Internship in Slovenia at the Biološki inštitut Jovana Hadžija ZRC SAZU

In June and July 2023, Ph.D. student Lucia Čahojová from the Institute of Botany, Plant Science, and Biodiversity Center SAS participated in an internship in Slovenia at the Jovan Hadži Biological Institute of the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Biološki inštitut Jovana Hadžija ZRC SAZU) in Ig, near the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. The internship was part of ERASMUS+ mobility. During the internship, she participated in field research in SW Slovenia in the Slovenian Karst at locations affected by a strong fire in July and August 2022 and processed spatial data from the research. Vegetation, satellite, and LiDAR data were processed and analyzed in specialized software and programs (e.g. Turboveg, Juice, Google Earth Engine, ArcGIS Pro, Cloud Compare) and R-Studio packages. The goal was to find out the cause of different forest fire intensities concerning geomorphological and vegetation data. They plan to publish two articles about the research in international journals.

Also, during the internship, she became familiar with the research of the Biological Institute, as well as the Anton Melik Institute of Geography, for example, the research of dolines (Slovenian „vrtače“). “Vrtače” are a unique karst relief features and are the result of long-term karst-forming processes. They are small to medium-sized closed terrain depressions on carbonate (karst) plateaus and are the most numerous karst formation in Slovenia. They are unique not only in their geomorphological but also in their microclimatic conditions. In locations after fires, they act as small “oases” for the flora and fauna of the country. During her stay, Lucia visited “vrtače” in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in Croatia, and became familiar with the process of time-space collection of the data. She also got acquainted with the flora of various vegetation zones of Slovenia, from the seaside to the high mountains. For a beneficial and pleasant stay, she thanks the Institutes of ZRC SAZU, the supervisors prof. Andraž Čarni and doc. Mateja Breg Valjavec, their Ph.D. student Aljaž Jakob as well as other members of the Biological Institute, and is looking forward to further cooperation.

Text and photo: Lucia Čahojová