Organising and Program Committee

Snježana Židovec Lepej

Assistant professor Snjezana Zidovec Lepej. PhD is a Head of Department of Immunological and Molecular Diagnostics at the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases „Dr. Fran Mihaljevic“ in Zagreb, Croatia. She graduated molecular biology at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb where she obtained her masters degree and PhD. She is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb and a scientific advisor in clinical medical sciences at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine. Prof. Zidovec is a Fellow of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Immunology (ESCMID) and has served as a member of the ESCMID Educational Subcommittee (2016-2020). She has been the principal investigator and researcher in national and international projects focusing on molecular virology and immunology, served as a reviewer for international and national scientific projects and abstracts for numerous scientific conferences. Prof. Zidovec published 108 scientific paper that received 1950 citations and has an h-index of 24. Her areas of expertise include molecular virology and immunology a with particular emphasis on molecular epidemiology of HIV and viral hepatitis, resistance to antiviral drugs, and cytokine immunology. She received „Ante Sercer“ award by the Croatian Academy of Medical Sciences for the best national scientific paper in medicine published in 2007. She serves as an expert for the Croatian Acreditation Agency in the area of clinical flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics. Since January 2022, she is the President of the Croatian Society of Biologists in Health Care.

Petra Korać

Assoc. Prof.

Dr. Petra Korać, Assoc. Prof. works at the Division of Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. She works in a field of medical genetics – her main interest are mechanisms of tumour development and progression, communication between tumour cells and their microenvironment, and influence of pathogens on signal pathways in host cells. So far, she participated in many national and international projects in the field of biomedicine, published more than 30 scientific papers, and authored high school textbooks in biology. She gives lectures at Faculty of Science and participates in the curriculum of the School of Medicine Zagreb and University of Applied Health Sciences. She is a member of the Croatian Biological Society, the Croatian Society of Biologists in Health Care, Croatian Association for Cancer Research and the Croatian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Nediljko Landeka

dr. sc.

Dr. sc. Nediljko Landeka works at the Teaching Institute of Public Health of the Istrian County. His area of interest are public health issues related to disease-causing organisms, poisonous organisms and invasive species. He participates in the national monitoring of invasive mosquito species, monitors ticks in the Istria County, monitors hornet populations in Istria with the aim of an early detection of Asian hornets and the ecology, distribution and ethology of the black widow.
He is an active beekeeper.

Mauro Štifanić 

Assoc. prof.

Dr. Mauro Štifanić, Assoc. prof., works at the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, where he so far taught several courses in the field of biological sciences and launched three new courses in the field of genetics. With a rich experience of numerous previous leading and developmental activities and duties, he is currently acting dean of the Medical Faculty in Pula and teaches the courses of Basics of Ecology and Human Genetic Diseases. On several occasions, he received scientific training in Switzerland and Germany, for a total of three years. As an associate or a team leader he currently participates in two scientific, one applied and one developmental project at the national level and one Erasmus international project. He has mentored about 30 final and graduate theses and one doctoral dissertation, and co-authored 17 scientific papers indexed in WoS and Scopus databases.

Petar Kružić

Assoc. Prof.

Dr. Petar Kružić, Assoc. Prof., works in the Laboratory for Marine biology, Division of Zoology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. He works in the field of marine ecology with the main interest in the macrozoobenthos of hard-bottom of the Adriatic Sea, mostly Cnidarians (hard corals and gorgonians), biological and ecological features of isolated habitats in the Adriatic (estuaries, sea lakes, underwater caves, coral reefs) and research and monitoring of coralligenous biocenosis in the Adriatic Sea. He also deals with the negative impact of climate change on the benthic community. He gives lectures, seminars and field classes in the courses Biological Oceanography, Marine Management and Protection, Marine Biodiversity and Fauna of Croatia. Since 2013, he has been teaching on undergraduate studies at the University of Primorska (Koper, Slovenia) with the course “Selected Chapters in Marine Zoology”.

Mladen Kučinić – predsjednik

prof. dr. sc.


Inga Urlić

Assoc. Prof.

Inga Urlić, PhD, works as a professor associate at the Division of Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. Her research field is biomedicine with a focus on tumor biology, stem cell biology and tissue engineering – bone and cartilage regeneration. She is the principal investigator of 3 competitive research projects (MZOS, BICRO, HRZZ), 2 research donations (HAZU, HEP), 1 R&D project and the group leader within 1 Horizon2020 project. She is a co-author of 33 scientific papers, 45 abstracts and invited speaker at two international conferences. She is lecturing five courses – Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis, Research Methods in Molecular Biology, Stem Cell Biology, Introduction to Forensic Biology and Workshops in Cell and Molecular Genetics. She is a member of several professional associations – HBD, TERMIS, ISABS, HDIR, EACR.

Ivana Šola

Assist. Prof.

Dr. Ivana Šola, Assist. Prof. works in the Laboratory for Phytochemistry, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. She is engaged in research in the field of analytics of plant chemical compounds and products of plant origin. So far, she has participated in 7 projects, is currently the leader of a research project of the Croatian Science Foundation and a bilateral German-Croatian project, and participates as an associate in two other scientific and one infrastructure project. She is the co-author of 23 scientific papers and one professional manual. She spent 22 months in scientific training in Germany. She participates in teaching the courses “Plant Anatomy”, “Plant Bioactive Compounds”, “Plants in Phytotherapy”, “Molecular Plant Biology”, and launched a new course “Fundamentals of Phytochemistry”. She is active in the popularization of science, led several events “Night of Biology”, and designed and conducted a series of workshops at various events.

Milena Mičić

dr. sc.


Valerija Begić


Valerija Begic, prof. is currently employed at Primary School Sesvetski Kraljevec as a Science teacher. She is a teacher counselor and the head of the County Expert Council for Biology. She has participated in numerous projects in the field of biology education at the National Centre for External Evaluation of Education, such as State Matura exams, National exams and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Since the very start of the curricular reform in Croatia, she has been a member / leader / coordinator of working groups for Biology during the Comprehensive curriculum reform, the implementation of the School for Life programme and I-teaching. She is the co-author of 12 Biology students’ textbooks, 10 workbooks, 7 teacher books and 13 learning resources for primary and secondary school, as well as 11 scientific and professional publications in the field of biology. She is also the author of numerous lectures and workshops that she has given at various professional training sessions. She mentors students of integrated studies of biology and chemistry and participates in teaching courses at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science in Zagreb as an adjunct assistant. She is a researcher on educational and biomedical projects of the Department of Biology, recipient of the Srecko Jelenic Award for her efforts in improving the biology teaching, and recipient of the Best Teacher Award for three consecutive years for her contribution in improving the quality of the educational system of the Republic of Croatia.

Katarina Caput Mihalić 


Katarina Caput Mihalić, PhD is an Expert at the Division of Molecular Biology, Dep. of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. As part of the current HRZZ project, she is engaged in research with sarcoma stem cells and the establishment of primary cultures and cell lines. Previous scientific interest has included taxonomic and ecological research of periphytic diatoms, and more recently fossil diatoms. She is the co-author of 23 scientific papers, and 11 other publications, 41 poster presentations and one editorial book. She has participated in practical and field classes in algology, and now participates in practicum from the courses “Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis”, “Research Methods in Molecular Biology”, and is an associate in the course “Introduction to Forensic Biology” and the course “Fundamentals of Forensic of Botany, Palynology and Diatomology, VEF, University of Zagreb. She has organised several national and international scientific conferences and is active in the popularization of science (University Festival, Night of Biology). She was an assistant to editor of the Acta Botanica Croatica and a member of professional associations: ISDR, HBoD, HDIR, EACR. In the Croatian Biological Society, she is a member of the Small Council and also holds the position of treasurer.

Sandi Orlić

dr. sc. Sandi Orlić works at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. He is engaged in research in the field of microbial ecology and the application of new high-throughput methods in the study of microorganisms. So far, he has participated in or led numerous national and international projects and currently leads several projects in the field of microbial ecology of aquatic ecosystems. He is the author of over 50 scientific articles. He has spent more than 3 years on different specialization (Italy, Germany, USA) and two postdoctoral fellowships at KU Leuven (Belgium) and the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Valencia (Spain). He is an external member of the international doctoral school of the Max Planck Institute in Bremen.

Petra Burić


Dr. Petra Burić, Assist. Prof. works at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Juraj Dobrila University in Pula. Her field of research is focused on ecotoxicological effects of various chemicals of anthropogenic origin (nanoparticles, insecticides, microplastics) on organisms in the marine environment. In particular, she examines the effect of many substances on the embryonic development of sea urchins and the exposure of marine invertebrates to low concentrations of pollutants by examining various biomarkers. She is the co-author of 11 scientific papers and participates as an associate on 2 projects of the Croatian Science Foundation and 2 international projects. She has specialized in numerous international and national workshops. At the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Pula, she teaches the following courses: “Molecular toxicology and ecotoxicology”, “Biological effects of pollutants”, “Genetics and evolution” and the elective course “Nanotechnology in marine research”. She also participates in the popularization of science and workshops held as part of the Science Festival and Researchers’ Night.

Emina Pustijanac

Assist. Prof.

Dr. Emina Pustijanac, Assist. Prof. is the dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Juraj Dobrila University in Pula. She is engaged in research in the field of microbiology. So far, she has participated in several scientific projects, and is currently an associate in a research project of the Croatian Science Foundation. She is the co-author of 16 scientific papers, two textbooks in Biology for high schools and one methodological manual of biology for teachers. She teaches the courses “Microbiology” and “Cell and Molecular Biology” at the undergraduate University Study of Marine Science, as well as the courses “Microbiology with Parasitology” and “Hygiene and Epidemiology” at the undergraduate professional study of Nursing. She is active in popularizing science, she has designed and conducted a number of workshops at the Science Festival as well as at various other events.

Paolo Paliaga 

Assist. Prof.

Paolo Paliaga works since 2018 as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Natural sciences at the University Juraj Dobrila in Pula where he is a lecturer for many courses: Marine ecology, Introduction to oceanography, Sanitary quality of waters, Mechanisms of long-term changes in the Sea, Cycle of organic matter and eutrophication, Principles and systems for protecting the Sea and coastal areas and Practical course in marine biology. So far, he has worked on 5 successfully completed scientific projects. The two most recent HRZZ projects (2017 to 2021) were MICRO-SEAGRASS and ECORENA, where he worked as an assistant focused on microbial communities of marine seagrasses and on invasive Ctenophora in the Northern Adriatic Sea. Moreover, he worked at various professional researches related to the microbial communities of polluted areas. The latest engagement in the career is focused on studying the microbial communities of salt marshes along the western Istrian coast and on the appearance of invasive crabs and algae in that area. At the moment he is a co-author on 20 scientific publications and 7 professional studies. He is also involved in various activities regarding scientific popularisation mainly oriented towards high school students.

Scientific Committees

Inga Urlić, President
Armin Mešić, Vice-president


Andreja Ambriović-Ristov, Vesna Benković, Višnja Besendorfer; Branimir K. Hackenberger, Krunoslav Brčić-Kostić, Marko Ćaleta, Jelena Kralj, Jakov Dulčić, Hrvoje Fulgosi, Ivana Maguire, Zlatko Mihaljević, Marcelo Kovačić, Bojan Lazar, Zlatko Liber, Zrinka Ljubešić, Renata Matoničkin-Kepčija, Toni Nikolić, Mirjana Pavlica, Miroslav Plohl, Martina Podnar Lešić, Ines Radanović, Zdenko Tkalčec, Ivančica Ternjej, Željka Vidaković-Cifrek, Rosa Karlić, Irina Zupan, Zorana Grubić, Feodora Stipoljev, Mirela Sertić Perić, Zrinka Pongrac Štimac, Tanja Žuna Pfeiffer, Barbara Sladonja, Ante Žuljević, Irena Labak, Dubravko Pavoković, Vlatka Filipović Marijić, Ivana Kušan, Marija Zekušić, Irena Grbac, Martina Šašić Kljajo, Igor Stanković, Petar Mitrikeski, Bojan Hamer, Dijana Pavičić-Hamer.


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