Olev Vinn

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Olev Vinn
Born (1971-01-26)January 26, 1971
Tallinn, Estonia
Alma mater University of Tartu
Known for studies on annelid biomineralization
Awards 2017 Estonian State Science Prize in Geo-Bio Sciences
Scientific career
Fields paleobiology, paleontology
Institutions University of Tartu
Doctoral advisor Madis Rubel

Olev Vinn (January 26, 1971) is Estonian paleobiologist and paleontologist.[1]

Vinn graduated from the biology class of Tallinn 3. Secondary School in 1989. He studied geology at the University of Tartu from 1989 to 1993. Vinn holds an M.Sc. degree in paleontology and stratigraphy from the University of Tartu in 1995 and a Ph.D. degree in geology from the same university in 2001. He is senior research fellow in paleontology at the University of Tartu since 2007. He has published more than 100 peer reviewed papers in international scientific journals.[1][2]

Taxonomic studies[edit]

Vinn has described new genera and species of brachiopods, cornulitids, microconchids, serpulid polychaetes and trace fossils. He is a specialist of extinct tubicolous fossils. A microconchid species Microconchus vinni is named in honour of his taxonomic studies of tentaculitoid tubeworms.[3]

Biomineralization studies[edit]

Vinn has described majority of annelid skeletal ultrastructures. Oriented tube structures are present in many serpulid species and cannot be explained by the standard carbonate slurry model. Vinn and his co-authors have hypothesized that oriented structures in serpulid tubes have been secreted in the same way as in mollusc shells, based on their ultrastructural similarity. Vinn and his co-authors proposed alternative ways to explain the calcified secretory granules described by Neff [4] in the lumen of the calcium-secreting glands in serpulids. They proposed that worm actually produces calcium-saturated mucus in the glands. The mucus is then deposited on the tube aperture, where crystallization of the structure is controlled by an organic matrix, as in molluscs.The calcified granules in the glands may only be an artifact of fixation and formed after the death of the worm.[5]

Paleoecology studies[edit]

Vinn has studied evolution of symbiosis in several groups of early invertebrates such as cornulitids, microconchids, bryozoans, brachiopods, crinoids, stromatoporoids, tabulates and rugosans. He has described serpulid faunas of Mesozoic to Recent hydrocarbon seeps.[2] A Late Devonian coral species ?Michelinia vinni is named in honour of his contribution to knowledge of ecology of Palaeozoic bioconstructing organisms.[6] A crinoid species name Hiiumaacrinus vinni recognizes his significant contributions to the Silurian paleontology of Estonia.[7]


Some of Vinn's more important publications include:


  1. ^ a b Aaloe, A. (ed.) (1995). Estonian Geology. Biographic Directory. Tallinn: Geological Society of Estonia, 145 p.
  2. ^ a b Aaviksoo, J. (ed.) (2013). Biographic lexicon of Estonian Science. Part IV. Tartu, 1913 p.
  3. ^ Zatoń, M.; Krawczyński, W. (2011). "New Devonian microconchids (Tentaculita) from the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland". Journal of Paleontology. 85 (4): 757–769. doi:10.1666/11-005.1. 
  4. ^ Neff, J.M. (1971). "Ultrastructure of calcium phosphate-containing cells in the serpulid Pomatoceros caeruleus". Calcified Tissue Research. 7: 191–200. doi:10.1007/bf02062606. 
  5. ^ Ehrlich, H. (2010). Biological Materials of Marine Origin: Invertebrates. Dordrecht: Springer, 572 p.
  6. ^ Zapalski, M.K.; Berkowski, B.; Wrzołek, T. (2016). "Tabulate Corals after the Frasnian/Famennian Crisis: A Unique Fauna from the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland". PLoS ONE. 11 (3): e0149767. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149767. PMC 4807921Freely accessible. PMID 27007689. 
  7. ^ Ausich, W.I.; Wilson, M.A. (2016). "Llandovery (early Silurian) crinoids from Hiiumaa Island, western Estonia". Journal of Paleontology. 90: 1–10. doi:10.1017/jpa.2016.120. 

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