The 2014 Grand Miroslav Zei Award for Life Work in the Field of the Activities of the National Institute of Biology

The 2014 Grand Miroslav Zei Award for Life Work in the Field of the Activities of the National Institute of Biology

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The 2014 Grand Miroslav Zei Award for Life Work in the Field of the Activities of the National Institute of Biology was presented to Professor Dr. Jadran Faganeli.

Professor Dr. Jadran Faganeli is a top internationally acclaimed researcher of biochemical processes in seas, lagoons and even in high-altitude mountain lakes. His scientific interests cover a diverse range, and he brings together different research fields in his multi-disciplinary biochemical research projects. The diversity of his work can also be seen in his cooperation with experts from different fields, including biochemists, physicists, oceanographers, microbiologists, geologists and different profiles of biologists.

He was born in 1950 in Trieste. In 1974, he graduated from the Faculty of Natural Science and Technology at Edvard Kardelj University in Ljubljana. Five years later, he received his masters, and in 1984, he received his doctorate. His doctoral dissertation was titled “The Production and Transformation of Organically Bound Carbon in Coastal Waters (The Bay of Trieste).” After receiving his doctorate, he continued his studies in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 1999, he became a Full Professor at the University in Ljubljana. He has been a full-time employee of the National Institute of Biology since 1978. His work within the framework of the Institute takes place at the Marine Biology Station in Piran; since March 2004, he has also been employed as a Full Professor at the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport in Portorož.

In Professor Faganeli’s rich scientific career, it would be difficult to single out individual contributions to our mosaic of knowledge of the biochemistry of the Slovenian Adriatic coast and the north Adriatic. His scientific research in the past decade could be classified into three broad categories: biochemical transformations of mercury in coastal waters and lagoons, the composition and function of colloidal organic matter in the sea, with an emphasis on mucous macroaggregates, and the transformations of sedimentary organic matter in stratified Alpine lakes.

He has conducted research with eminent domestic and foreign scientists from various fields. Some of his more noteworthy collaborations include his exceptionally constructive work with Professor Dr. Bojan Ogorelc and Professor Dr. Milena Horvat and his work with Professor Dr. Mark Hines from the United States and with Professor Dr. Stefano Covelli from Italy. 

His scientific opus is remarkable, and includes 122 original scientific articles and review articles, most of which were published in journals with an impact factor. Another indicator of the quality of Professor Faganeli’s research work is the exceptional impact of his publications in the scientific community. In the past decade, he amassed 1,168 direct citations, and the H-index for his publications is 19, something few researchers achieve.
Professor Faganeli is also an esteemed Full Professor at the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport in Portorož and in other units within the University of Ljubljana. His lectures primarily cover subject matter pertaining to environmental protection and biochemical processes in the sea. He has served as mentor or co-mentor to ten doctoral students and two master’s students and to over 40 undergraduate students at different universities both in Slovenia and abroad. A number of his students have gone on to become recognized and renowned researchers.  He is the co-author of a text book and the author of numerous other learning materials used at the University of Ljubljana.



Professor Dr Jana Žel (left) and Director of the National Institute of Biology, Professor Dr Tamara Lah Turnšek (right), present the award to Professor Dr Jadran Faganeli. (Photo: Žiga Ivanc)