What is the main idea behind the research at our Department? The main focus is on holistic research into landscape functions, an approach that uses the evaluation of key energy and metabolic fluxes in an original way, allowing for, as a result, a holistic assessment of consequences of landscape management.
Hence, our topics are related to ecology, hydrobiology, bioclimatology, hydrology and hydrochemistry. Thanks to the approach that interweaves the individual disciplines, we zero in on pond management, landscape restoration post mineral extraction, solutions to potential radioactive contamination of agricultural landscape, assessment of water quality in reservoirs and other applications.
The Department of Applied Ecology as such is a new addition to our Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, University of South Bohemia. The Department was in fact established on 01 January 2021 on the foundations of the Laboratory of Applied Ecology, the long-term activities of which has been the inspiration for the Department. Our fundamental efforts lie in the application of knowledge and results to practice. More specifically, this concerns, for example, the use in hydrobiology (estimation of water quality in reservoirs, temporal dynamics of water reservoirs), for municipal administration (addressing the issues of urban greenery and climate), or for purposes of precise agriculture and crisis management in radiation protection of the landscape.
First of all, it should be noted that our Department guarantees no specific field of study. In this sense, we “merely” provide and extend education to students in cooperation with study programmes of other Departments.
Considerable attention is paid to direct teaching to students in the classic form of study - i.e. through lectures, seminars and practicals. However, a great emphasis is placed on the Department’s research activities, principally in the context of preparation of students’ Bachelor, diploma and chiefly doctoral thesis. As regards graduate theses, full attention is given, for instance, to the impact of landscape management on the local climate, changes in biochemical cycles of substances, hydrological regime of the landscape, hydrobiology, bioclimatology (e.g. the importance of the urban heat island), or problems of radionuclide movement in the landscape.
An important aspect of activities carried out by the Department of Applied Ecology is the opportunity to involve foreign students in internationalisation activities of the Faculty of Agriculture and to participate in the Lifelong Learning Programme.
Specifically, we provide the following subjects:
At the same time, in connection with the currently ongoing accreditation procedure for the Master’s degree courses in Land Consolidation and Real Estate Conveyancing and Agroecology, we expect a significant expansion of the curriculum by the following subjects:
In general terms, our research activities can be summarized in the following scientific fields and disciplines:
Specific applications can be seen, for example, in the logistics of preventive and follow-up measures of radiation protection in agriculture, restoration of landscape affected by surface mining of minerals, research into the urban heat island and its application, application of DPZ [Remote Sensing] and GIS [Geographic Information System] in precise agriculture, or application of DPZ and GIS in hydrobiology.
Our Department currently works on three research projects. In the first project, titled System for monitoring cyanobacteria in water reservoirs using remote sensing and artificial intelligence, we develop, for the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, the various ways of evaluating pollution of surface waters by algae and cyanobacteria based on their spectral characteristics, using remote sensing methods and state-of-the-art hyperspectral data and advanced artificial intelligence methods. Another project delves into the Optimization of procedures for the implementation of crop production in the area affected by a nuclear accident. This research organized by the Ministry of Interior focuses on the development and verification of software that will make it possible, in the event of a nuclear accident, to predict the level of biomass contamination subject to the content of radionuclides in soil and soil characteristics. This year will mark the completion of the project Impact of farming on ecosystems, landscape functions and organisms, in the scope of which our doctoral and Master’s students were given research tasks by the Grant Agency of the University of South Bohemia tackling the impact of agricultural management, ecosystems and organism living in them.
Foreign cooperation considered, the Department of Applied Ecology has established relationships with a great number of institutions across Europe, the USA and Canada. Currently, we have under preparation an international project within the competition ERA-Net Cofound (AquaticPollutants Call 2020). As a rule, our activities are directed towards the area of hydrobiology and the application of remote sensing methods in hydrobiology.
Ing. Iva Šímová
+420 387 772 741
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