Short CV/Education and training

Professional employment

  • Since 2015
    National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, senior researcher, Estonia

  • 2007 – 2014
    National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, researcher, Estonia

  • 2012 – 2014
    Niels Bohr International Academy, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, postdoctoral fellow, Denmark

  • 2011 – 2008
    IFISC(InstituteforCross-DisciplinaryPhysicsandComplexSystems), University of the Balearic Islands and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC-UIB), postdoctoral research associate

  • 2005 – 2008
    University of Tartu, Doctoral School of Materials Science and Material Technology, extraordinary researcher, Estonia

  • 2004 – 2007
    University of Tartu, Institute of Theoretical Physics, extraordinary researcher, Estonia

  • 2004 – 2005
    Philipps-University Marburg, Department of Chemistry, Computer Simulation Group, scientific coworker, Germany


  • 2004 – 2008
    University of Tartu, Ph.D. in theoretical physics, Estonia

  • 2002 – 2004
    University of Tartu, M. Sc. in theoretical physics, Estonia

  • 1998 – 2002
    University of Tartu, B. Sc. in physics, Estonia

Other professional experience

  • 2007
    University of Camerino, Department of Physics, visiting doctoral student, Italy

  • 2005 – 2006
    University of Augsburg, Institute of Theoretical Physics, visiting doctoral student, Germany

  • 2004
    CERN, Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, summer student, Switzerland

Selected publications

  • Heinsalu, E.; Patriarca, M.; Leonard, J.L. (2014). The Role of Bilinguals in Language Competition. Advances in Complex Systems, 17, 1450003.

  • Heinsalu, Els; Patriarca, Marco (2014). Kinetic models of immediate exchange. The European Physical Journal B – Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, 87, 170.10.1140/epjb/e2014-50270-6.

  • Heinsalu, Els; Hernández-Garcia, Emilio; López, Cristóbal (2013). Clustering Determines Who Survives for Competing Brownian and Lévy Walkers. Physical Review Letters, 110, 258101.

  • Heinsalu, Els; Patriarca, Marco; Marchesoni, Fabio (2009). Stochastic resonance in bistable confining potentials. European Physical Journal B, 69, 19.

  • Heinsalu, E.; Patriarca, M.; Goychuk, I.; Hänggi, P. (2007). Use and Abuse of a Fractional Fokker-Planck Dynamics for Time-Dependent Driving. Physical Review Letters, 99, 120602.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • IUT39-1 "The role of diversity in complex systems (1.01.2015−31.12.2020)", Els Heinsalu, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics.

  • ETF9462 "Spatio-temporal dynamics of condensed matter, biological and complex systems (1.01.2012−31.12.2015)", Els Heinsalu, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the Estonian jury of the L'Oréal Baltic For Women in Science Fellowship program, since 2018

  • President of the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences, since 2017

  • Member of the science communication task force, since 2017

  • Member of the science policy committee, since 2017

  • Founding member of the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences, 2016

  • Member of the Scientific Board of NICPB, since 2015

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

  • Speak Estonian, English, Italian, and a bit German, Spanish, and Russian.

Other activities and achievements/family

  • Four children born in 2011 (twins), 2013 and 2014.


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