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History of the Faculty

From the annals of the Faculty*

Scientific investigations in biological sciences have been carried on since the beginning of the University of Łódź. First units representing this scientific discipline were created at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, which started functioning as early as in May 1945. The organizer of the Faculty, and its first dean (1945-1948), was Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Wolski, and the second dean was Prof. Dr. Leszek K. Pawłowski. In 1951, biological and geographic units were excluded from the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty, and included to the newly established Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences. Its organizers were Prof. Dr. Antoni Dmochowski, and Prof. Dr. Jakub Mowszowicz, while the first dean Antoni Dmochowski (1951-1958). After him the post of dean was subsequently occupied by: Prof. Dr. Jakub Mowszowicz (1958-1962), Prof. Dr. Mieczysław Dorywalski (1962-1964), Prof. Dr. Benedykt Halicz (1964-1969), Prof. Dr. Maria J. Olszewska (1969-1972), Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Krajewski (1972-1975), Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Penczak (1975-1978), Prof. Dr. Andrzej Romaniuk (1978-1981), Prof. Dr. Stanisław Liszewski (1981-1984), Dr. hab. Zbigniew Klajnert, Prof. UŁ (1984-1990), Prof. Dr. Maria Kwiatkowska (1990-1993), Prof. Dr. Wanda M. Krajewska (1993-1996), Prof. Dr. Antoni Różalski (1996-2008) and Dr. hab. Elżbieta Żądzińska, Prof. UŁ (since 2008).

The Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences has been represented in the Łódź University Authorities. The post of rector was occupied by Prof. Dr. Stanisław Liszewski (1996-2002), of vice-rectors by Prof. Dr. Bernard Zabłocki (1951-1963), Prof. Dr. Krystyna Kotełko (1969-1972), Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Krzemiński (1975-1981), Prof. Dr. Stanisław Liszewski (1984-1990), Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Jażdżewski (1990-1996), Prof. Dr. Wanda M. Krajewska (1996-2002), Prof. Dr. Antoni Różalski (since 2008).

The directors of the Dean’s Office were:  Katarzyna Ołdziejewska (1945-1968), Zofia Szymor (1968-1988), Anna Zbroińska, MS (1988-1992) and Alicja Sosnowska, MS (since 1992).

The following scientists were elected members of the Polish Academy of Sciences: Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Wolski (1952), Prof. Dr. Bernard Zabłocki (1965), Prof. Dr. Jan Dylik (1967), Prof. Dr. Maria J. Olszewska (1989). The titles of Honoris Causa Doctor were granted to: Prof. Dr. Jan Dylik (University of Caen, and University of Strasbourg, France, 1967), Prof. Dr. Antoni Dmochowski (University of Łódź, 1970), Prof. Dr. Bernard Zabłocki (University of Łódź, 1980) and Prof. Dr. Maria Olszewska (Medical Academy of Łódź, 1999).

In 2001, as a result of the initiative of geographers of the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences the faculty was divided into two faculties: Faculty of Geographical Sciences and Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection. The latter was formed of all scientific research, teaching and ancillary units representing biological sciences and those engaged in educating students of biology and environmental protection. In the first year of its functioning the post of the dean was occupied by Prof. Dr. Antoni Różalski. Alicja Sosnowska, MS, has remained the director of the Dean’s Office.

In the first year of the functioning of the Łódź University (1945/1946) biological sciences were represented by 12 departments: Plant Anatomy of Cytology, Anthropology, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Experimental Biology, Plant Physiology and Microbiology,  Physiology of the Nervous System, Morphology and Animal Systematics, Animal Physiology, Morphology and Animal Systematics, Systematics and Geography of Plants, General Zoology and Animal Ecology. Today the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection consists of 23 departments and 5 autonomous sections, 1 autonomous research group, 1 autonomous laboratory, 3 field research stations, an educational botanic garden, natural history museum, and 2 research centers. The basic units conduct independent staff employment policy and are independent as regards scientific research.

Departments and sections carrying on common educational programs are within their equal rights to form institutes, the main task of which is the coordination of student education in biology, environmental protection, biotechnology and microbiology.

In 1945 the group organizing given research and ancillary units of UŁ from scratch consisted of 3 full professors, 5 associate (university) professors, 4 assistant professors, while the ancillary staff were 12 people. In 2008 on the faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection there were 354.75 staff, of which 225.75 were scientific-didactic staff, 67.50 were scientific-technical staff, 21 were administration staff and 40.50 were ancillary staff. Independent research staff were 41 full professors and 32 habilitated doctors.

The Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection has the right to confer on research workers scientific titles of  professor and scientific degree of habilitated doctor and doctor in the following fields/disciplines of the macro-field of biological sciences: biology, biochemistry, biophysics and ecology; also, since 30 October 2006, of the doctor degree in the discipline of microbiology of the biological sciences macro-field. Research carried on at the faculty is of pure, applied and methodological character. The scientific problems studied by the research staff of the faculty focuses on three main themes: biological environment, its present state, protection, exploitation and transformations; structure and functions of plant, animal and microorganism cells; and biomedical and biotechnological topics. Main scientific disciplines and specialties carried on at the faculty are the following: anthropology, evolutionary biology, geobotany, algology, mycology, lichenology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cytobiochemistry, biophysics, thermobiology, radiobiology, cell biology, cytology, cytogenetics, cytochemistry, cytophysiology, plant physiology, animal physiology (neurobiology, neurophysiology), zoology, hydrobiology, ecology, polar biology, environmental protection, microbiology, infectional biology, bacterial immunochemistry and immunobiology, immunology, biotechnology (of microbes, plants), genetics (plants, microbies), molecular genetics. The intellectual potential of the research teams, laboratory and field equipment of chairs and centres, as well as the methodical achievements of our staff enable them carrying on scientific research at various levers of the organization of organic and inorganic matter, i.e. at the level of molecules, cells, organisms, populations, and ecosystems.

The scientific activity and achievements of the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection may be assessed using various criteria: developed scientific schools of thoughts, increase in the scientific staff, number of publications or research grants. Scientific schools of thoughts created by professors of the faculty include: biochemical, biophysical, phytosociologial, of hydrobiology and polar biology, zoological, ecological, anthropological, of cytology and plant cytogenetics, of plant physiology, neurophysiological, microbiological and immunological.

* This outline was compiled from materials collected in the publications entitled 50 Lat Biologii i Nauk o Ziemi w Uniwersytecie Łódzkim (1945-1995) [50 Years of Biology and Earth Sciences at the University of Łódź (1945-1995)]. W. M. Krajewska (ed.), Wyd. UŁ, Łódź, 1995, and in A. Różalski, Wydział Biologii i Nauk o Ziemi [Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences], In: Uniwersytet Łódzki [University of Łódź]. S. Liszewski, K. Piotrowska-Marczak, W. Puś (eds.), Firma Wydawnicza Krajewski, Łódź, 2000.