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 Lodz. 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. Tadeusz Wolski and the second Dean was Prof. Leszek K. Pawłowski. In 1951, biological and geographic units were excluded from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty, and included to the newly established Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences. Its organizers were Prof. Antoni Dmochowski and Prof. Jakub Mowszowicz, while the first Dean was Prof. Antoni Dmochowski (1951-1958). After him the post of Dean was subsequently occupied by: Prof. Jakub Mowszowicz (1958-1962), Prof. Mieczysław Dorywalski (1962-1964), Prof. Benedykt Halicz (1964-1969), Prof. Maria J. Olszewska (1969-1972), Prof. Tadeusz Krajewski (1972-1975), Prof. Tadeusz Penczak (1975-1978), Prof. Andrzej Romaniuk (1978-1981), Prof. Stanisław Liszewski (1981-1984), Dr hab. Zbigniew Klajnert, Assoc. Prof. (1984-1990), Prof. Maria Kwiatkowska (1990-1993), Prof. Wanda M. Krajewska (1993-1996), Prof. Antoni Różalski (1996-2008). 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. Antoni Różalski and later Prof. Elżbieta Żądzińska (2008-2016) and Prof. Andrzej Kruk (since 2016).

The Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences has been represented in the Lodz University Authorities. The post of Rector was occupied by Prof. Stanisław Liszewski (1996-2002) and Prof. Antoni Różalski (since 2016), of Vice-Rectors by Prof. Bernard Zabłocki (1951-1963), Prof. Krystyna Kotełko (1969-1972), Prof. Tadeusz Krzemiński (1975-1981), Prof. Stanisław Liszewski (1984-1990), Prof. Krzysztof Jażdżewski (1990-1996), Prof. Wanda M. Krajewska (1996-2002), Prof. Antoni Różalski (2008-2016), Prof. Elżbieta Żądzińska (since 2016).

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

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

In the first year of the functioning of the Lodz 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 22 Departments in 5 Institutes, 4 autonomous Laboratories, 3 Field Research Stations, an Educational Botanic Garden, Natural History Museum, and 3 research centers. The basic units conduct independent staff employment policy and are independent as regards scientific research.

Departments form institutes, the main task of which is the coordination of student education in Biology, Environmental Protection, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Genetics, Biomonitoring & Ecological Biotechnologies, EcoCity (from 2018/2019) and Forensic Biology (from 2019/2020).

In 1945 the group organizing research and ancillary units of UŁ consisted of 3 full Prof.s, 5 associate (university) Prof.s, 4 assistant Prof.s, while the ancillary staff were 12 people. In 2018 on the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection there were 346 employees, of which 215 were scientific-didactic staff, 75 were scientific-technical staff, 26 were administration staff and 30 were ancillary staff. Independent research staff were 27 full Prof.s and 86 habilitated doctors.

The Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection has the right to confer on scientists title of  professor (Prof.) and scientific degree of habilitated doctor (dr hab.) and doctor (dr) in the discipline of biological sciences. Research carried on at the Faculty is of pure, applied and methodological character. The scientific problems studied by the research staff of the Faculty focuse on three main themes: (1) biological environment, its present state, protection, exploitation and transformations; (2) structure and functions of plant, animal and microorganism cells; and (3) biomedical and biotechnological topics. Main scientific 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 scientific research is carried on at various levels of the matter organization, 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, number of publications (³300 JCR papers yearly) or research grants (over 100 grants from external sources realized in 2016-2019). Scientific schools of thoughts created by Prof.s 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 Lodz (1945-1995)]. W. M. Krajewska (ed.), Wyd. UŁ, Lodz, 1995, and in A. Różalski, Wydział Biologii i Nauk o Ziemi [Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences], In: Uniwersytet Łódzki [University of Lodz]. S. Liszewski, K. Piotrowska-Marczak, W. Puś (eds.), Firma Wydawnicza Krajewski, Lodz, 2000.