Triin Paaver

Research projects

Current projects

Project PRG314 

1.01.2019 - 31.12.2023 

Senior research staff: Kalevi Kull 

Main researchers: Riin Magnus, Timo Maran, Ott Puumeister, Tiit Remm, Silvi Salupere, Elin Sütiste, Peeter Torop, Andreas Ventsel 

The impact on diversity by the survival of a new agent in a semiotic system largely depends on the fitting of its communicative relations (sign relations) into the novel environment. We call this process semiotic fitting. Our project aims to discover the general features of semiotic fitting that characterise its effect on diversity in ecological, cultural and virtual systems. To solve this task, we are going to elaborate a general conception and a model of semiotic fitting, and to study the formation of semiotic diversity (1) in urban ecosystems, (2) in social media and the environment of e-Estonia, and (3) in the processes of cultural translation. We expect to demonstrate that semiotic fitting is an important mechanism responsible for diversity in all these different cases. 

Project in ETIS.

Project PSG675 

1.01.2021 - 31.12.2024 

Principial researcher: Maarja Ojamaa 

Senior research staff: Alexandra Milyakina, Peeter Torop 

The prevalence of new media has brought along a gap between cultural heritage and everyday culture, weakening also cultural identities. The aim of the project is to work out the concept and operating principles of educational platforms for the transmedial valuation of cultural - especially literary - heritage. First, it will focus on transmedial cultural analysis and on the functioning of cultural heritage within different textual and medial networks. Secondly, the project cultivates transmedial literacy and analytical competences by synthesizing students’ digital experience and the affordances of school settings. The practical goal is a digital educational platform aimed at integrating cultural heritage with everyday (digital) cultural experience in three languages (Estonian, Russian, English) and corresponding cultural contexts. The conceptual basis of the project is the Tartu-Moscow semiotic school's understanding of culture as a hierarchical complex of cultural languages. 

Project in ETIS.


Principal researcher: Timo Maran 

Senior research staff: Sara Bédard-Goulet (UT, College of Foreign Languages and Cultures), Villu Soon (UT Natural History Museum), Riin Magnus, Nelly Mäekivi, Silver Rattasepp 


The acceleration of species disappearance is a major ecological threat today. The project analyses cultural and ecological aspects of species extinction and applies semiotic modelling to increase the visibility of endangered species. The project is grounded in ecosemiotic theory. Species loss is interpreted in the cultural context of dystopia and apocalyptic imagery. The project includes animals’ own perspectives through Umwelt analysis and ecological study. It is argued that meaningful engagements between humans and rare animals have a high potential for raising awareness on the endangerment and taking care of the species. The project comprises three work packages: 1 Comparative literary study of extinction narratives; 2 Dynamics between ecology, animal agency and local knowledge; 3 Semiotic modelling of endangerment and creative applications. By involving research-creation initiatives and reception studies the project will lead to novel strategies of representing endangered species. 

Project in ETIS.

Horizon Europe 101084220

Principal researcher: Timo Maran 

Senior research staff: Lona Päll, Nelly Mäekivi, Riin Magnus, Kalevi Kull, Tiit Remm 

01.11.2022 - 31.10.2026 

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are governance techniques and models that directly and cost-effectively benefit both nature and humans. Despite the progress in NBS design and implementation, the socio-political challenge is that NBS are often tailored for the privileged, their design is expert-led, and their implementation hampered by institutional and administrative inertia. NBS have not been able to support a just transformation of habits for sustainability, and fail to incorporate non-human actors or include marginal and vulnerable humans as true beneficiaries of these solutions. COEVOLVERS goes beyond the state of the art by introducing a co-evolutionary approach, which offers a radically new view for NBS design and implementation by looking at NBS at the interface of technological and biological spheres and considering full co-creation as an interplay not only between the stakeholders but also between human and nonhuman actors. To accomplish this, COEVOLVERS explores through seven Living Labs (LL) across Europe the situational and place-based conditions around the socio-politics of NBS design and implementation. The purpose is to alter the socio-ecological conditions to provide governance models and techniques, motivation structures and practices for more inclusive NBS and resilient communities. COEVOLVERS helps develop already existing, incipient, and emerging NBS with local actors by means of participatory and digital transdisciplinary methodologies. COEVOLVERS will support the growth of novel capabilities, entrepreneurship, and renewal capacity for a just transition. COEVOLVERS engages and informs policy- and decisionmakers to ensure their contribution to transformational impacts. We integrate co-created knowledge and preparedness to act with actual governance and decision-making structures to ensure implementation and critical evaluation together with the continuous reconfiguration and development of models, techniques and tools. 

More info.

Uurimisrühma juhid: Maarja Ojamaa, Peeter Torop

Uurimisrühma liikmed: Aleksandra Milyakina, Tatjana Pilipovec, Merit Rickberg, Liina Sieberk ja Aleksandr Fadeev

Transmeedia uurimisrühm tegutseb kultuurisemiootika rahvusprofessuuri juures ja sai alguse baasfinantseeritavast projektist „Kultuur kui haridus: transmeedialisus ja digitaalsus kultuurilises autokommunikatsioonis“ („Culture as education: transmediality and digitality in cultural autocommunication“). Sama projekti sisuliselt jätkatakse. Meie eesmärk on arendada metoodikat, mis integreerib transmeedialisi uuringuid ja kultuurisemiootikat eesti kultuuri jaoks oluliste probleemide analüüsiks kõige kaasaegsemal tasemel. Praktiliseks väljundiks on transmeedialiste ja digitaalsete lahenduste pakkumine koolidele ja õpetajate täiendkoolitus. Seni on laiemalt kättesaadavaks tehtud e-kursus digiplatvormil „Kirjandus ekraanil“ ( ) eesti ja vene koolide kirjandusõpetajatele. Platvormi aluseks on A. Kivirähki romaani „Rehepapp“ ekraniseering „November“. Koolidele on samuti ette valmistatud valikkursus „Kunstitekst ajaloomälu vahendajana“, millega kaasneb digiplatvormi loomine L. Tungla raamatu „Seltsimees laps“ ekraniseeringule. Uurimisrühma juhivad Maarja Ojamaa ja Peeter Torop. Tuumiku moodustavad Aleksandra Milyakina, Tatjana Pilipovec, Merit Rickberg, Liina Sieberk ja Aleksandr Fadeev.


Past projects


08.03.2019 - 31.01.2023 

Principal researcher: Andreas Ventsel 

Senior research staff: Mari-Liis Madisson, Sten Hansson (UT Institute of social sciences) 

The project focuses on analysis of strategical narratives that are related with (cyber)security discourses. Strategic narratives is means by which political actors attempt to construct a shared meaning of the past, present, and future of international politics to shape the behavior of domestic and international actors. Strategic narratives usually establish the identity of the active actor (who we are?), a desired destination (what we want to achieve?), the obstacles related to it and the recommended way of overcoming these obstacles. Strategic narratives may include the justification of policy objectives or policy responses to economic or security crises, the formation of international alliances, or the rallying of domestic or international public opinion etc. We conceptualize our research results in the framework of security dilemma. It refers to a situation in international relations in which actions by a state intended to heighten its security (eg increasing its military strength, committing to use weapons or making alliances) can lead other states to respond with similar measures, producing increased tensions that create conflict, even when no side really desires it. Our project we will research how cybersecurity narratives shape the dynamics of policy between Russia and NATO members. We will use interdisciplinary research-methods from semiotics, discourse analysis, media studies, narrative studies, conflict- and security studies etc. 

Project in ETIS.



Principal investigator: Nelly Mäekivi 

This project aims to transform our understanding of the captive management of wild animals by examining the histories, effects and potential futures of zoo biology. It expects to clarify, synthesise and generate knowledge in the history and philosophy of zoo biology using interdisciplinary approaches to the intersection of human and animal lives. Expected outcomes of this project include international and interdisciplinary collaborations that will develop sophisticated methods and conceptual resources for understanding and improving human-wildlife relations. This will provide significant environmental and social benefits, protecting threatened biological communities and helping them to flourish alongside people in changing conditions. 

Project in ETIS.


Andreas Ventsel

Kavandatava uurimisprojekti keskmes on vaenuliku mõjutustegevuse diskursiivsete strateegiate väljaselgitamine ja sihtgrupi teadlikkuse uurimine. Projekt koosneb kolmest omavahel seotud faasist: kvalitatiivsest ja kvantitatiivsest uuringust ning veebipõhise infomõjutusstrateegiate- ja võtete tuvastamisele suunatud õpiplatvormi kavandi väljatöötamisest. Analüüsime vaenuliku infomõjutustegevuse diskursiivsete strateegiate (mille eesmärkideks võivad olla muuhulgas infoudu tekitamine, polariseerumise võimendamine, ohustsenaariumite levitamine) alast teadlikkust ja vastuvõtlikkust.  Saamaks ülevaadet vaenuliku mõjutustegevuse alasest teadlikkusest ja võimalikest probleemkohtadest, kasutame kvantitatiivset uurimismeetodit. Nende kahe uurimisstrateegia kombineerimine annab teadmise, mille alusel tulevikus paremaid ja efektiivsemaid õppematerjale ning veebipõhist õpibaasibaasi välja töötada.

Jaanuar 2017 - detsember 2020

Vastutav täitja: Timo Maran

Projekti eesmärgiks on saada teadmisi, kuidas eri liigid kasutavad jagatud keskkondades seoste loomiseks semiootilisi vahendeid, kuidas liigi omailm võimaldab suhestumist teiste liikide ja keskkondadega, kuidas tekivad jagatud märgirepertuaarid ning millised inimese semiootilis-kultuurilised tegurid mõjutavad neid protsesse. Projekt keskendub paljuliigilistele keskkondadele linnalooduses, nende kultuurilistele representatsioonidele ja paljuliigilise semioosi mõistmise teoreetilistele alustele.