BIUS, Biology student association assembles students from all of its interest sections at its annual Biology Research Camp, aiming at a comprehensive inventarisation of species in a chosen location.
Organisation fact sheet
- Organiser: Biology Students Association (BIUS) at the University of Zagreb
- Organisation history: founded in 1999
- Organisation size: current membership of over 100 biology students from the Faculty of Science, with over 600 alumni members
- Organisational structure: 21 interest sections devoted to the study of particular field of biology
- Projects in numbers: 12 biology camps, each attended by an average of 60 students; over 50 thematic research projects run by particular interest sections
- Raising student interest and the quality of study by offering practical work experience to biology students
- Providing students with practical research methods, fundraising skills and project management know-how, which equips them for their future independent scientific work
- Introducing students to the scientific community and to stakeholders important for the future development of their careers
- Furthering the fields of biology and environment protection in Croatia
- Creating a web resource which will serve as the main source of information on biology-related events, projects and the study of biology in Croatia
In the course of their 10-year presence at the University of Zagreb, the Biology Student Association (BIUS) has become an important stakeholder not only in students’ professional development and career orientation, but equally relevant in the field of biology in Croatia and the faculty’s decision-making processes.
As part of their student-oriented activities, BIUS provides their members with all the necessary support, which ensures successful project development and implementation. At the premises of BIUS, students conduct analyses of samples collected in their field research, write project proposals, track partners and funding opportunities, hold section meetings and networking sessions and so on.
As a result, the Association assembles students from all of its interest sections at its annual Biology Research Camp, aiming at a comprehensive inventarisation of species in a chosen location. Last year the students chose the central Dalmatian area as the setting of their scientific endeavours. In the course of the latest 3-month project “Research of Biodiversity of the Zrmanja River 2010” (Istraživanje bioraznolikosti rijeke Zrmanje 2010) over 60 students made several visits to their research location, collecting valuable data and samples, which are meant to uphold the inclusion of the Zrmanja river area in NATURA 2000, the world’s largest ecological network. Upon completing the camp, students published their findings and policy recommendations for the use of nature resort management, government institutions and the broader scientific community.
Apart from all-inclusive, broad-scale research camps, particular interest sections conduct thematic (topic-specific) research projects, focusing on specific aspects of the ecology of chosen species. Small in numbers, big in achievements, the BIUS Bat Section boasts a rare spotting of the Greater Noctule (Nycalus lasiopterus), the biggest European bat species. This exceptional flying mammal, famous for consuming birds by catching them in flight, was spotted by Bat Section members for the first time in 89 years in Croatia. This remarkable discovery occurred during the Biology Research Camp at the Kornati National Park in 2009 and subsequently enabled the continuation of the species monitoring program in 2010. The project results also helped students track opportunities for further research funding, professional development exchange and international scientific cooperation.
Finally, BIUS activities do not only serve the narrow scientific purposes of a selected group, but rather aim at a broader social reach. An important part of their project implementation is their effort to include local communities in environment protection activities. On such occasions, the students often run free workshops for local children, initiating them in the world of wildlife marvels.
Every year, students open the doors of their faculty to the public and demonstrate the intricacies of biology research in a series of interactive workshops. If you are interested in studying biology in Croatia, be sure not to miss the Biology Night at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb!