Assoc. Prof. Martin Knez, Ph. D.

Associate Professor at master study (2nd cycle) Earth and Environmental Sciences at Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU.

+386 5 700 1900

Course principal:



Since 1989, he has been employed at the ZRC SAZU Karst Research Institute. His main field of work involves the stratigraphic, lithopetrologic and microtectonic research of karst terrains, as well as the subjects of selective corrosion and erosion of carbonates and speleogenesis of karst caves as a part of an underground karst aquifer. He studied the karst of Europe, China, Russian Siberia, Brazil, Australia, Iran, Japan, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates.


As a professor he teaches at the Graduate School (Doctoral study program Karstology) and at the School of Environmental Sciences, both at the University of Nova Gorica, he teaches at the Faculty of Humanities Koper of the University of Primorska, and at the School of Sustainable Tourism in Ljubljana.


He was the first Slovene to co-lead one of the global UNESCO IGCP projects, the UNESCO IGCP project No. 598, co-leads also the following, UNESCO IGCP project No. 661.


He is Director of the Doctoral study program Karstology, which is unique in the world, and the only program where students are awarded the title Doctor of Science in Karstology. The program is implemented at the University of Nova Gorica, in close cooperation with the Karst Research Institute.


He is Head of the UNESCO Chair on Karst Education.


From 1995, he has been researching the Chinese Karst. He actively contributed to the 2008 inclusion of the Stone Forest (Shilin), an exceptional karst landscape in the south of China, on UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage List. Currently recording around 5 million visitors per year, the Stone Forest is now successfully marketed under the South China Karst brand name. He is co-founder, member of executive and scientific advisory board of International Center for Karst Research of Yunnan University and the Yunnan International Karst Environmental Laboratory (Kunming, Yunnan, China).


He dedicated several years to work as editor on the fundamental Slovenian karstological work by Ivan Gams bearing the title Karst in Slovenia in Space and Time, which was first published in 2003 and reprinted in 2004.


He participates in and leads planning and construction projects on karst, which includes the issue of protecting the features of this area. Between other, he has been participating in the planning and karstological supervision of motorway and railway construction from 1990. He has led several projects of planning a modernized railway route between Divača, Koper andTrieste.


  • Member of the Karstological Academy;
  • Member of the International Geographical Union’s (IGU) Karst Commission;
  • Member of the International Union of Speleology’s (UIS) Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis Commission;
  • Member of the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO IGCP;
  • Member of the scientific editorial board of journals Geologica Croatica and Karst Development;
  • Co-founder and a member of the Executive Committee and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Yunnan University International Joint Research Center for Karstology and Yunnan International Karst Environmental Laboratory at the Yunnan Institute for Geography, Yunnan University (Kunming, Yunnan, China);
  • Member of the group which received China’s national award the Yunnan Friendship Award, the American award for Outstanding Contribution to Karst Science, award of Geographical Society of United Arab Emirates.

Selected publications:


  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, TRAJANOVA, Mirka, AKIMOVA, Tatjana, KALMYKOV, Igor. The karren peeling off on marbles in Altai (Altai Republic, Russian Federation). Acta carsologica. 2020, 49, 1, 11-38. DOI: 10.3986/ac.v49i1.7197.
  • PETRIČ, Metka (author, photographer), RAVBAR, Nataša, ZINI, Luca, CALLIGARIS, Chiara, CORAZZI, Riccardo, ŽITKO, Zdenka, RESTAINO, Marco, KNEZ, Martin. Determining the directions and characteristics of underground water flow in karst for the purpose of traffic routes construction: the case of the new Divača-Koper railway line (SW Slovenia). Acta carsologica. 2020, 49, 1, 63-80. DOI: 10.3986/ac.v49i1.8582.
  • KNEZ, Martin, RUGGIERI, Rosario, SLABE, Tadej. Karren above Custonaci (Sicily, Italy). Acta carsologica, 2019, 48, 1, 43-58. DOI: 10.3986/ac.v48i1.7029.
  • ŠEGINA, Ela, BENAC, Čedomir, RUBINIĆ, Josip, KNEZ, Martin. Morphometric analyses of dolines : the problem of delineation and calculation of basic parameters. Acta carsologica, 2018, 47, 1, 23-33. DOI: 10.3986/ac.v47i1.4941.
  • ČERU, Teja, ŠEGINA, Ela, KNEZ, Martin, BENAC, Čedomir, GOSAR, Andrej. Detecting and characterising unroofed caves by ground penetrating radar. Geomorphology, 2018, 303, 524-539. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.11.004.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, URUSHIBARA-YOSHINO, Kazuko. Lithology, rock relief and karstification of Minamidaito Island (Japan). Acta carsologica, 2017, 46, 1, 47-62. DOI: 10.3986/ac.v46i1.2022.
  • AUDRA, Philippe, BOSÁK, Pavel, GÁZQUEZ, Fernando, CAILHOL, Didier, SKÁLA, Roman, LISÁ, Lenka, JONÁŠOVÁ, Šárka, FRUMKIN, Amos, KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, AL FARRAJ AL KETBI, Asma. Bat urea-derived minerals in arid environment: first identification of allantoin, C4H6N4O3, in Kahf Kharrat Najem Cave, United Arab Emirates. International journal of speleology, 2017, 46, 1, 81-92. DOI: 10.5038/1827-806X.46.1.2001.
  • GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, MIHEVC, Andrej, OTONIČAR, Bojan, MULEC, Janez, PERNE, Matija, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, RAVBAR, Nataša, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. Development challenges in karst regions : sustainable land use planning in the karst of Slovenia. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, ISSN 0372-8854, Supplementband, 60, 2, 2016, 293-318. DOI: 10.1127/zfg_suppl/2016/00309.
  • MIHEVC, Andrej, GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOZEL, Peter, MULEC, Janez, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. Karst in Slovenia. Boletín geológico y minero, 2016, 127, 1, 79-97.
  • GUTIÉRREZ DOMECH, Roberto, KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Felo Pérez Mogote (Viñales, Pinar del Río, Cuba) : typical shaping of rock surface below dense tropical vegetation. Acta carsologica, 2015, 44, 1, 47-57. DOI: 10.3986/ac.v44i1.680.
  • AL FARRAJ AL KETBI, Asma, SLABE, Tadej, KNEZ, Martin, GABROVŠEK, Franci, MULEC, Janez, PETRIČ, Metka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. Karst in Ras Al-Khaimah, northern United Arab Emirates. Acta carsologica, 2014, 43, 1, 23-41. DOI: 10.3986/ac.v43i1.579.
  • KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, LIU, Hong, MULEC, Janez, PETRIČ, Metka, RAVBAR, Nataša, SLABE, Tadej. Karstological study of the new Kunming airport building area (Yunnan, China). Environmental earth sciences, 2012, 67, 1, 273-283. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-011-1506-x.
  • KNEZ, Martin, LIU, Hong, SLABE, Tadej. Major stone forest, litomorphogenesis and development of typical shilin (Yunnan, China). Acta carsologica, 2012, 41, 2/3, 205-218.
  • DEBEVEC, Bogdan, KNEZ, Martin, KRANJC, Andrej, PAHOR, Marko, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SEMEJA, Aleš, SLABE, Tadej. Preliminary study for the adaptation of the “Heaven’s Cave” for tourist purposes (Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam). Acta carsologica, 2012, 41, 1, 115-127.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, PANISSET TRAVASSOS, Luiz Eduardo. Karren on laminar calcarenitic rock of Lagoa Santa (Minas Gerais, Brazil). Acta carsologica, 2011, 40, 2, 357-367.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Karren of Mushroom Mountain (Junzi Shan) in the Eastern Yunnan Ridge, Yunnan, China : karstological and tourist attraction. Acta geologica sinica, 2010, 84, 2, 424-431.



  • BLATNIK, Matej, CULVER, David C., GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Blaž, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, LIU, Hong, MAYAUD, Cyril, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, ALJANČIČ, Magdalena, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, SHAW, Trevor R., SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, KNEZ, Martin, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, SLABE, Tadej. Karstology in the Classical Karst, (Advances in karst science). Cham: Springer, 2020. XII, 222. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-26827-5.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, GABROVŠEK, Franci, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, KRANJC, Andrej, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PERNE, Matija, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, BOSÁK, Pavel, PRUNER, Petr, LIU, Hong, KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Cave exploration in Slovenia : discovering over 350 new caves during motorway construction on classical karst, (Cave and karst systems of the world). Cham: Springer, 2016. XIII, 324. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21203-6.
  • GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PERNE, Matija, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, TURK, Janez, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. The Beka-Ocizla cave system : karstological railway planning in Slovenia, (Cave and karst systems of the world). Cham: Springer, 2015. X, 102. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-04456-9.
  • CULVER, David C., DEBEVEC, Bogdan, KNEZ, Martin, KOVAČIČ, Gregor, KRANJC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, SEMEJA, Aleš, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, KNEZ, Martin, PETRIČ, Metka, SLABE, Tadej. Karstology and development challenges on karst. 2, Construction, tourism, ecology, protection, (Carsologica, 14). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2012. 199.
  • KNEZ, Martin, PETRIČ, Metka, SLABE, Tadej. Karstology and development challenges on karst. 1, Water, (Carsologica, 13). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2011. 167.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Shilin – the formation of stone forests in various rock. In: KNEZ, Martin, LIU, Hong, SLABE, Tadej. South China karst II, (Carsologica, 12). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2011, 35-48.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Lithological characteristics, shape and rock relief of the Lunan stone forest. In: GINÉS, Ángel, KNEZ, Martin et al. Karst rock features: karren sculpturing, (Carsologica, 9). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2009, 439-452.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Krasoslovna spremljava gradnje, raziskave ter načrtovanja avtocest prek slovenskega krasa. In: KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Kraški pojavi, razkriti med gradnjo slovenskih avtocest, (Carsologica, 7). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2007, 9-22.
  • GAMS, Ivan, KNEZ, Martin (ed.). Kras v Sloveniji v prostoru in času. 2. pregledana izd. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2004. 515.
  • GAMS, Ivan, KNEZ, Martin (ed.). Kras v Sloveniji v prostoru in času. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2003. 516. .
  • KNEZ, Martin. Lithologic properties of the three Lunan stone forest (Shilin, Naigu and Lao Hei Gin). In: CHEN, Xiaoping, KNEZ, Martin et al. South China karst I, (Zbirka ZRC, 19). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 1998, 30-43.
  • KNEZ, Martin. The Bedding-Plane Impact on the Development of Karst Caves (An Example of Velika Dolina, Cave Škocjanske Jame), (Zbirka ZRC, 14). Ljubljana: Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, 1996, 186.



  • KNEZ, Martin, HONG, L., SLABE, Tadej. Stripped karen on Snake Mountain above Kunming (Yunnan, China). In: ANDREO NAVARRO, Bartolomé (ed.). Hydrogeological and environmental investigations in Karst systems, (Environmental Earth Sciences, vol. 1). Heidelberg: Springer, 2015, 589-597.
  • KNEZ, Martin. Geološke značilnosti župnije Dobrova. In: DOLINAR, Janez (ed.). Marija v leščevju : Dobrova pri Ljubljani. Ljubljana: Salve, 2015, 39-60.
  • KNEZ, Martin, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja. The geological setting of Križna jama. In: PACHER, Martina (ed.), POHAR, Vida (ed.), RABEDER, Gernot (ed.). Križna jama : palaeontology, zoology and geology of Križna jama in Slovenia, (Mitteilungen der Kommission für Quartärforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Bd. 21). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2014, 15-20.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Stone forests and their rock relief. In: SHRODER, John F. (ed.). Treatise on geomorphology. 1st ed. San Diego: Academic Press: Elsevier, 2013, 6, 139-156, ilustr. DOI: 10.1016/978-0-12-374739-6.00124-X.
  • KNEZ, Martin, KRANJC, Andrej. Karst. In: PLENIČAR, Mario (ed.), OGORELEC, Bojan (ed.), NOVAK, Matevž (ed.). The geology of Slovenia. Ljubljana: Geološki zavod Slovenije, 2009, 563-574.
  • KNEZ, Martin. Geologic characteristics of the Kras plateau. In: URUSHIBARA-YOSHINO, Kazuko (ed.). Changing social conditions and their impacts on the geoecology: transhumance regions of Romania and Slovenia : Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research (B), 2003-2005. Tokyo: Department of Geography, Hosei University, 2006, 133-147.
  • KNEZ, Martin. Geological conditions in the cadastral municipalities of Divača, Volčji Grad and Račice as one of the essential elements determining land use. In: MIHEVC, Andrej (ed.). Kras: water and life in a rocky landscape, (Project Aquadapt). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, 29-36.
  • KNEZ, Martin, ŠEBELA, Stanka, GABROVŠEK, Franci. Geološke osnove ter jame, Geološke razmere na področju Udin boršta, Tektonski položaj Udin boršta, Jame v Udin borštu. In: KRANJC, Andrej (ed.). Karstic cultural landscapes: architecture of a unique relationship people – territory, Udin boršt. Montebelluna: Museo di Storia Naturale e Archeologia, 2005, 9-24.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Caves and sinkholes in motorway construction, Slovenia : case study 3. In: WALTHAM, Tony, BELL, Fred, CULSHAW, Martin. Sinkholes and subsidence: karst and cavernous rocks in engineering and construction, (Springer-Praxis books in geophysical sciences). Berlin: Springer: Praxis, 2005, 283-288.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Highways on karst. In: GUNN, John (ed.). Encyclopedia of caves and karst science. New York; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004, 419-420.
  • KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Lithologic and morphological properties and rock relief of the Lunan stone forest. In: GABROVŠEK, Franci (ed.). Evolution of karst: from prekarst to cessation, (Carsologica, [1]). Postojna: Inštitut za raziskovanje krasa ZRC SAZU; Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2002, 259-266.
  • KNEZ, Martin. Kamnine na krasu, Terciar. In: LIKAR, Vojislav (ed.), et al. Kras : pokrajina, življenje, ljudje. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 1999, 25-41.
  • KNEZ, Martin. Karst cave development from the bedding-plane point of view (Skocjanske Jame Caves, Slovenia). In: DOAXIAN, Yuan (ed.). Proceedings of the 30th International geological congress, Beijing, China, 24, Environmental geology. Utrecht: VSP, 1997, 86-105.
  • KNEZ, Martin. The Tertiary. In: KRANJC, Andrej (ed.). Kras : Slovene Classical Karst. Ljubljana: Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, Založba ZRC: Inštitut za raziskovanje krasa ZRC SAZU, 1997, 34-41.