Biotechnological Hub of the NIB (BTH-NIB)

The purpose of the investment project BTH-NIB is the assurance of the appropriate infrastructural conditions for the use of research and developmental opportunities in the fields of operation of the NIB.

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Dr. Nataša Mori

Working place: Scientific Counsellor, Head of Department

Telephone number: +386 (0)59 23 27 39
Department: Department of Organisms and Ecosystems Research

Short biography:

I was born in 1974 in Maribor, where I attended high school II. gimnazija. After completion of study at University of Ljubljana, I have started to work at National Institute of Biology.


  • 2008 - The impact of gravel extraction on hyporheic ecology: a case study of the Bača river (W Slovenia): PhD thesis, University of Nova Gorica, post-graduate study program Environmental science; supervisor: doc. dr. Anton Brancelj
  • 2004 - Interstitial communities of Harpacticoida (Crustacea Copepoda) in four different river basins from central Slovenia: master's thesis, University of Nova Gorica, postgraduate studies in Environmental science; supervisor: doc. dr. Anton Brancelj
  • 2001 - Distribution and ecology of macroinvertebrates in springs of Julian Alps (Slovenia): graduation thesis, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Biology; supervisor: doc. dr. Anton Brancelj

Work experience:

Since 2002, I have worked at the Department of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems at National Institute of Biology in Ljubljana. In 2011, I was employed at EAWAG, Switzerland, and then in 2012, I was re-employed by NIB.

Area of research:

My research work encompasses ecosystem studies of freshwaters, both groundwater and surface. I am primarily interested in functioning and role of transitional areas between different ecosystems (groundwater-river, floodplains, and springs) and the impact of disturbances on the structure and ecosystem processes. Concurrently, I am working on taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of Ostracoda (Crustacea) and biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services issues. During the funding provided by the CH-SCIEX Foundation I participated in testing of various functional indicators for evaluating the ecological integrity of the Alpine floodplains at EAWAG in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Currently, my research focus is oriented towards better understanding of functional role of gravel bars and hyporheic zone in river and groundwater ecosystems and impacts of multiple stressors, including microplastics on river biofilms and aquatic invertebrate communities.

Selected publications:

  • MORI, N., BRANCELJ, A. 2021. Harpacticoid assemblages (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) in the hyporheic zone of four streams in central Slovenia. Natura Sloveniae 23(1): 5-20. (PDF)
  • MATJAŠIČ T., SIMČIČ T., KANDUČ, T., SAMARDŽIJA, Z., MORI, N. 2021. Presence of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers in hyporheic zone alters colonization patterns and seasonal dynamics of biofilm metabolic functioning. Water Research 203: 117455. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117455
  • MATJAŠIČ T., SIMČIČ T., MEDVEŠČEK N., BAJT O., DREO T., MORI, N. 2021. Critical evaluation of biodegradation studies on synthetic plastics through a systematic literature review. Science of the total environment 752(article 141959): 1-16. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141959
  • BRANCELJ A., MORI N., TREU F., STOCH F. 2020. The groundwater fauna of the Classical Karst: hydrogeological indicators and descriptors. Aquatic ecology 54: 205–224, doi: 10.1007/s10452-019-09737-w
  • MORI N., DEBELJAK B., ŠKERJANEC M., SIMČIČ T., KANDUČ T., BRANCELJ A. 2019. Modelling the effects of multiple stressors on respiration and microbial biomass in the hyporheic zone using decision trees. Water research 149: 9-20, doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.10.093
  • WYSOCKA A., KILIKOWSKA A., MORI, N., IEPURE, S., KIJOWSKA M., NAMIOTKO T. 2019. Monophyletic status of European morphogenera of the subfamily Candoninae Kaufmann, 1900 (Ostracoda: Candonidae) in relation to their mtDNA phylogenies. Journal of crustacean biology 39: 567–573, doi: 10.1093/jcbiol/ruz041
  • PREVORČNIK S., REMŠKAR A., FIŠER C., SKET B., BRAČKO G., DELIĆ T., MORI N., BRANCELJ A., ZAGMAJSTER M. 2019. Interstitial fauna of the Sava River in Eastern Slovenia. Natura Sloveniae: revija za terensko biologijo 21: 13-23
  • DEBELJAK B., SIMČIČ T., CIGLIČ R., PFLIEGER M., MORI N. 2017. Spatio-temporal variation in microbial respiration in the shallow hyporheic zone of pre-Alpine rivers related to catchment land use. Fundamental and applied limnology 190/4: 265-277, doi:10.1127/fal/2017/0962
  • MORI N., DEBELJAK B., KOCMAN D., SIMČIČ T. 2017. Testing the influence of sediment granulometry on heterotrophic respiration with a new laboratory flow-through system. Journal of soils and sediments: protection, risk assessment and remediation 17/7: 1939-1947, doi: 10.1007/s11368-016-1613-0
  • MORI N., SIMČIČ T., BRANCELJ A., ROBINSON C.T., DOERING M. 2017. Spatio-temporal heterogeneity of actual and potential respiration in two contrasting floodplains. Hydrological processes 31/14: 2622-2636, doi: 10.1002/hyp.11211
  • KANDUČ T., SAMARDŽIJA Z., MORI N., JEREBIC A., LEVAČIĆ I., KRAČUN M., ROBINSON J.A., ŽIGON S., BLAŽEKA Ž., KOCMAN D. 2016. Hydrogeochemical and isotopic characterization of Pesnica River, Slovenia. Geologija, 59/2: 179-192, doi: 10.5474/geologija.2016.000
  • SIMČIČ T., MORI N., HOSSLI C., ROBINSON C. T., DOERING M. 2015. The response in floodplain respiration of an alpine river to experimental inundation under different temperature regimes. Hydrological processes, 29: 5438-5450, doi: 10.1002/hyp.10584
  • MORI N., KANDUČ T., OPALIČKI M., BRANCELJ A. 2015. Groundwater drift as a tracer for identifying sources of spring discharge. Ground water 53/S1: 123-132, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12314
  • NAMIOTKO, T., DANIELOPOL, D., MEISCH, C., GROSS, M., MORI, N. 2014. Redefinition of the genus Typhlocypris Vejdovský, 1882 (Ostracoda, Candonidae). Crustaceana 87: 952-984.
  • MORI, N., BRANCELJ, A. 2013. Differences in aquatic microcrustacean assemblages between temporary and perennial springs of an alpine karstic aquifer. International journal of speleology 42: 257-266.
  • KANDUČ, T., MORI, N., KOCMAN, D., STIBILJ, V., GRASSA, F. 2012. Hydrogeochemistry of Alpine springs from North Slovenia : insights from stable isotopes. Chemical geology 300/301: 40-54.
  • MORI, N., SIMČIČ, T., ŽIBRAT, U., BRANCELJ, A. 2012. The role of river flow dynamics and food availability in structuring hyporheic microcrustacean assemblages: a reach scale study. Fundam. Appl. Limnol. 180: 335-349.
  • MORI, N., SIMČIČ, T., LUKANČIČ, S., BRANCELJ, A. 2011. The effect of in-stream gravel extraction in a pre-alpine gravel-bed river on hyporheic invertebrate community. Hydrobiologia 667: 15-30.
  • DOLE-OLIVIER M.-J., CASTELLARINI F., COINEAU N., GALASSI D.M.P., MARTIN P., MORI N., VALDECASAS A., GIBERT J. 2009. Towards an optimal sampling strategy to assess groundwater biodiversity: comparison across six European regions. Freshwater Biology 54(4): 777-796.


  • 2016-2021 From Biodiversity Data to Decisions: enhancing natural value through improved regional development policies” (BID-REX, Interreg Europe)
  • 2014-2017 Comparative study of ecosystem management and services in contrasting Slovenian freshwater systems (ARRS L2-6778)
  • 2012-2015 Karstic aquifer as strategic cross-border water source (HYDROKARST; European Territorial Cooperation Programme Slovenia-Italy)
  • 2011-2013 The role of hyporheic zone in different river ecosystems: a comparative study (ARRS Slovenian-Japanese bilateral cooperation BI-JP/11-13-008)
  • 2011-2012 Ecological role of microbial communities in the Alpine floodplains (SCIEX Fellowship, CRUS, Switzerland PC 10.035)
  • 2009-2011 Ecological classification of aquatic systems in the area of the Julian Alps and Karavanke and vulnerability assessment of the impact of climate change (Postdoctoral ARRS project Z1-2213)
  • 2007-2009 Relation between biodiversity and hydrogeological conditions in loading zone of porous aquifer from the river (ARRS J7-9725)
  • 2002-2005 Protocols for the Assessment and Conservation Aquatic Life in the Subsurface (PASCALIS, EU 5th FP project)

International cooperation:

  • Dr. Christopher T. Robinson, EAWAG/ETH Zürich, Švica
  • Prof. dr. Dan Danielopol, University of Graz, Institute for Earth Sciences, Graz, Austria
  • Dr. Michael Doering, EAWAG, Dubendorf, Switzerland
  • Dr. Claude Meisch, Musée du Luxembourg, Luxemburg
  • Dr. Yo Miyake, ECHIM University, Matsuyama, Japan
  • Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Namiotko, University of Gdansk, Faculty of Biology, Gdansk, Poland