Karstology (2nd Cycle)

Module Coordinator

Mitja Prelovšek, PhD Research Fellow at Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU, lecturer at 2nd cycle study at Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU.

+ 386 5 700 19 21

Slovenia is a land of Classical Karst with a long history of karst research. Module addresses very diverse multi- and interdisciplinary knowledge on karst phenomena evolved in the area as well as methodology of karst research related to fieldwork and laboratory work. It is focused toward interconnecting different knowledge, approaches and methodologies applied by different scientific disciplines when addressing karst. As such addresses all important spheres (geo-, hydro-, atmo-, bio.), karst surface and underground as well as applicative aspects of natural and cultural heritage preservation, use of karst resources and threats of life on karst. Karstology module is either an opportunity for general  understanding of karst or an opportunity for deepening specific knowledge of karst phenomena.

Introduction to the field of karstology provides a course entitled Fundamentals of Karstology; it is compulsory for all the master students of the programme Earth and Environmental Sciences and addresses general knowledge of karst phenomena. In addition, the module consists of three compulsory courses focused on basic research of karst, i.e. geology, geomorphology and hydrogeology of karst. The latter are supplemented by five elective courses that address specific and deepened knowledge of karst phenomena from theoretical as well as applicable perspective. Lectures are primarily given by internationally skilled researchers from Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU with different educational backgrounds that enhance diversification of the module from the viewpoint of different approaches. While compulsory courses are rather general and strongly theoretical, specifics and applicability are more and more pronounced during study. All courses include lectures and individual work as well as field work, which is supplemented in some courses with laboratory work. Karst phenomena related to biology and microbiology can be selected as elective courses in the module Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, while deeper study of carbonates is available within elective courses in the module Paleobiology and Sedimentary Geology.


Goals of the module:

  • acknowledgement with general and specific multi- and interdisciplinary research of karst, especially in the field of natural sciences, development of capabilities to understand and relate different disciplinary content;
  • acknowledgement of diversified mixture of methodological approaches developed by variety of scientific disciplines in the field of karstology;
  • horizontal interconnection of knowledge of different disciplines, also with complementary two other modules of this master study;
  • vertical deepening of knowledge, also by integration of other relevant study programmes;
  • gathering of theoretical and practical experiences during study;
  • development of capability of critical thinking and research work with modern methodological approaches of data gathering, analyses and interpretation;
  • development of competences of independent research work, transfer of knowledge in practice and dissemination of research findings (seminar, lecture, defense of thesis).

Treated content of the module is research output of generations of domestic and foreign karstologists that was further enhanced by lecturer’s research work. Since lecturers are active researchers and professionals within held courses, study is related to on-going national projects and research programme as well as actual international projects. All lecturers are a part of an international research community that guarantee relevant, topical and novel study content. Special emphasis is given to research methodology, where students handle modern technology on the basis of know-how of old one.

We are providing a broad potential where the only limitation for practical knowledge gathering is research motivation of a student. Due to diversity and multidisciplinarity of karstology a variety of actual and practical content is available, i.e. research and management of karst water, natural and cultural heritage on karst and (show) caves. Remarkably fundamental research is found within karst geomorphology, physical speleology with speleogenesis and structural geology on karst. All students are introduced into work in chemical and microbiological laboratories while more motivated are free to conduct advanced research in laboratories if secure.

Obvezni predmeti modula z nosilci in nosilkami

Karst geology

Assoc. Prof. Martin Knez, Ph. D. ,


Karst hydrogeology

Assoc. Prof. Metka Petrič, Ph. D. ,


Izbirni predmeti modula z nosilci in nosilkami

Karst geomorphology

Assoc. Prof. Nadja Zupan Hajna, Ph. D. ,


Ecohydrological processes and pressures in karst

Assoc. Prof. Nataša Viršek Ravbar, Ph. D. ,


Karst and tectonic structures

Prof. Stanka Šebela, Ph. D. ,


Application karstology

Prof. Tadej Slabe, Ph. D. ,


Physical speleology and speleogenesis

Assoc. Prof. Franci Gabrovšek, Ph. D. ,