Departments HAZU

Departments are the bearers of the Academy’s tasks. The working composition of the departments consists of regular members, and the wider composition also includes correspondent members and associate members.

III. Department of Natural Sciences

Secretary: Goran Durn, F.C.A.

Deputy secretary: Igor Anić, F.C.A.

Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 11, 10000 Zagreb
Phone: +385 01 4895 171
Central: +385 01 4895 111

The Department of Natural Sciences includes members engaged in three groups of natural sciences – biological sciences, biotechnical sciences, and geosciences. Biological sciences comprise molecular biology, microbiology, cell biology, molecular genetics (in particular applied genomics and population genetics), immunology, biochemistry, research of macrofauna and microfauna, ecology, physiology, taxonomy and ecology of zooplanktons, palaeogenetics, biological anthropology, and forensic anthropology. Biotechnical sciences include the area of forestry, mainly the branch of forest ecology and breeding, and the field of agriculture (agronomy), within which the members study soil, systems of herb growing, and soil amelioration – drainage and irrigation. Geosciences comprise the areas of geology, palaeontology, geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, and geophysics. Within the scope of geophysics, some of the members study the atmosphere and the sea, their interaction, extreme weather and climate change; whereas other members engage in seismology and physics of the Earth’s interior. The Department considerably involves in the interdisciplinary field of the protection and preservation of nature and environment. Corresponding members and associate members take active part in the Department’s operation.

There are five scientific research units; the Trsteno Arboretum; five scientific councils; three boards; one committee; and one national board within the scope of the Department’s competence.

The Department includes the following scientific research units:

The Trsteno Arboretum falls within the Department’s competence (head: Igor Anić, F.C.A.).

Scientific Councils within the Department’s competence:


The Department comprises the following committees and working bodies of the Croatian Academy:

Among many prominent deceased Department members, particularly noteworthy are Andrija Mohorovičić, Dragutin Gorjanović Kramberger, and Spiridion Brusina. Andrija Mohorovičić, Croatian geophysicist, meteorologist and seismologist, discovered – based on the analysis of the seismic waves of the 1909 earthquake in Pokuplje – the boundary between the Earth’s crust and the mantle, later named Moho discontinuity in his honour. Dragutin Gorjanović Kramberger – Croatian natural scientist, geologist, palaeontologist and anthropologist – discovered in 1899 on Hušnjakovo Brdo near Krapina a valuable Neanderthal site (the so-called Krapina Neanderthals). Spiridion Brusina from Zadar, founder and the first zoology professor at the University of Zagreb, was particularly deserving for the discoveries and descriptions of several hundred species of extinct and recent molluscs. He organized and led the first Croatian science expedition along the eastern coast of the Adriatic.

We would particularly like to point out that Svante Pääbo, who was elected corresponding member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2012 at the proposal of the Department of Natural Sciences, was Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2022. Svante Pääbo received the Nobel Prize for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution. His research was partly conducted on the fossil remains of late Neanderthals from the Vindija Cave, discovered by the Croatian palaeontologist Mirko Malez, deceased member of the Department of Natural Sciences.