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Biospeleology and Karst Edaphobiology Compartment


Research on the biodiversity and dynamics of the karst ecosystems.


Theoretical research: taxonomic, morphological, zoogeographic, statistical and experimental (assimilability, heat efficiency, secondary production) ecological comparative studies on the edaphic and subterranean fauna from karst and non-karst areas.

Applied research: finding species useful as bioindicators, implementing studies on the karst ecosystems dynamics, by comparing it with that of the non-karst areas, with focus on the control of the parameters and the essential factors for the dynamic equilibrium of the national or European significant superficial ecosystems (support capacity, regeneration rate).

Protection: taxonomic and biogeographic research and scientific memoirs on the populations of rare, endangered and vulnerable species, monitored on European or national scale.

Research Facilities:

Our department has been provided with facilities useful for microscopy and applied ecology studies.


The biospeleological collection comprises specimens (Acari, Amphipoda, Araneae, Chilopoda, Chiroptera, Coleoptera, Collembola, Diplopoda, Oniscidea, Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones) collected during more than 60 years of research, from karst areas of both Romania and overseas (Antarctica, Venezuela, Cuba, Israel, Mediterranean region etc.). Highly important are the type-specimens of the species new to science discovered and described over time by the researchers of the Institute of Speleology.

Research team:
  • • Ph.D. Raluca BĂNCILĂ
  • • Ph.D. Eugen NIȚU
  • • Ph.D. Andrei GIURGINCA
  • • Ph.D. Augustin NAE
  • • Ph.D. Sebastian Ionuț POPA
  • • Ph.D. Ioana NAE
  • • Ph.D. Ștefan Cătălin BABA
  • • Cătălina HAIDAU
  • • Robert Florin Opran

Geospeleology and Paleontology Compartment


The study of geology, stratigraphy speleale deposits.


Theoretical research: cave mineralogy, karst networks speleogenesis and evolution, speleothems growing processes modelling, paleontology of the fossil mammal assemblages from caves and karst sediments.

Applied research: uranium series dating of the carbonate absolute, paleoclimatic reconstructions on the basis of speleothems, modeling of isotopic variations in time.

Working Groups:

Geochronology and Paleoclimatic studies Laboratory.
The working group related to this laboratory includes researchers focused on radiometric dating by uranium series method, on the analysis of the speleothems structure and mineralogy, on the cave deposits paleontology and stratigraphy and on the paleoclimate approach based on the cave deposits.
Facilities: primary analytical laboratory of speleothems, chemical preparation laboratory , Alfa Octete spectrometer, fossils preparation laboratory. Head of laboratory: Ph.D. Silviu Constantin.


The paleontological collection comprises mammal and micromammal specimens collected from caves and karst areas of Romania.

Research team:
  • • Ph.D. Silviu CONSTANTIN
  • • Ph.D. Alexandru PETCULESCU
  • • Ph.D. Virgil DRĂGUȘIN
  • • Ph.D. Ionuț MIREA
  • • Răzvan ARGHIR
  • • Ph.D. Luchiana FAUR
  • • ing. Viorel NISTOR


Karstology, Karst Inventory and Protection Compartment


The scientific activity of the department aims to establish a direct link between the interdisciplinary research on caves and the karst environments knowledge, protection and use.


The research team covers the majority of the speleological or karstological topics, gathering senior and young researchers, focused on the most recent research trends and methods.

Research Topics:
  • 1. Karstonomy and systematics of karst areas – theoretical and regional studies on the structure and biodiversity of the karst or related terrains.
  • 2. Karst inventory – software tool, useful for the identification and classification of karst structures, sites and resources.
  • 3. Applied karstology – karst environment vulnerability assessment, karst regions conservation and management norms issuance.

Research team:
  • • Ph.D. Marius VLAICU
  • • Ph.D. Rodica PLĂIAŞU
  • • Ph.D. Cristian-Mihai MUNTEANU
  • • Ph.D. Ioana MELEG
  • • Ph.D. Marius ROBU
  • • Ph.D. Nicolae CRUCERU
  • • Valerică TOMA

Hydrogeochemistry Laboratory (SPELEOCHEM)


Study of geochemical processes taking place in carstiferous areas and their associated areas.


Fundamental Research:

  • • the geochemical study of the formation, development and operation of the karstic hydrostructures;
  • • Modeling on rigorous thermodynamic bases and chemical kinetics of geochemical processes, as well as completion / completion of the thermodynamic databases necessary for the modeling of the distribution and speciation of elements in natural and anthropic aquatic systems, with ensuring the internal compatibility of the data;
  • • the study of the mechanisms for the transfer of dangerous and dangerous hazardous elements and substances into carstifiable environments.

Applied research:

  • • characterization of the chemical composition of the groundwater from the karst areas and adjacent to them, with the highlighting of the determinants of it - regional hydrogeochemistry studies
  • • determination of the main groundwater drainage directions both by geochemical modeling and by marking works
  • • chemical balance study in homogeneous / ethogenic multi-component aqueous systems, applied to the assessment of transport parameters of undesirable elements / substances;
  • • Carrying out chemical-analytical works on natural matrices specific to the institute." s research (groundwater and surface waters, rocks, soil, sediments, plant and animal biological material) under the conditions specific to RENAR accredited testing laboratories.
  • • Developing methods and methods of analysis aimed at minimizing uncertainty of determination and permanent increase of values of analytical performance parameters.


The Romanian Accreditation Association - RENAR certifies that the Hydrogeochemistry Laboratory of the Speleology Institute "Emil Racovita" fulfills the requirements of SR EN ISO / CEI 17025: 2005 and is competent to carry out the TESTING activities on the following arrays: groundwater (including groundwater) Minerals and surface water.

Accreditation certificate No. LI 1159

Research Facilities:

The Hydrogeochemistry Laboratory obtains high-quality experimental information due to the modern analysis facilities it holds (quadrupole and inductively coupled plasma spectrometry, flame-atomized atomic absorption spectroscopy and electrothermal, visible / ultraviolet molecular spectroscopy and Fluorescence, catalytic combustion, electrochemical analysis, etc.) as well as the existence of a sample preparation sector for the analysis of small and very small concentrations (traces).

Research team:
  • • Ph.D. Constantin MARIN
  • • Ph.D. Alin TUDORACHE
  • • Floarea RĂDUCA

Website of the Hydrogeochemistry Laboratory


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