grant of Estonian Ministry of Science and Education „Spatial Population Mobility and Geographical Changes in Urban Regions” IUT2-17.
2013–2015EC regionaal development foundation submeasure „ICT based reasearc and development“ Project „Real-time Location-based Big Data Algorithms“ (3.2.1201.13-0009).
2012–2015EU Regional Development Foundation, Env. Conservation & Technology R&D Program project TERIKVANT 3.2.0802.11-0043. „Risk assessment models for emergency management“.
2011–2012Helsinki-Tallinn Transport and Planning Scenarios (H-TTransPlan), Central Baltic Interreg IV A, coordinated by Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio, Tartu University work package on mobility analyses (R. Ahas).
2009–2011Applied Research Grant of Estonian Enterprize ”POSMETRAK” (EU29886) in cooperation with SME Positium LBS, Tartu University work package on methodological topics (R. Ahas).
2010Grant of Estonian Foundation of Information Technology ( EITSA) for organizing international PhD school Mobile Tartu 2010 (R. Ahas, S. Silm).
2009–2011FP7 GALILEO-2007-1.7-01 project ”MetaPos” (Agreement no. 228448) in cooperation with Camineo SAS (Toulouse), Placr (London), Positium LBS (Tartu) (R. Ahas).
2008–2010Urban regions and commuting areas in Estonia. Contract with Ministry of Internal Affairs (R. Ahas).
2008–2009Rakvere: commuting and catchment areas. Contract with Rakvere city council (R. Ahas).
2008–2011Research Grant of Estonian Science Foundation (ETF 7562), Space-time variability of personal activity spaces in Estonia: Study with mobile positioning data (R. Ahas).
2007-2008Urban sprawl and ecological footprint of suburban commuters in Tallinn. In cooperation with British Council (A. Poom, R. Ahas).
2007–2012State Targeted Financing project SF0180052s07 Factors influencing spatial mobility of population and interactions with environment and regional development (R. Ahas).
2007Cooperation perspectives of municipalities in Tallinn metropolitan area, funded by Tallinn City government (R. Ahas).
2006–2007Grant of Estonian Foundation of Information Technology ( EITSA) Starting Positioning Laboratory in University of Tartu (R. Ahas).
2005–2006Sustainable planning for the built environment in the Baltic Sea Region. In Cooperation with R&D department of UT. Phare Cross-Border Co-operation Programme in the Baltic Sea Region. 2002/000-636.01-0014.
2004–2005Support System for Green Construction in the BSR. In Cooperation with R&D department of UT.
2005Mobile Positioning Analysis of Foreign tourists in Tartu region.
2004–2005Analysis and drafting building regulation for city centre, Tallinn SAPA.
2004Toolkit and management system for sustainable planning and evaluation of built environment (II step), State Environ. Investment Centre (KIK).
2003–2004Social impact assessment and social positioning study in Tallinn City Centre, Tallinn SAPA.
2003Toolkit and management system for sustainable planning and evaluation of built environment (I step), State Environ. Investment Centre (KIK).)
2000–2002FP5RTD Phenological Observations and Satellite Data (NDVI). Trends in the Vegetation Cycle in Europe (POSITIVE) EVK2-1999-00109, contractor.
2000–2001Analysis of master plan, Narva municipality.
1998–1999Evaluation of regional development databases, Estonian Regional Development Fund (KERA).
1996–1997Estonian Sustainable Forest Policy Programme, US Baltic Foundation/US AID Democracy Network.
1995–1996Estonian forest policy analysis, Harvard Institute for International Development.

Academic and scientific activities.

2017-Member of Expert Commission of Spatial Planning of Estonian Government
2015-Member of Estonian Administrative-territorial reform commission of Estonian Minister of State Administration.
2014-Member of Eurostat ESS Task-Force on Big Data and Official Statistics
2013-EC EIP Smart Cities & Communities sherpa group member
2013-2014Member of „task force“ of preparation of Directors General of the National Statistical Institutes (DGINS) Conference and the Meeting of the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC) 2013, The Hague.
2011–2012Head of Commission for Estonian Settlement System of Ministry of Regional Development of Estonia
2009–presentHead of organizing committee of International seminar and PhD school „Mobile Tartu 2010”, 26–28.08.2010, Tartu, Estonia,
2009–presentMember of Council of „Doctoral School in Economics and Innovation”
2009–presentCOST IC0903 Knowledge Discovery from Moving Objects management committee member
2009–presentCOST TU0804: Survey Harmonisation with New Technologies Improvement (SHANTI) management committee member
2008–presentMember of Impact Assessment Expert Working Group of Estonian State Chancellery
2008–2011Member of Scientific Committee of Estonian State Forest Management Centre
2008–2010Board member of EuroCollege of University of Tartu
2008Head of organising committee of International seminar and PhD school „SPM 2008, Mobile positioning data in geography and planning: data, analyses and applications”, 9–14.03.2008, Tartu, Estonia,
2007Member of IGU Commission on the Geography of Information Society
2006–presentMember of International Association for Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR)
2006–presentMember of Editorial Board: Journal of Location Based Services (Taylor & Francis) and Travel Behaviour and Society (Elsevier)
2005–2006Estonian exhibition team member in Venice Biennale's 10th International Architecture Exhibition in 2006 “Meta city”: Mobile activity spaces and real time city in Tallinn.
2004–presentEU RD program COST 725 management group member
2004–2006Member of Association of American Geographers
2003–2004Participation in Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) IV report process
1998–2004Board member of Estonian Green Movement-FoE
1999Participation in Tartu 1999, Narva (2000-2001) and Tallinn (2002-2004) master plan working group
1998Chair of organising committee of the 4th Biannual Conference of Taiga Rescue Network: Boreal Forests of the World IV: Integrating Cultural Values into Local and Global Forest Protection, October 1998, Tartu, Estonia
1997–presentMember of International Society of Biometeorology
1996–2003Member of forestry expert commission of Ministry of Environment in Estonia
1994–2004Taiga Rescue Network international reference group member
1992–presentMember of Estonian Naturalists Society
1990–presentMember of Estonian Green Movement – FoE
1984–presentMember of Tartu Students Nature Protection Circle, 1984, president in 1987–1990

III Teaching

Lecture courses in University of Tartu
LOOM.02.236 Introduction to Human Geography 5 ECT
LOOM.02.207 Research methods in Geography 7 ECT
LOOM.02.113 Project in Regional Planning 6 ECT
LOOM.02.110 Project in Urban Planning 6 ECT
LOOM.02.217 PhD Seminar in Human Geography 15 ECT
LOOM.02.258 Geography, communication and spatial mobility 4 EAP
Program manager for University of Tartu module „Urban Planning: Changing Cities and ICT“ 2014, 2015

Study materials
Member of Estonian School Atlas working group

Defended PhD degrees: Anto Aasa 2005; Taavi Pae 2006; Siiri Silm 2009; Andres Kuusik 2011, Hando Hain 2012, Olle Järv 2013, Age Poom 2017.
Supervising PhD students: Margus Tiru, Erki Saluveer, Laura Altin, Janika Raun, Veronika Mooses.
Defended Master's thesis under supervision: Taavi Pae 2002, Anto Aasa 2002, Vello Palm 2003, Hando Hain 2004, Siiri Silm 2005, Neve Albre 2006, Kadri Kiilu 2007, Romet Põldme 2007, Mari-Liis Lamp 2008, Kairi Kivi 2008, Eedi Sepp 2010, Age Poom 2010.

IV Public activities

Active in lecturing and publishing materials about sustainable development, city planning and forest policy during last 10 years. Conferences, forums, schools, NGOs. Author of lyrics and texts for songs, member of Estonian Authors Union.
3-6 articles in Estonian Newspapers every year.

V Awards

2012 - The cumulative citation of ISI Essential Science Indicators (ESI) exceeded the 1% threshold

2007 - Association of American Geographers, Climate Specialty Group. 2007. John Russell Mather Paper of the Year 2006: Schwartz, MD, Ahas, R., Aasa, A. 2006. Onset of Spring Starting Earlier Across the Northern Hemisphere. Global Change Biology. 12(2): 343–351.

2006 - Junior Prigogine Medal, University of Siena and the Wessex Institute of Technology in honour of the late Professor Prigogine's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.