Assist. Prof. Aleš Smrekar, Ph.D.

Senior Research Fellow at Anton Melik Geographical Institute ZRC SAZU, Assistant Professor in the field of Geography

+386 1 4706 547


B.Sc. Geography (University of Ljubljana, 1995)

M.Sc. Geography (University of Ljubljana, 2000)

Ph.D. Geography (University of Primorska, 2005)


Fieldwork and research interests:

In 1995 I was employed by the Institute for Geography, which was joined to the Anton Melik Geographical Institute ZRC SAZU in 2002. I am head of the institute’s Department of Environmental Protection. My main fields of interest are environmental pollution, protection and interpretation of natural and cultural values, and cultural heritage and environmental awareness through participation processes. I have collaborated in numerous fundamental and applicative research projects in Slovenia and European Union. I have mentored four Ph.D. students.

Main visiting appointments during international projects:

  • WETNET – Coordinated management and networking of Mediterranean wetlands, 2016 – 2019, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal
  • Urban Green Belts – Smart integrated models for sustainable management of urban green spaces for creating more healthy and liveable urban environments, 2016 – 2019, Hungary
  • SHAPETOURISM – New shape and drives for the tourism sector: supporting decision, integrating plans and ensuring sustainability, 2016 – 2018, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom
  • HEPNESS – Healthy Environment Promotion aNd Ecosystem Services Support for ACTIVE CITIES development, 2016 – 2018, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Croatia
  • BIOMOT – MOTivational strength of ecosystem services and alternative ways to express the value of BIOdiversity, 2011 – 2015, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland
  • 2BParks – Creative Sustainable Management, Territorially Compatible Marketing, and Environmental Education, 2010 – 2013, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Ciprus
  • PASCALIS – Protocol for the assessment and conservation of aquatic life in the subsurface, 2002 – 2004, Italy, France, Belgium


  • member of the Management Board of the Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU;
  • member of the Science Council of the Anton Melik Geographical Institute;
  • executive member of the Commission on Geoparks by the International Geographical Union;
  • member of the Acta Geographica Slovenica editorial board;
  • member of the International journal of geoheritage editorial board;
  • member of the Statistical advisory committee on natural resources and environment statistics by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia;
  • member of the Committee of the Infrastructure, Environment and Spatial Planning of the Regional Development Council of the Ljubljana Urban Region.

Selected publications:

  • Ratković Aydemir, D. L., Jagič Boljat, I., Draženović, M., Klarić Vujović, I., Kuka, M., Polajnar Horvat, K., Smrekar, A. 2020: Priročnik za interpretacijo dediščino.
  • Smrekar, A., Breg Valjavec, M., Polajnar Horvat, K. 2020: Human-induced degradation in Slovenia. V: Perko, D., Ciglič, R, Zorn, M. (ed.). The geography of Slovenia: small but diverse.
  • Smrekar, A., Polajnar Horvat, K., Ribeiro, D. 2020: Slovenia’s protected areas. In: Perko, D., Ciglič, R., Zorn, M. (ed.). The geography of Slovenia : small but diverse.
  • Fornara, F., Polajnar Horvat, K., Smrekar, A., et al. 2020: The extended Value-Belief-Norm theory predicts committed action for nature and biodiversity in Europe. Environmental impact assessment review 81.
  • Smrekar, A., Polajnar Horvat, K., Ribeiro, D. 2020: Stakeholder analysis for (Mediterranean) wetland governance : the case of Ljubljansko Barje Nature Park, Slovenia. In: Nared, J., Bole, D. (ed.). Participatory research and planning in practice.
  • Molinario, E., Polajnar Horvat, K., Smrekar, A., et al. 2019: Motivations to act for the protection of nature biodiversity and the environment : a matter of “significance”. Environment & behavior.
  • Scopelliti, M., Polajnar Horvat, K., Smrekar, A., et al. 2018: What makes you a ‘hero’ for nature?: socio-psychological profiling of leaders committed to nature and biodiversity protection across seven EU countries. Journal of environmental planning and management, 61(5-6).
  • Admiraal, J., Van Den Born, R. J. G., Beringer, A., Bonaiuto, F., Cicero, L., Hiedanpää, J., Knights, P., Knippenberg, L. W. J., Polajnar Horvat, K., Smrekar, A., et al. 2017: Motivations for committed nature conservation action in Europe. Environmental conservation, 44(2).
  • Polajnar Horvat, K., Smrekar, A. 2017: From words to action : improving drinking water behaviour in the urban environment. Geographia Polonica, 90 (3).
  • Smrekar, A., Šmid Hribar, M., Tiran, J., Erhartič, B. 2016: A methodological basis for landscape interpretation : the case of the Ljubljana Marsh. Acta geographica Slovenica 56-2.
  • Smrekar, A., Polajnar Horvat, K., Erhartič, B. 2016: The beauty of landforms. Acta geographica Slovenica 56-2.
  • Polajnar Horvat, K., Smrekar, A., Zorn, M. 2015: The development of environmental thought in Slovenia: a short overview. Ekonomska i ekohistorija 10-10.
  • Smrekar, A., Šmid Hribar, M., Tiran, J., Erhartič, B., Resnik Planinc, T. 2014: Interpretacija okolja na primeru Ljubljanskega barja. Georitem, 24.