Professor Ülo Niinemets became the editor-in-chief of the journal Oecologia

Foto: Eesti Maaülikooli fotokogu
Professor Ülo Niinemets

Estonia's most highly rated scientist, Ülo Niinemetsa, professor of plant breeding and plant biology at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, became the editor-in-chief of the prestigious scientific journal Oecologia on the topics of plant ecophysiology, ecosystem ecology, global change ecology, on August 1, 2023

Oecologia is a traditional wide-spectrum scientific journal of ecology, the first issue of which was published already in April 1968. It is also one of the best-known and most cited scientific journals in its field (37,755 citations in 2021).

Professor Niinemets said that he has always looked up to Oecologia and and in his own research, heavily used the work published in Oecologia." Back in 1991, as an undergraduate at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, I had the privilege of meeting the legendary Professor Ernst-Detlef Schulze, who was the editor-in-chief for the ecophysiology section of Oecologia at the time. Later, life brought me into contact with other exceptionally distinguished editors, including Professors Otto Lange, Christian Körner, and Russ Monson," said Niinemets.

However, he has not thought about the role of editor-in-chief before, although he has been a member of the editorial board of Oecologia since 2013, thus participating in the evaluation of scientific works published in the journal. As one of the six editors-in-chief, Niinemets will now direct the development of the fields of ecophysiology and ecology of global changes published in the journal.

Niinemets describes how the decision to run for the editor-in-chief of the magazine came to him in somewhat unexpected circumstances. 
I learned about the opening for the position of Oecologia's editor-in-chief this year in March when I was stuck in the transit zone of Johannesburg airport after missing my flight to Namibia. Under normal circumstances, this email would have definitely escaped my attention, but now there was some spare time to think. I was hesitant: exceptional former editors have set the bar very high; will I be ready for the challenge and worth of standing on the shoulders of the giants? At the same time, I was right on the way to Namibia to measure the unique Welwitschia plants and had just read the classic articles of the former editor Schulze in Oecologia about measuring Welwitschia and other desert plants in Namibia. If this isn't fate, then what is? I wrote a motivational letter and emailed the publisher of Oecologia just before boarding the flight to Walvis Bay. 

The editors of Oecologia journal can be found on the website of Springer scientific publishing house.

The research portal ranked Professor Ülo Niinemets with his scientific activities in the extremely high 18th place among the world's researchers in the field of plant science and agronomy this year. This is by far the highest position that any Estonian scientist has reached.