Short CV/Education and training

  • I’m the leader of the cultural heritage investigation workgroup at the Chair of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Tartu, Estonia, since 2003. This research group is the only one in Estonia dedicated to investigating historical artefacts with different analytical techniques.

  • I’m an expert in different spectroscopic and mass spectrometric techniques (ATR-FT-IR, SEM-EDS, MALDI-FT-ICR-MS, etc.). I have worked as a polychrome objects conservator and have thus a good knowledge of historical and conservation materials. I have participated in a various material investigation related research projects, and I have experience in laboratory and project management, academic teaching and supervision of graduate students.

Current position

  • Since 2022
    Associate Professor in Analytical and Physical Chemistry (1,00), Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Estonia

Previous positions

  • 2010 – 2021
    Research Fellow in Analytical and Physical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Estonia

  • 2008 – 2010
    Chemist (0,40), Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu Estonia

  • 2003 – 2010
    Polychrome Objects Conservator; chemist (0,60), Conservation and Digitization Centre Kanut, Estonia

Education

  • 2010
    PhD, Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tartu, Estonia

  • 2005
    MSc, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Physics and Chemistry, University of Tartu, Estonia

  • 2003
    BSc, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Physics and Chemistry, University of Tartu, Estonia

Selected publications

  • Vahur, S.; Kiudorv, L.; Somelar, P.; Cayme, J.-M.; Retrato, M. D. C.; Remigio, R. J.; Sharma, V.; Oras, E.; Leito, I. Quantitative mineralogical analysis of clay-containing materials using ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy with PLS method. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-021-03617-9.

  • Peets, P.; Vahur, S.; Kruve, A.; Haljasorg, T.; Herodes, K.; Pagano, T.; Leito, I. Instrumental techniques in the analysis of natural red textile dyes. J. Cult. Herit. 2020, 42, 19–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2019.09.002.

  • Oras, E.; Anderson, J.; Tõrv, M.; Vahur, S.; Rammo, R.; Remmer, S.; Mölder, M.; Malve, M.; Saag, L.; Saage, R.; Teearu-Ojakäär, A.; Peets, P.; Tambets, K.; Metspalu, M.; Lees, D. C.; Barclay, M. V. L.; Hall, M. J. R.; Ikram, S.; Piombino-Mascali, D. Multidisciplinary investigation of two Egyptian child mummies curated at the University of Tartu Art Museum, Estonia (Late/Graeco-Roman Periods). PLOS ONE 2020, 15 (1), 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227446.

  • Tammekivi, E.; Vahur, S.; Kekišev, O.; Werf, I. D. van der; Toom, L.; Herodes, K.; Leito, I. Comparison of derivatization methods for the quantitative gas chromatographic analysis of oils. Anal. Methods 2019, 11 (28), 3514–3522. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9AY00954J.

  • Vahur, S.; Eero, L.; Lehtaru, J.; Virro, K.; Leito, I. Quantitative non-destructive analysis of paper fillers using ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy with PLS method. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2019, 411 (20), 5127–5138. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-019-01888-x.

  • Peets, P.; Kaupmees, K.; Vahur, S.; Leito, I. Reflectance FT-IR spectroscopy as a viable option for textile fiber identification. Herit. Sci. 2019, 7 (1), 93. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-019-0337-z.

  • Teearu, A.; Vahur, S.; Rodima, T.; Herodes, K.; Bonrath, W.; Netscher, T.; Tshepelevitsh, S.; Trummal, A.; Lõkov, M.; Leito, I. Method development for the analysis of resinous materials with MALDI-FT-ICR-MS: novel internal standards and a new matrix material for negative ion mode. J. Mass Spectrom. 2017, 52 (9), 603−617. https://doi.org/10.1002/jms.3943.

  • Vahur, S.; Teearu, A.; Peets, P.; Joosu, L.; Leito, I. ATR-FT-IR spectral collection of conservation materials in the extended region of 4000-80 cm–1. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2016, 408 (13), 3373−3379. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-016-9411-5.

  • Vahur, S.; Teearu, A.; Haljasorg, T.; Burk, P.; Leito, I.; Kaljurand, I. Analysis of dammar resin with MALDI-FT-ICR-MS and APCI-FT-ICR-MS. J. Mass Spectrom. 2012, 47 (3), 392-409. https://doi.org/10.1002/jms.2971.

  • Vahur, S.; Teearu, A.; Leito, I. ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy in the region of 550-230 cm-1 for identification of inorganic pigments. Spectrochim. Acta. A. Mol. Biomol. Spectrosc. 2010, 75, 1061–1072. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2009.12.056.



Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Personal research funding: team grant (PRG1198) titled “Development of laser-based pen-type probe-MS system for the analysis of cultural heritage objects” funded by Estonian Research Council (1.01.2021 − 31.12.2025; 257,125 € per year). Project leader, principal investigator (Chair of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu).

  • Personal research funding (PUT1521, Start-up project) titled “Quantitative instrumental analysis of historical painting materials” funded by Estonian Research Council (1.01.2017 − 31.12.2020; 43,200 € per year). Project leader, principal investigator (Chair of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu).

  • „Colour scheme investigation of medieval terracotta figurines from St. John's Church in Tartu” (1.04.2016 − 31.12.2017; 2,000 €). Research and Development Agreement (LLTKT16061) between University of Tartu and Estonian Academy of Arts. Project leader and researcher.

  • “Analysis of paint and coating materials of the artefacts” (26.01.2015 − 28.02.2015; 1,140 €). Research and Development Agreement (LLOKT15016) between University of Tartu and Estonian National Museum. Project leader and researcher.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of International Council of Museums (ICOM) (member of ICOM Estonia), since 2016

  • Member of ICOM-CC (ICOM's Committee for Conservation), since 2016

  • Member of the ICOM Estonia Museum terminology workgroup, since 2016

  • Member of the Society of Estonian Conservators, since 2012

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • I am a trained and attested first aid giver in the chair of Analytical chemistry at University of Tartu.


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