University of Maribor

University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics


Natasa Pipenbaher

University of Maribor, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has been a member of LifeWatch Slovenia since 2019 and it contributes to LifeWatch ERIC through its National Distributed Centre. The University of Maribor is the second largest and the second oldest university in Slovenia. With its seventeen member institutions, the university has app. 18.000 students. The University of Maribor thus brings together knowledge, research results and industry. It develops new fields, tests new teaching methods, and constantly seeks new ways of cooperation with its environment.


The Department of Biology (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor) has improved its research, teaching, and project activities in recent years. The research is focused on the scientific fields of zoology, botany, ecology, and microbiology. Our scientists are involved in several international projects such as INTERREG, COST ACTIONS, eLTER and Erasmus+.

The new research infrastructure enables:
– a more precise observation of different groups of plant and animal species
– filed-based measurements of abiotic factors, linking environment and biodiversity
– improved analyses of plant functional traits, a modern functional approach to
vegetation research
– spatial landscape analyses and trends
– in situ experiments in physiology, morphology, ecophysiology, and animal behaviour
– microbiological studies of acetic acid bacteria



The University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics as a partner of the LifeWatch project, used the acquired research equipment to improve existing approaches in researching and understanding of biodiversity patterns and processes from the species to the landscape level, which contributed to higher quality data and research results. The data collected will be an important contribution to the database of the Consortium’s database in zoology, botany, ecology, and microbiology. As part of the project, we upgraded the existing microscope with modern camera and software equipment and supplied a new automated stereomicroscope. We established and upgraded the existing database of micrographs of subterranean animal species and smaller groups of arachnids, harvestman (Kozel et al., 2020; Galli et al., 2021). We are also engaged in ecological research of bellow ground fauna and aboveground flora. New equipment allow us to measure various abiotic factors: the dynamics of the urban heat island phenomenon in a small urban system; spatial patterns of traffic accidents in relation to weather (Ivajnšič et al., 2021a; Ivajnšič et al., 2021b); and we are also supplementing our speleobiological base, which consists of environmental and biodiversity data (underground, mainly in karst caves) (Kozel and Pipan, 2020; Kozel et al., 2021); we are studying the species and functional composition of grassland vegetation in Slovenia. With the newly acquired equipment, we performed numerous experiments in physiology, morphology, ecophysiology, and animal behavior. In the climate chamber we grow and maintain organisms in constant temperature range. We managed to obtain and analyse video material of animal behavior (Klokočovnik in Devetak, 2022). The equipment for preparation and analysis of organisms is also used for research in the extended environment acetic acid bacteria (OCB), which we encounter every day and usability of their product it is used in food, pharmaceutical, medical, and cosmetic products. Among OCB, we discover new ecological niches they occupy and species diversity in different environments (Cepec and Trček, 2022; Vajdič, 2022). The mentioned databases will also serve as an important source of information for the future scientific research. Part of the data obtained has been transformated into scientific results that have already been published (or accepted for publication) as chapters in a monograph


KOZEL, Peter, NOVAK, Tone, JANŽEKOVIČ, Franc, LIPOVŠEK DELAKORDA, Saška. Starvation hardiness as preadaptation for life in subterranean habitats. Scientific reports. 2023, vol. 13, article no. 9643, 18 str., ilustr. ISSN 2045-2322. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-36556-9.

IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel, HORVAT, Nina, ŽIBERNA, Igor, KONEČNIK KOTNIK, Eva, DAVIDOVIĆ, Danijel. Revealing the spatial pattern of weather-related road traffic crashes in Slovenia. Applied sciences. 2021., DOI: 10.3390/app11146506.

IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel, PINTARIČ, David, GRUJIĆ, Jaša Veno, ŽIBERNA, Igor. A spatial decision support system for traffic accident prevention in different weather conditions. Acta geographica Slovenica. 2021. ISSN1581-6613., DOI: 10.3986/AGS.9415.

IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel, ORLANDO-BONACA, Martina, DONŠA, Daša, GRUJIĆ, Jaša Veno, TRKOV, Domen, MAVRIČ, Borut, LIPEJ, Lovrenc. Evaluating seagrass meadow dynamics by integrating field-based and remote sensing techniques. Plants. May 2022, vol. 11, iss. 9, str. [1]-15, ilustr. ISSN 2223-7747., DOI: 10.3390/plants11091196.

DONŠA, Daša, GRUJIĆ, Jaša Veno, PIPENBAHER, Nataša, IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel. The Lyme borreliosis spatial footprint in the 21st century: a key study of Slovenia. International journal of environmental research and public health. [Online ed.]. 2021, vol. 18, iss. 22, str. 1-11, ilustr. ISSN 1660-4601, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182212061.

AMBROŽIČ-DOLINŠEK, Jana, OBLONŠEK, Sanja, CIRINGER, Terezija. Slow growth storage of Berula erecta in vitro – effect of sucrose, sorbitol and temperature. Agricultura. [Print ed.]. 2022, vol. 19, no. 1, str. 33-41, ilustr. ISSN 1580-8432., DOI: 10.18690/agricultura.19.1.33-41.2022.

GRUJIĆ, Jaša Veno, TODOROVIĆ, Biljana, KRANVOGL, Roman, CIRINGER, Terezija, AMBROŽIČ-DOLINŠEK, Jana. Diversity and content of carotenoids and other pigments in the transition from the green to the red stage of Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae identified by HPLC-DAD and LC-QTOF-MS. Plants. Apr. 2022, vol. 11, iss. 8, 14 str. ISSN 2223-7747, DOI: 10.3390/plants11081026.

AMBROŽIČ-DOLINŠEK, Jana, ORNIK, Domen, BRANDA, Rebeka, MOLNAR, Zoltan, CIRINGER, Terezija. Does biostimulant Agrostemin® exhibit plant growth regulator activities?. Phyton : annales rei botanicae. 2021, vol. 61, str. 109-116. ISSN 0079-2047, DOI: 10.12905/0380.phyton61-2022-0109.

KLOKOČOVNIK, Vesna, DEVETAK, Dušan. Efficiency of antlion trap design and larval behavior in capture success. Behavioral ecology. 2022, vol. 33, no. 1, str. 184-189, ilustr. ISSN 1045-2249, DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arab124.

VAJDIČ, Tadeja. Genetic diversity of exopolysaccharides from acetic acid bacteria isolates originating from apple cider vinegars. German journal of microbiology. 2022, vol. 2, iss. 1, str. 1-18. ISSN 2749-0149, DOI: 10.51585/gjm.2022.1.0011.

CEPEC, Eva, TRČEK, Janja. Antimicrobial resistance of Acetobacter and Komagataeibacter species originating from vinegars. International journal of environmental research and public health. [Online ed.]. 2022, vol. 19, iss. 1, str. 1-10. ISSN 1660-4601., DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19010463.

GALLI, Loris, JANŽEKOVIČ, Franc, KOZEL, Peter, NOVAK, Tone. Protura (Arthropoda: Hexapoda) in Slovenian caves. International journal of speleology. 2021. ISSN 0392-6672., DOI: 10.5038/1827-806X.50.1.2380.

KOZEL, Peter, DELIĆ, Teo, NOVAK, Tone. Nemaspela borkoae sp. nov. (Opiliones: Nemastomatidae), the second species of the genus from the Dinaric Karst. European Journal of Taxonomy. 2020. ISSN 2118-9773, DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2020.717.1103.

KOZEL, Peter, PIPAN, Tanja. Specialized aquatic subterranean communities are probably most species-rich in the thickest epikarst. Limnologica. 2020, vol. 81, str. 1-9. ISSN 0075-9511, DOI: 10.1016/j.limno.2020.125756.

KOZEL, Peter, DELAKORDA, Miha, KOMPOSCH, Christian, SLANA NOVAK, Ljuba, NOVAK, Tone, LIPOVŠEK DELAKORDA, Saška. Notes on coexistence of closely related Leiobunum rupestre and L. subalpinum (Opiliones, Eupnoi, Sclerosomatidae). V: JÄGER, Peter (ur.). A festschrift honouring prof. dr. Jochen Martens on occasion of his 80th birthday : monograph. Auckland: Magnolia Press, 2021. Str. 34-42, ilustr. Zootaxa, vol. 4984, 1. ISBN 978-1-77688-281-6. ISSN 1175-5334., DOI: 10.11646/ZOOTAXA.4984.1.5. [COBISS.SI-ID 67570691].

ŽIBERNA, Igor, IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel. Sezonski režim površinskega mestnega toplotnega otoka v Mariboru = Maribor’s seasonal surface urban heat island regime. V: IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel (ur.), et al. Primeri prostorskih analiz vplivov podnebnih sprememb : monografija v okviru projekta Preprečevanje toplotnega stresa v urbanih sistemih v luči podnebnih sprememb (ARRS J7-1822). 1. izd. Maribor: Univerza v Mariboru, Univerzitetna založba, 2022. Str. 7-28, ilustr. ISBN 978-961-286-645-7., DOI: 10.18690/um.fnm.8.2022.1. [COBISS.SI-ID 120024835]

PIPENBAHER, Nataša, IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel, DONŠA, Daša, GRUJIĆ, Jaša Veno, ŠKORNIK, Sonja. Vpliv urbanih zelenih površin na pojav mestnega toplotnega otoka = The cooling effect of urban green spaces from the urban heat island perspective. V: IVAJNŠIČ, Danijel (ur.), et al. Primeri prostorskih analiz vplivov podnebnih sprememb : monografija v okviru projekta Preprečevanje toplotnega stresa v urbanih sistemih v luči podnebnih sprememb (ARRS J7-1822). 1. izd. Maribor: Univerza v Mariboru, Univerzitetna založba, 2022. Str. 29-48, ilustr. ISBN 978-961-286-645-7., DOI: 10.18690/um.fnm.8.2022.2. [COBISS.SI-ID 120071171]