The State Scientific Research Institute Nature Research Centre (NRC) was established on 31 December 2009 under the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, No. 158-7186, 2009) by merging the Institute of Botany, the Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University and the Institute of Geology and Geography. The research potential and the experimental basis of the three institutes were integrated to create an up-to-date scientific research infrastructure for investigations into present-day and past ecosystems, as well as studies and development of environmental protection technologies. Upholding 70-year-old traditions and experience, the newly established NRC not only pursues and co-ordinates long-term scientific research in various fields of biotic and abiotic nature and ensures the competence of Lithuania on the international stage, but also takes an active role in the development and implementation of a conceptual framework for the protection of the living environment and its sustainable development, as well as disseminating scientific knowledge of biotic and abiotic environment, thus contributing to the development of the knowledge economy and education of society. In co-operation with representatives of business, government and society, the Nature Research Centre conducts contracted scientific research and experimental development work, rendering recommendations concerning research methodology, etc.
Results of most recent investigations have shown the importance of interdisciplinary and interbranch integration in solving a wide variety of scientific issues related to the assessment, prognosis and management of changes in biotic and abiotic nature and the ever increasing anthropogenic impact on the environment. Cooperation among representatives of different physical and biomedicine sciences and cooperation-based solutions to scientific tasks are the fundamental principles underlying the activities of the NRC. In twenty five laboratories of the NRC, scientists carry out investigations into environmental state quality, natural ecosystems, habitats, species, structure of communities and populations, regularities and mechanisms of functioning, sensitivity, vulnerability, genetic diversity, adaptations, microevolution under conditions of global change and anthropogenic impact and the development of theoretical fundamentals and projections. Of no less significance is the research conducted in other areas of natural sciences covering a wide range of issues, the most important of which are: the state, change and prognosis of Lithuanian nature and its biological resources, their preservation and restoration and the scientific justification for their sustainable use; climate change and prognosis; the earth’s surface and subsurface structure, its properties and formation; the evolution of palaeoecological conditions; groundwater and surface water systems; the state and dynamics of landscapes and the geoenvironment and their interaction with human activity; and the scientific justification for the sustainable exploitation of surface and subsurface resources on the territory of Lithuania.
To ensure high-level research and a high level of competitiveness, state-of-the-art scientific research facilities and infrastructure are required on the premises of the NRC, including the Open Access Centre. Established for the purpose of providing open access to R&D resources, the Open Access Centre, integrating scientific research laboratories, conducts both fundamental and applied research to meet the needs of business entities.
The multidisciplinary staff of the NRC is actively engaged in collaboration with scientific research institutions of foreign countries and participates in international research programmes and projects. In its essence, research into the state, history and development prospects of both living and inanimate nature is international, and therefore does not recognize state borders, thus calling for joint efforts by researchers from different countries. The scientists of the Centre actively and successfully develop cooperation relationships with colleagues from more than fifty countries: research projects and investigations are implemented in cooperation with partners from Baltic and Scandinavian countries, Taiwan, the Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, the USA, the UK, Mexico, Ecuador, Korea, Russia, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Poland, etc.
This publication reviews the research topics explored by the multidisciplinary staff of the Centre, along with research projects under implementation and their results and research methods employed. Additionally, this publication also highlights the specialist and technical research facilities available at the Centre.
We hope you will find this information interesting and that it will stimulate you to engage in collaboration with the research staff of the Nature Research Centre in the implementation of various ideas related to living and inanimate nature investigations!
Prof. Dr. (HP) Sigitas Podėnas
Academician of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
Director of the Nature Research Centre
Address: Akademijos str. 2, LT–08412 Vilnius, Lithuania
Phone (+370~5) 272 92 57,
Fax (+370~5) 272 93 52
Government of the Republic of Lithuania
The State Scientific Institute Nature Research Centre is a public legal entity operating as a state budget institution and performing long-term research and experimental (social and cultural) development activities according to research trends established in the Articles of Association of the Nature Research Centre and significant for state, society, international communication and business.
151 scientists (19 Chief Researchers, 51 Senior Researchers, 49 Researchers and 32 Junior Researchers), together with 185 engineers, biologists and employees of assistant departments (January 2015).
Five PhD studies programmes, i.e. Biology, Ecology and Environmental Science, Geology, Physical Geography and Zoology are implemented at the NRC.
35 PhD students study at the NRC (January 2015).
Ministry of Education and Science (55.0%).
Research Council of Lithuania (18.5%).
Third-party funding (state and private institutions) (26.5%).
Total annual budget – 6,985,400 EUR (3,832,700 EUR from programme funding, 1,311,200 EUR funding for the Research Council of Lithuania projects, 1,841,500 EUR from third-party funding (December 2014)).
Molecular biology and DNA sequencing, Chromatography, Chemical analysis, Microscopy and cytologic research, Isolation and storage of microorganisms, Recirculated aquaculture system, Radioisotope research, Scanning electron microscopy, Magnetization research, Grain-size analysis, etc.
The University of Aberdeen, UK; Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia; University School of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland; Saint Petersburg State University, Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia; The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria; Institute of Microbiology, NAS of Belarus; Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, Belarus; Institute for Nature Management, NAS of Belarus; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine; Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russia; Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Russia; University of Warsaw, Poland; University of Gdansk, Poland; Keele University, UK; Institute of Environmental Geochemistry, NAS of Ukraine; Institute of Geology at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia; University of Tartu, Estonia; University of Latvia, Latvia; DTU Center for Nuclear Technologies (DTU Nutech), Denmark; Institute of Geological Sciences, NAS of Armenia; Thűnen Institute for Fisheries Ecology, Germany; Alfred Wagener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany; Finish Environment Institute, Finland; Stokholm University, Sweden; University of Ostrava, Czech Republic; Kentucky University, USA; Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; Bergen University, Norway; Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Belgium; University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; National Taiwan University, Taiwan; United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, USA.