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History of the Institute of Environmental Sciences

Former name: Institute of Environmental Biology (1977-1999)

The idea to consolidate Polish researchers interested in ecology appeared and matured in 1960s, when a group of scientists, mostly from Cracow universities and colleges, started regular meetings, which became known as Cracow Ecological Seminars, originated by Władysław Grodziński and Adam Łomnicki. Ten years of successful seminars and two years of running a new programme in Environmental Biology at the Jagiellonian University created a solid basis for establishing the Institute of Environmental Biology (decision No 2 by the Rector of the Jagiellonian University, January 6th, 1977). The new Institute consisted of three units: Department of Animal Ecology, Department of Zoopsychology and Animal Ethology (both formerly belonging to the Institute of Zoology) and a newly founded Department of Ecological Modelling. The Institute occupied several offices and laboratories in two buildings: Collegium Zoologicum and Collegium Geologicum. In 1984, a new Department of Ecosystem Ecology was established. Professor Władysław Grodziński served as the first head of the Institute in 1977-1981, with Dr. Ryszard Sowa as his deputy. In 1981, Doc. Adam Łomnicki was elected head of the Institute, and Dr. Bogusław Bobek became his deputy. Prof. Ryszard Sowa took over the post in 1988. His deputy was Prof. Andrzej Górecki who, after the sudden death of Prof. Sowa in 1990, was elected head of the Institute. Prof. Jan Kozłowski became his deputy and the they led the Institute until 2002. In 1989, a group of researchers from the Department of Animal Ecology established a new Department of Game Biology, and in 1998 the Institute was enlarged by yet another unit – the Department of Mammal Reproduction, formerly belonging to the Institute of Zoology.

In 1999 the Institute underwent a major reorganization: three new departments were established (of Ecotoxicology, Environmental Monitoring, and Ecological Microbiology), and its name was changed to the Institute of Environmental Sciences. In the very same year, the first building on the new University Campus has been erected at Gronostajowa Str. 3, where some departments of the Institute moved in 2000. For the first time, the Institute had its own teaching space, which facilitated the introduction, of a new programme of study “Biology and Geography” in cooperation with the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, in 2001. The elections in September 2002 made Prof. Jan Kozłowski head of the Institute, whereas Prof. Ryszard Laskowski became the deputy head. In 2005 the position of the second deputy head was established, and assumed by Dr. Mariusz Cichoń. They led the Institute until 2008, when Dr. Małgorzata Kruczek was elected head, and Dr. Maria Niklińska her deputy. In 2002 the Institute has been recognized as the European Centre of Excellence within the FP5 project “IBAES - Integrating Basic and Applied Environmental Sciences for the Benefit of Local Communities”. In 2004 the Institute was finally moved to the brand new building at Gronostajowa Str. 7, where it is supposed to stay.


  • Head: Prof. Władysław Grodziński
  • Deputy: Dr. Ryszard Sowa


  • Head: Dr. Adam Łomnicki
  • Deputy: Dr. Bogusław Bobek


  • Head: Prof. Ryszard Sowa
  • Deputy: Prof. Andrzej Górecki


  • Head: Prof. Andrzej Górecki
  • Deputy: Prof. Jan Kozłowski


  • Head: Prof. Jan Kozłowski
  • Deputy: Prof. Ryszard Laskowski


  • Head: Prof. Jan Kozłowski
  • Deputy: Prof. Ryszard Laskowski
  • Deputy for Student Affairs: Dr. Mariusz Cichoń


  • Head: Dr. Małgorzata Kruczek
  • Deputy: Dr. Maria Niklińska


  • Head: Dr. Maria Niklińska
  • Deputy: Dr. Janusz Fyda

2016 -2020

  • Head: Prof. Maria Niklińska
  • Deputy: Dr. Janusz Fyda
  • Deputy for Research Affairs and International Cooperation: Prof. Wiesław Babik


  • Head: dr hab. Izabela Wierzbowska
  • Deputy: dr hab. Przemysław Ryszka


  • Head: dr hab. Izabela Wierzbowska
  • Deputy: dr hab. Joanna Rutkowska