Ústí nad Labem Region vs. The Czech Republic or with trend curves of perception of quality of life against stereotypes

Reports on the polluted environment, structural problems or corruption scandals provide extensive information about life in the Ústí Region. However, it is time to let the inhabitants of this region and the rest of the republic know that everyday life here does not have to be reminiscent of an episode from the series Rapl or Pustina.

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Project number: CZ.02.1.01 / 0.0 / 0.0 / 17_048 / 0007435

Land associations and other independent initiatives to protect nature on their land

In many countries, voluntary, both community and private, initiatives have traditionally been taken to protect biodiversity. How are we in the Czech Republic? Unfortunately, detailed records of similar movements in post-socialist countries are lacking. This was the motivation for a team of experts from UJEP and IAMO to map biodiversity conservation organizations in their own “private” reservations and analyze the reasons why they do so.

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Biodiversity: Council adopts conclusions

Context of changes in geographical systems in doctoral studies

Experts in strategic and environmental planning and spatial development? With knowledge based on international policies and strategies? UJEP offers a new doctoral field of Geographies of transformations, thanks to which the number of such experts will expand. It is a newly accredited doctoral study program in English, coordinated by the Department of Geography at the Faculty of Science.

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Program information: Geographies of transformations

What will the trash tell us?

What they do in reality speaks best about household behavior. An integral part of life is the production of municipal waste, the composition of which hides many secrets. Experts from FSE UJEP are unraveling one and their efforts will bring information on how to rationalize and optimize waste management, which is now transformed into the so-called “circular management”. Within the project Smart City – Smart Region – Smart Community, this is another very specific topic that fits into the concept of improving the quality of life of people.

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We cooperate with the following entities in the analyzes:

Green roofs are not an eccentricity but an advantage

The roof planted with greenery was perceived as an aesthetic element of the house, perhaps as an eccentricity. However, in the context of climate change, “green roofs” have become a very functional tool for tackling the problems associated with urban life. June 6 became World Green Day. On this occasion, it is appropriate to draw attention to the publication Methods of System Support for the Construction of Green Roofs, in which Jan Macháč, Lenka Dubová and Jiří Louda from FSE, published by the Association for the Establishment and Maintenance of Greenery, collaborated. The publication explains the essence of green roofs, looks at them through the eyes of an economist, lawyer, official and also presents case studies from various places in Europe.

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Projects related to the issue of green roofs and other adaptation measures to climate change, which are being solved by colleagues from UJEP from the SMART team:

Does Ústí nad Labem have the potential to benefit from its past?

Ústí nad Labem, and thus the entire Ústí nad Labem region, has a huge industrial heritage, which is currently not perceived very positively. In the interfaculty project Smart City – Smart Region – Smart Community, proposals for interventions in public space are being created within the work package “Smart People”, which are to help use the industrial heritage of the Ústí nad Labem region and help to change its image, or help its inhabitants identify with an almost forgotten tradition.

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The “Smart People” team is also involved in the following activities:

  • Research of key factors and mechanisms shaping the perception of the region and the quality of public space
  • Wellbeing map
  • Design and calibration of selected SMART procedures to improve the perception of the region and the quality of public space / life
  • SMART Education
  • It cooperates with local action groups, actors in the industry of the Ústí Region

Project number: CZ.02.1.01 / 0.0 / 0.0 / 17_048 / 0007435

CZECH ENVI THESIS is looking for fighters for nature at Czech universities

The nationwide competition of bachelor’s and master’s theses in the field of the environment, or students for nature, is a basic characteristic of the second year of the Czech Envi Thesis competition, which will take place at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University. The competition is looking for the best students who, through their final theses, strive for nature protection at Czech universities. The aim of the competition is not only to find successful fighters for nature, but also to bring to light their final work and at the same time popularize them.

The competition is open to those who in 2020 defended (no later than September) their bachelor’s or master’s thesis dealing with the environment from a social science perspective. The competition schedule is as follows:

  • September 2020: last day for submission of applications
  • November 2020: participants will learn about their progress to the finals
  • November 2020: training for finalists will take place in Prague
  • December 2020: final round in Ústí nad Labem

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Reports about last year on the website https://smart-mateq.cz are here:

Flood risk management – who can be responsible for flood damage?

How to reduce the damage caused by floods? Have we really been so uncomfortable with nature and not so respectful of its conveniences, and with our modifications have worsened the consequences of possible floods? Or did we even cause them? The recently broadcast program on the British BBC addressed Lenka Slavíková (FSE UJEP), who contributed to this debate with the content and results of the research she conducts within the LAND4FLOOD initiative.

As the chairwoman of the pan-European LAND4FLOOD initiative, Lenka Slavíková was approached by the British BBC and took part in Caze Graham’s radio report “Flooding Britain” (from 21:00 to 26:23). The article mainly talks about the fact that nature-based solutions are multifunctional. These are wetlands, ponds, loose small streams, borders, draws, manholes and much more. These measures slow down runoff in the catchment area and allow the landscape to better soak up and retain rainwater. It is therefore appropriate to consider them together with traditional technically oriented procedures. In addition, they also promote biodiversity, humidify and cool the air, and have valuable recreational functions close to cities.

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Doc. Ing. Lenka Slavíková, Ph.D.


Pan-European project COST at FSE UJEP
LAND4FLOOD project online webinar (COST)


Platform for green and blue infrastructure

Rainwater management – a platform for the third time
Tree planting and the Internet of Things
Greenery in the city not only as an aesthetic element



Greenery and water in the city – clear and understandable
The importance of greenery and water for quality life in the city
Urban greenery in the hands of students


Part Quality of life and the environment



STRIMAII: Saxon-Czech Flood Risk Management II



Development of methods for economic evaluation of green and blue infrastructure in human settlements

How do young foreign scientists live and work at the UJEP Faculty of Environment?

UJEP does not hide the fact that in the future, following the example of the most prestigious universities, it would like to significantly strengthen the representation of foreign workers. What is less known, however, is that this process is running intensively and the first results have already arrived. At the Faculty of Environment, they even had to allocate a new office for young foreign research reinforcements. And how are the three postdocs who are involved in environmental biotechnology research in Ústí living and working? We tried to find out in a short online interview.

All three of them are concerned with how to use living organisms to remove undesirable substances from the environment. But the story of each of them is a little different:

The first foreign postdoc to come to solve this topic at the FŽP is Sebastiana Roccuzzo, Ph.D. She comes from sunny Italy, but she arrived to Bohemia from the northernmost parts of Europe. She completed her doctoral studies at The British University of Sheffield.

In the autumn of 2018 we got a new colleague, Karim Al Souki Ph.D. Like Sebastiana, he had a long previous experience abroad. He completed his master’s degree in his native Lebanon, but he studied for a doctorate in France at ISA Lille.

So far, the latest postdoctoral reinforcement is Kumar Pranaw, Ph.D. In his case, Ústí nad Labem is his first home outside India. However, he had the opportunity to gain experience in laboratories there for several years after completing his doctoral studies.

Sebastiana, Kumar and Karim

How did you get to this position (how did you hear about it, what did you do for getting it…)?

Sebastiana: I just moved to the Czech Republic from England towards the end of my PhD and I was looking for post-doctoral research opportunities in the field of environmental biotechnology. Hence, I got in touch with Prof. Trögl at FŽP with a spontaneous application consisting of my cover letter, curriculum and all relevant certificates. After an interview, I formally received an offer for a junior post-doc position within the SMART Project (note: part of project Smart City – Smart Region – Smart Community dealing with quality of life and environment).

Kumar: During 2018, I had more than 4 years of post-Ph.D. experience but all in India, so I was looking for some foreign country exposure and came to know about this position from the Euraxess (note: this position is supported by project U21-KLIP). The research sounds interesting so just applied through email with required documents and further given Skype interview for the same.

Karim: In 2018, while I was searching for a post-doc position, prof. Trogl shared with his colleagues the announcement of a position in the framework of the “New Phytotechnology for Cleaning Contaminated Military Sites” project. My former PhD supervisor was among the friends list and forwarded the mail to me. After reading the job description, I was more motivated and excited to apply. I applied, then passed the interview stage and ended up as a post-doctorate at UJEP.

What is your research topic here?

Sebastiana: My research was focused on the development of sustainable systems of micro-algae and bacteria for the removal of endocrine disrupting micro-pollutants from wastewater. My work led to the publication of the paper ‘New perspectives on the bioremediation of endocrine disrupting compounds from wastewater using algae-, bacteria- and fungi-based technologies’ (https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-020-02691-3).

Kumar: I am working here on “Microbes mediated enhancement of biomass production and simultaneous remediation of contaminated soil”. My research includes, How a plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) with its heavy metal resistant specially lead (Pb) resistant nature, enhance the growth and phytoremediation potential of the Miscanthus x giganteus when grown on a metal contaminated land. How this PGPB interacts with the metal uptake and their translocation/ accumulation etc.

Karim: My research is divided into 2 sections (field and pot experiments). The main objective of the field experiments was to validate the positive impacts of the Miscanthus x giganteus (the model plant used in our laboratory for phytomanagement) on enhancing the low quality agricultural soil quality mainly studying its impacts on carbon sequestration. The objective of the second section was to determine the efficacy of miscanthus to remediate multiple contaminated soils (heavy metals, PAH and diesel) and monitor its reaction against the multiple stressors.

Kumar during Night of Scientists at UJEP and his “Starch eating heavy metal resistant bacteria” at workshop for children (source: facebook FŽP UJEP)

Are you satisfied with working at UJEP (in every direction which comes to your mind – money, equipment, colleagues…) and would you like to continue with cooperation with UJEP in future?

Sebastiana: Working at UJEP came with a lot of benefits, as the research grant I was on included money and equipment to support every aspect of research. During my time here I have established good working relations and I would be happy to cooperate again with UJEP in the future.

Kumar: Yeah, Quite satisfied with working at UJEP.

The monthly remuneration is absolutely good but if the government reduces the tax it becomes marvelous. J

The infra structure facility is GOOD but as in some areas its needs improvement. As I am a microbiologist and here at UJEP some microbiological equipment is very limited, otherwise every high-end equipment is available here for chemical analysis.

Regarding Colleagues, I am lucky here that I have surrounded by good peoples. When I was coming here from India for the very first time, I was little bit tensed about how I will manage there as I don’t know the Czech language (While coming From India, I just mug up only one sentence neumim cesky J) but from the airport only, I found a very helping hands in the form of Diana and David, who always ready to help me till date on both personal and professional fronts. It’s difficult to start a job when you are new to that place, but my research started with a pace and that is the reason, I have submitted two papers out of my, I year of work and credit goes to Dr. Hana Malinska. Without her help, it was little bit difficult for me to give a pace to my work. She not only helped me professionally but she becomes my very first friend in the Czech Republic. If I wrote a list of names, It will become a long list like Dr. Josef, Nella, Marek, Jakub, Janko, Hana B, Dominik, Karim and sorry If forgot to mention any name here, in short, whoever came in contact with me, I think all of them are very helpful and kind in nature.

As far as future cooperation with UJEP is concerned, I am always willing and open for that. Even I am trying hard to get some project funds that support my stay here in future.

Karim: Yes, I am highly satisfied with working at UJEP. The entire team is very helpful and cooperative and kind. I have been given a large margin of independency and support by my supervisor (prof. Trogl) who helped me to perform my experiments. Finally, yes I do want to extend my residence here in Usti and my work contract at UJEP.

How do you enjoy your stay (in general)?

Sebastiana: I enjoyed my stay at UJEP, and the freedom and independence I had to explore my research topic.

Kumar: In general, it’s good. I enjoyed my stay as you know I came from a place like Delhi, which is very populated and polluted both J. So far I find Usti as a very peaceful place.

Karim: I am enjoying my time here in Usti (workwise) and to a certain limit social wise.

The research is not done only in lab coat. We got Karim involved in work right after his arrival.

What do you like the most about the Czech Republic and on the other hand what did disappoint you here?

Sebastiana: Czech Republic is a beautiful country which gives many opportunities to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. The quality of life is high, and there is a very good work-life balance culture at UJEP. In my opinion, Czech Republic is doing a great job at modernizing its infrastructure, securing funding and attracting young researchers from abroad. However, the language barrier remains an issue. Hence, I would suggest that UJEP could provide in the future a Czech language course for foreign staff in order to improve communication and facilitate their inclusion.

Kumar: People are very professional here. No one will unnecessarily interfere here. It is very good and I like it. Freedom in research is always required. I want to add something here about two persons, the two ladies, whom I met here, who are present at the reception office at my department and another one is at dormitories where I stay. As I told earlier that I don’t know Czech and they don’t know English but whenever we met, we had a conversation and we convey our message through our body language. She speaks in Czech and I replied to her in English, and we understand each other. I always feel very happy after interacting with them. Here I found very helpful people around but as you know, every coin has two faces. Some time at the shopping market or on the streets, I found some stupid fellow too, whose gesture frightened me.

For disappointments so far I don’t have anything like a very big issue here for which I say I am disappointed, Yeah but I just want to mention one thing that for Visa renewal whenever I visited Foreign Police Office, I found it very difficult alone because no one speaks English there. The office is for foreigners and you don’t speak English. How they can expect a foreigner to speak Czech without living here for a longer time. J Strange but true. I have started learning Czech by the way ;).

Karim: I liked several things here in Usti. First beer J, it is of good taste and not expensive at all. The gathering and the spirit of people in the pubs is great too. I also liked food. Nature around Usti is very beautiful (lakes and mountains). I liked also the people here (mainly for their honesty). What I dislike is the fact that I am not able to speak in Czech (I thought it was an easy task, however I need to practice more).

Anything else you would like to tell us.

Kumar: For everyone, every part, or you can say every moments of your life is having several memories. And I love to make memories out of anything. I would like to tell you, I have very wonderful memories with me after coming to the Czech Republic. For example, within 2 days of my arrival, I went for trekking to see a frozen waterfall at Usti and due to snow and rain we faced lots of difficulties to reach there especially Karim and myself as we are slipping on snow while walking all the way to that place, and it’s very funny that after every 10 min people are waiting for us… like that I have lots of cherished moments here which become a sweet memories for my lifetime.

Karim: I would like to thank everyone at UJEP and hopefully to many years of cooperation, and beers to drink together 😉

SMART Projects
MATEQ Projects

Feeling map of Ústí nad Labem in traffic

The city of Ústí nad Labem has published a feeling map that represents the results of the city’s citizens’ evaluation in the field of transport. Tzv. The mobility plan of the city of Ústí nad Labem is designed to effectively solve the problems of transport in the city and help to improve the quality of life in the city.

All information about PUMM can be found on the UL website here.

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