About the Department
The activities of the Department of Geology and Soil Science can be seen as both independent and supporting scientific disciplines. The department has a wide professional focus, allowing studies not only in the traditional applied subjects of geology, Soil Science and archaeology, but also studies that overlap into more supporting and derivative disciplines, such as biology, biochemistry, micromorphology, hydrogeology and hydropedology. The department’s team of scientists use these disciplines to examine environmental issues, with a particular emphasis on forestry, landscaping and arboriculture.
We ask ourselves questions.
How do we view soil degradation in relation to the current state and development of the environment? How are soil and related ecosystems affected by climate change? What aspects need addressing and what can be done to optimise the soil environment in the face of current forest die-back? What techniques can be applied to revitalise and recultivate degraded landscape elements? What options exist for soil remediation in urbanised areas? What role do archaeological finds/sites, and the pedological and geological data obtained there, play in learning about the historical use of the landscape? How can we apply modern technology in traditional forestry and landscape disciplines?
Where do we find the answers?
Both locally and internationally, with studies in Europe, the Near and Far East, North America and the subpolar regions.
And what do we do with the knowledge gained?
An integral part of any scientific research activity should always be dissemination of knowledge to the wider public in the form of articles published in scientific journals and the integration of such knowledge into the everyday teaching of associated subjects. We also participate in external educational activities, including invited lectures and excursions for the public, work with gifted students, and so on.
The University of Agriculture in Brno, founded almost 100 years ago, began teaching in 1919. From the beginning, “Geology” was included as a separate subject within the curriculum of two existing fields, economics and forestry, with a subsidy of 3/1 hours per week in the winter semester, and 2/1 hours per week over the summer semester, of the first year, with follow-up excursions in geology and Soil Science. The subject was provided externally by Prof. Ing. Dr. O. Gartner until the closure of Czech universities by the Nazis in 1939. Since 1923, the name of the subject had been changed to “Geology (with mineralogy and petrography)”, with 3/2 hours per week in the winter and 2/2 hours per week in the summer semester for both disciplines. After the end of the Second World War, an independent Department of Forestry and Agricultural Geology was inaugurated, headed by Prof. Ing. Dr. Josef Pelíšek, DrSc. In 1949, the subject “Pedology” was divided into agricultural pedology (provided by Prof. Novák) and forestry pedology (provided by Prof. Pelíšek). Subsequently, the name of the department was changed to the department of Geology and Forest Pedology, and later to its current name, the Department of Geology and Soil Science. Since the retirement of Prof. Pelíšek, the institute has been successively led by Prof. Ing. Emil Klimo, DrSc. (until 1990), Prof. Ing. RTDr. RNDr. Boris Hruška, DrSc. (until 1994), doc. Dr. Zdeněk Laštovička, CSc. (until 2000), Prof. Ing. Klement Rejšek, CSc. (until 2014), Associate Professor Jindřich Kynický, PhD (until 2018), and now Associate Professor Ing. Valerie Vranová PhD.