Study

Conditions of study

In 2019, the Institute of Geography of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) concluded a framework agreement with the Faculty of Science, Comenius University in Bratislava. Based on this agreement, the Institute of Geography as an external educational institution participates in the implementation of two doctoral study programs:

  • physical geography, geoecology and geoinformatics
  • regional geography

The length of the study in both programs is four years. The basic obligation of a doctoral student is to carry out the study, pedagogical and scientific activities by the conditions defined by the Faculty of Science, Comenius University in Bratislava. The amount of the monthly doctoral scholarship at the Institute of Geography of SAS is:

  • 807,50 € until the dissertation exam (first three semesters)
  • 940,50 € during the next five semesters

More detailed information on conditions of PhD. study are available at the institute’s secretary, or at the website of Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University.

PhD. topics



Supervisor: Ing. Anna Kidová, PhD.

Sediment transport and channel morphology changes are two important factors for measuring river response to continuously flood discharges. The aim of the thesis is to evaluate the total volume of coarse sediment deposited in the storage area during the flood events focused on geomorphological process of development of braid bar formation and sediment structure identification. Repeated bathymetrics surveys with a combination of Earth observation techniques will provide a detailed chronology and conceptual model of gravel bar dynamics.

Supervisor: Ing. Anna Kidová, PhD.

Detailed reach scale model will be performed by compiling field measures with remotely sensed data analyses of channel evolution due to anthropogenic impacts causing significant geomorphic changes. The consequences of human interventions on river flows can determine the real flood hazard of these artificial structures in river channels. Such approaches are required to study the evolution of increasingly human-dominated landscapes and provide scientific basis for the river management decision sphere.

Supervisor: Ing. Anna Kidová, PhD.

The monitoring of the Belá braidplain area (11 river reaches belonging to the Natura 2000 area) will focus on the continual geomorphological changes after river training in 2018. Previous research findings confirmed the minimization of flood wave mitigation on the floodplain as well as an increase of the erosive force in the main channel of the monitored river reaches after the management intervention. Natural recovery of the transverse continuity of the main channel with the secondary channels on the floodplain will be expertly estimated in the context of climate change and low n-year flood occurrence. In fact, the flood magnitude was quasi-constant and never exceeded the 10-year frequency from 1958 up to 2018, the gradual increase of the vegetation cover is expected. The achieved results related to this vulnerable multi-thread river system will provide a scientific basis for river management issues.

Supervisor: Mgr. Ján Novotný, PhD.

Georelief is the result of the opposing action of endogenous and exogenous factors. In the current morphoclimatic conditions in the Western Carpathians, the dominant organizational element of georelief are river systems. Based on their properties, it is possible to identify manifestations of neotectonics, which is one of the main control factors in the development of georelief. However, in a tectonic active environment, it is necessary to distinguish the influence of tectonic processes from other factors, especially from the influence of heterogeneous lithology. Therefore, the aim of the work will be to perform a comprehensive geomorphological analysis of the selected area, to extract data from available digital relief models and other sources (geological maps) and to analyze differences in rock resistance in the field. The resulting synthesis will provide knowledge about the development of the studied area, with an emphasis on distinguishing the main factors that contributed to its formation.

Supervisor: Mgr. Róbert Pazúr, PhD.

The loss of ecological connectivity in increasingly fragmented human-dominated landscapes threatens the long-term persistence of many species. The Northern Carpathians are a European hotspot of natural wildness harbouring the umbrella species, e.g. brown bear or European bison. However, land-use changes such as infrastructure or settlement development, agricultural intensification, forest harvesting put the wildlife in the constant thread. The goal of this PhD is to assess the ecological connectivity and its changes based on GPS telemetry and remote sensing data. The successful candidate will integrate telemetry data for species movement, remote sensing imagery and the stakeholder knowleadge ino powerful, spatially explicit connectivity assesment. A successful candidate should be fluent in English and has a passion for wildlife and remote sensing. This PhD position offers a great way of joining international research projects. A good knowledge of the Slovak language is advantageous.

Supervisor: Mgr. Róbert Pazúr, PhD.

Nowadays, machine learning is reaching our everyday life. Remote sensing benefits from machine learning, besides others, by automating the classifications, identifying the patterns in the time-series or identification of the landscape patterns. The goal of this PhD is to develop an automated near-realtime biodiversity monitoring on agricultural areas based on visual AI combining the Landsat and Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Planetscope imagery. The mapping will support the identification of the grassland biodiversity and its documentation process. A successful candidate should be fluent in English and has a passion for AI and remote sensing. This PhD position offers a great way of joining international research projects.

Supervisor: Mgr. Miloš Rusnák, PhD.

Physical habitat parameters will be extracted from detailed 3D models. Selected river reaches will be analysed using drone imagery for calculation river bathymetry model, reconstructing the channel bed structure, gravel bars, submerged bed substrate and identifying habitat patterns. From hydraulic modelling, we used flow velocity. For final class mapping, will be used a combination of velocity data, water depth, substrate grain size and morphology unit (pool, glide, run, riffle).

Supervisor: Mgr. Miloš Rusnák, PhD.

High-resolution topography data offers new opportunities for detailed sediment transfer research. Bedload transport modelling will be calculated based on the standard transport equations, calculated in HecRAS hydraulic modelling software, and validated by field measurement. Bedload transport equations will be applied with detailed 3D topography data from UAV and grain size distribution. This theoretical transport capacity calculation (sensitive to the inputs values and data) will calibrate and validate against field data for a specific section of the river.

Supervisor: Mgr. Miloš Rusnák, PhD.

The aim of the work is to analyse aerial and satellite images for evaluation of mutual relations between morphological channel changes and vegetation. Vegetation indexes with physiognomic features of vegetation are also relevant for the identification and assessment of the riparian zone and biogeomorphological interactions in the channel. The aim of the thesis will be analysing, evaluate and test the suitability of the vegetation indexes together with physiognomic features for assessment selected riparian zones in Slovakia by using remote sensing data.


Supervisor: Mgr. Daniel Michniak, PhD.

for detailed info contact supervisor

Supervisor: Mgr. Daniel Michniak, PhD.

for detailed info contact supervisor

Supervisor: Mgr. Róbert Pazúr, PhD.

The goal of this PhD project is to assess the current ecosystem services of the national parks in Slovakia, trade-offs of their different future development and its hinterland and their implementation into the strategic planning. The successful candidate will integrate landscape ecology, remote sensing and social sciences to provide a scientifically sound baseline about the different pathways of landscape development. A good knowledge of the Slovak language is advantageous.

Supervisor: Mgr. Róbert Pazúr, PhD.

Land-use change is caused by multiple drivers acting on multiple scales. While some causes of land change may be identified on the local scale, others may act on the regional or continental level. Additionally, land change is often an outcome of telecoupling between distant socio-ecological systems. The goal of this PhD is to identify the drivers of land change of a selected region of the world with a specific focus on agriculture. A successful candidate should be fluent in English and has a passion for land-use modelling, remote sensing and exploring the causalities of processes shaping the landscape. This PhD position offers a great way of joining international research projects.

Supervisor: Mgr. Róbert Pazúr, PhD.

Same as in past decades, the future landscape in Europe will need to adapt to current natural and societal challenges (climate change, urbanisation pressure, demography). This PhD aims to develop the scenarios of plausible pathways of future development of land-use and ecosystem services in selected areas of Europe. Core data used would be the land cover data, natural and socioeconomic statistics and outcomes of stakeholder workshops. A successful candidate should be fluent in English and has a passion for land-use modelling, modelling of ecosystem services and exploring the causalities of processes shaping the landscape. This PhD position offers a great way of joining international research projects and practical integration of research findings.

Supervisor: Mgr. Michala Sládeková Madajová, PhD.

Strategies to reduce vulnerability and increase the ability of society to cope with the negative consequences of floods are an integral part of integrated flood risk management. The perception and general awareness of the population about the flood hazard in the area they live in plays a key role in this regard. In Slovak conditions, however, not enough attention is given to this basic concept (perception, awareness), as well as to the assessment of the vulnerability of the population to the flood risk. The causes range from the still prevailing tradition of applying a more engineering approach to flood risk management, to the lack of relevant data and ways of incorporating different opinions into the flood risk reduction process. The aim of the dissertation is to analyze differences in flood hazard perception between different population groups, identify the basic factors that affect the awareness and influence the perception of flood risk, evaluate the role of flood risk perception in improving the resilience of the population to flood risk and ultimately present the options of a comprehensive assessment of population vulnerability to this natural threat. The research will be based on more detailed data obtained through field research (interviews, questionnaire survey) in selected localities with a potential occurrence of flood risk, as well as on cognitive mapping of the area.