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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Cycling of substances in the environment, mass balances, modelling of environmental processes and risk assessment

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.08.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Control and care of the environment   
1.04.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Chemistry   
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   
1.06.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology   

Code Science Field
P305  Natural sciences and mathematics  Environmental chemistry 
Keywords
environmental analytical chemistry, biological and geochemical cycles, chemical speciation, organic pollutants, inorganic pollutants, stable isotopes, food authenticity, metrology in chemistry, biomonitoring, neutron activation analysis, natural and artificial radionuclides, radiochemistry, radioecology, kinetics and mechanism of thermal degradation of substances, modeling, risk assessment, quality control.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (55)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  24406  PhD Darija Armentano  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  91 
2.  29517  PhD Miha Avberšek  Biology  Junior researcher  2008  22 
3.  04328  PhD Ljudmila Benedik  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2008  379 
4.  20240  PhD Tinkara Bučar  Metrology  Researcher  2004  169 
5.  28487  PhD Martina Burnik Šturm  Geology  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  62 
6.  26453  PhD Petra Cuderman  Pharmacy  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  40 
7.  15723  Petra Dujmović    Technical associate  2004 - 2007  81 
8.  05249  PhD Jadran Faganeli  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2004 - 2008  577 
9.  19724  Vesna Fajon    Technical associate  2004 - 2008  297 
10.  10582  PhD Ingrid Falnoga  Neurobiology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  345 
11.  28478  PhD Marinka Gams Petrišič  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  45 
12.  29524  PhD Asta Gregorič  Geology  Junior researcher  2008  184 
13.  12315  PhD Ester Heath  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2004 - 2008  604 
14.  05027  PhD Milena Horvat  Chemistry  Head  2004 - 2008  1,890 
15.  14082  PhD Radojko Jaćimović  Physics  Researcher  2004 - 2008  735 
16.  24262  PhD Rožle Jakopič  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  20 
17.  03310  PhD Zvonka Jeran  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2004 - 2008  266 
18.  21543  PhD Tjaša Kanduč  Geology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  488 
19.  21801  Hiacinta Klemenčič    Researcher  2004  31 
20.  25622  PhD David Kocman  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  357 
21.  02564  PhD Branko Kontić  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2004 - 2008  503 
22.  24265  PhD Davor Kontić  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  117 
23.  18708  Barbara Korc    Technical associate  2004 - 2008 
24.  15814  PhD Jože Kotnik  Geology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  388 
25.  22316  PhD Blaž Kralj  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2004 - 2006  19 
26.  18288  PhD Martina Logar  Chemistry  Researcher  2004  157 
27.  10807  PhD Sonja Lojen  Geology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  515 
28.  18287  PhD Darja Mazej  Chemistry  Researcher  2004  380 
29.  08314  PhD Radmila Milačič  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2004 - 2008  803 
30.  20652  PhD Tadeja Milivojevič Nemanič  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2004 - 2007  22 
31.  24268  PhD Tanja Mrak  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  129 
32.  26462  PhD Simona Murko  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  64 
33.  21548  PhD Nataša Nolde  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2004 - 2006  58 
34.  11279  PhD Nives Ogrinc  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2004 - 2008  1,138 
35.  23577  PhD Andrej Osterc  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2008  44 
36.  08946  Silva Perko    Technical associate  2004 - 2008  51 
37.  20826  PhD Andreja Popit  Geology  Researcher  2004  152 
38.  05258  PhD Arkadije Popović  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2008  81 
39.  19896  PhD Urška Repinc  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2008  119 
40.  15728  Janja Smrke    Technical associate  2004 - 2008  33 
41.  22324  PhD Polona Smrkolj  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2004 - 2005  33 
42.  01873  PhD Vekoslava Stibilj  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2008  687 
43.  19822  Barbara Svetek    Technical associate  2004 - 2008  89 
44.  18359  PhD Janez Ščančar  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2004 - 2008  677 
45.  01411  PhD Zdenka Šlejkovec  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2008  240 
46.  20215  PhD Polona Tavčar  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2005  58 
47.  08296  PhD Mihael Jožef Toman  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  631 
48.  08597  Zdenka Trkov    Technical associate  2004 - 2008  76 
49.  24275  MSc Špela Uršej  Landscape design  Junior researcher  2005 - 2006  14 
50.  28489  PhD Mitja Vahčič  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  43 
51.  10968  PhD Janja Vaupotič  Chemistry  Researcher  2004 - 2008  604 
52.  18290  PhD Polona Vreča  Geology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  700 
53.  25667  PhD Tea Zuliani  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  317 
54.  15729  Stojan Žigon    Technical associate  2004 - 2008  315 
55.  26472  PhD Suzana Žižek  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  86 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,277 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,005 
3.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,847 
Abstract
"Cycling of substances in environment" deals with environmental analytical chemistry, biological and chemical cycles, radiochemistry and radioecology. Current information about levels and state of certain substance in environment is investigated using analytical and biological analysis. Performing these analyses over time allows us to trace the transport and fate of these compounds in environment (monitoring). Substances that are subject to our analyses are of natural or anthropogenic origin. When these activities are supplemented with studies of "mass balances", analytical chemistry gains technological/engineering angle while "modelling of environmental processes and risk assessment" connects natural sciences to environmental policy and goals of society. The aim of this program is to acquire high level of understanding and researcher's perception regarding environmental studies. This will allow them to contribute to finding best possible way for society to develop and improve quality of life. Results of this research program will be applied as support for decision making and planing environmental and research policy.
Significance for science
Research on the sensitivity of the natural water cycle, biogeochemical cycles and nutrient flows to anthropogenic impacts and studies of natural environmental archives have directly contributed to the advancement of basic interdisciplinary environmental sciences – geology, hydrology, biochemistry, forest ecology, environmental analytical chemistry. The theme of the proposed program is directly adapted to the strategy of the development of science and to “emerging and neglected areas” in the field of environmental sciences as defined by the European Science Foundation. With a combination of different approaches, the introduction of new and already utilised techniques and mathematical model calculations we will provide an improved insight into the functioning of natural systems and better define the previous and current state where necessary. The latter is especially important for anticipating and adjusting to approaching changes in the environment and the management of natural resources and the environment. The introduction and critical evaluation of possible uses of a combination of geochemical biomarkers and biomarkers of environmental change in different temporal and spatial dimensions will be a substantial and important contribution to knowledge in this field. In toxicity assessments and studies of transport and transformations of elements in the environment, it is crucial to know not only the total concentrations but also the different chemical species present. The program group has always followed new global trends. 20 years ago, we were the first research group in Slovenia to start developing analytical procedures for elemental speciation. The publications, citations of the published works and participations in international projects all confirm that we are among the best in the world in this field. The extensive laboratory experience will also be used in the future to continue the important contribution to the area of elemental speciation. For an efficient planning of in-situ remediation of polluted environments, it is imperative to conduct research also on the laboratory level (in vitro and ex-situ studies) in order to determine the biodegradation potential. There are several ways of accelerating decomposition (by adding specific microorganisms, by adding microelements, by increasing the bioavailability of organic substances, by inducing enzymes) and the efficacy of individual procedures needs to be tested for each system (reactors, pilot wastewater treatment plants and polluted sites) Studies of toxic metal metabolism (Hg, Cd, Pb) in different organisms have been directed at accumulation mechanisms, cell adaptations to the presence of metals, toxic effects on membranes and genetic material and the interactions of metals with the essential element selenium. The work is an important contribution to the research on potential metal toxicity at the cell level. It mostly deals with the effects of mercury and cadmium at low concentrations. This type of research is especially important because, due to environmental pollution, both elements can be present in foodstuffs, and in chronic exposure of the general population, they have been connected with degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, senility and Parkinson’s disease. Radiochemical researches have lately been directed mostly at the methodologies for the determination of low levels of natural and anthropogenic radionuclides in food and drinking water and determination of trace elements in different samples. Measurement of individual actinides in complex samples is extremely demanding because their similar chemical characteristics hinder their separation. Nonetheless, only detailed information on separate nuclides gives the correct estimation of an actinide’s presence.
Significance for the country
To obtain knowledge on the environment, analytical procedures, fate of pollutants, consequences of scarcity natural resources to the growing human population, health impacts of pollution etc., young researchers can go to any number of universities all over the world. We feel however, that these possibilities should also be offered in Slovenia, especially to the local population. In addition, the interest of protecting national wealth is formed by finding solutions to local problems. With this in view, we find that the main problem of the proposed research program for Slovenia is in the original contribution to integral research and education environment and creating highly trained experts in the areas of environmental modelling and environmental impact assessments. Developmentally oriented research work will provide support for future-oriented technological advancement of the Slovene economy by creating Best Available Techniques (BAT) Environment protection and assessment of social movements in the future under conditions of vital economy is one of the key components of the development strategy of every country. In order to realise potential deleterious changes in the environment at an early stage, experts use various methods. For long-term forecasts, these methods are still in the early stages of development. Therefore, predictions such as the effects of global warming remain on the level of speculations. Science will have to make considerable progress in this area. The contribution of our scientists to this progress will be their work within the proposed research program. The development strategy of the Republic of Slovenia for the first decade of the EU membership includes promotion of competitiveness, adaptability and innovativeness of the entire society as instruments for obtaining the set strategic goals. In this way, Slovenia will achieve better quality of life and integral development of society and individuals. The goals of the proposed research program are entirely in accordance with the Strategy and will result in a database of basic knowledge for sustainable environmental management, adaption to changes of the environment the management of natural heritage. The topic of the proposed program is also in accordance with one of the main EU priorities, namely sustainable management of natural resources and the environment and the development of environmental technologies. It is also important for the formation and implementation of the national and EU legislation regarding environment and protection of natural heritage. The results of the program will enhance the knowledge required for the preparation of expert opinions for implementing the requirements of the Kyoto protocol. They will provide support in long-term decision-making regarding investments in environment protection and utilisation programs, especially in connection to strategies of adapting to global climate change. Slovenia has ample water resources, but physical alterations of rivers have substantial deleterious effects on cycling of elements, including toxic and dangerous ones. In light of the recent development of ecological way of thinking and general agreement that water ecosystems have nationally important natural energy potential; and on the basis of relevant research, it is important to warn the public on the dangers of accumulation. Understanding of transport and accumulation of pollutants in aquatic organisms in Slovenia will be an important contribution to the general quality of life. It will also enable more realistic assessments of risks and actual impacts of pollutants on the environment and human health, which is essential for the implementation of effective monitoring. The obtained results will also be important in the process of education of undergraduate and postgraduate students in various fields of study.
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