2009 – PhD in biology (Dr.biol.), microbiology, University of Latvia, Faculty of Biology.
Scientific interests and competence
Mycelium biocomposites; biopolymers from natural fibres; microbial degradation of wood; microscopy of wood structure and microorganisms; fungal diversity in wooden constructions; biological durability of treated wood and wood based products.
The most important projects
2021-present – ERDF project - Development of ecological and biodegradable materials from natural fibres with functional biopolymer additives (No.188.8.131.52/20/A/113), leading researcher.
2020 – VPP-COVID-2020/1-0004 - Integration of reliable technologies for protection against Covid-19 in healthcare and high risk areas, leading researcher.
2017-2020 – ERDF project – Wood with improved service properties due to combination of thermal modification and impregnation (No. 184.108.40.206./16/A/133), leading researcher.
2016-2018 – FSCC project – Wood based composites with improved properties (No. 220.127.116.11/16/A/009), leading researcher.
2014-2015 – ERDF project – Plywood from thermally modified veneer with improved durability properties (No. 2014/0018/2DP/18.104.22.168.0/14/APIA/VIAA/040), leading researcher.
2010-2013 – ES INTERREG IVA project – Fungi and Beetles in Buildings on Islands of Baltic Sea (FaBBi), expert in mycology.
From 2016 – Expert of the Latvian Council of Science in Biology and Material science sectors.
From 2015 – Management Committee member of the COST Action TD1406.
From 2012 – Member of the Scientific Board of State Inspection for Heritage Protection.
From 2011 – Member of the International Research Group on Wood Protection (IRG/ WP).
2007-2011 – Management Committee member of the COST Action IE0601.
From 2004 – Member of the European Mycological Association (EMA).
From 2002 – Member of the Latvian Microbiology Society.
From 2002 – Member of the Latvian Mycological Society.
From 1999 – Member of the International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Society (IBBS).
The most important publications
Irbe, I., Filipova, I., Skute, M., Zajakina, A., Spunde, K., Juhna, T. Characterization of Novel Biopolymer Blend Mycocel from Plant Cellulose and Fungal Fibers. Polymers, 2021, 13 (7),1086. (https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13071086)
Irbe, I., Zommere, Z., Kurnosova, N. Alternative wood preservation method: double treatment and its effectiveness against wood decay fungi. European Journal of Wood and Wood Products, 2020, 78, 1233-1247 (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00107-020-01582-1)
Irbe, I., Bikovens, O., Fridrihsone, V., Dzenis, M. Impact of biodeterioration on structure and composition of waterlogged foundation piles from Riga Cathedral (1211 CE), Latvia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2019, 23, 196–202 (doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.11.002).
Irbe, I., Grinins, J., Andersone, I. Andersons, B. Susceptibility of thermo-hydro-treated birch plywood to mould and blue stain fungi. Wood Material Science & Engineering, 2018,13 (5), 296-304 (doi: 10.1080/17480272.2017.1335346).
Irbe, I., Elisashvili, V., Asatiani, M. D., Janberga, A., Andersone, I., Andersons, B., Biziks, V., Grinins, J. Lignocellulolytic activity of Coniophora puteana and Trametes versicolor in fermentation of wheat bran and decay of hydrothermally modified hardwoods. Int. Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 2014, 86, 71-78 (doi: 10.1016/j.ibiod.2013.06.027).
Irbe, I., Karadelev, M., Andersone, I., Andersons, B. Biodeterioration of external wooden structures of the Latvian Cultural Heritage. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 2012, 135, 579–584 (doi: 10.1016/j.culher.2012.01.016).