Professor Maciej Zalewski
Head of European Regional
Centre for Ecohydrology
The new concept of ecohydrology, which is gaining publicity all around the world, was born in Poland and prof. Maciej Zalewski of the University of Łódź and the head of International Centre for Ecology at Polish Academy of Sciences is its creator.
He has been a long-time collaborator of UNESCO and supervised research projects for the organisation.
Maciej Zalewski was born in 1950 in Warsaw. In 1973 he graduated from biology department at the University of Łódź writing a master’s thesis on research methods of ecosystems in rivers. Being a third-year student he also spent two months doing voluntary work at Nencki Institute in Warsaw, researching ecological energy.
In 1977 he obtained his PhD degree at the University of Łódź for his research work on the productivity of shoals of fish in rivers of different pollution levels. Nine years later he obtained habilitatus title for his dissertation on the mechanisms regulating the dynamics of shoals of fish in rivers in different climate zones.
His dissertation was published as a series of articles in British academic journals and in a handbook published by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The concept presented by prof. Zalewski in his research was used to formulate the key question for ecohydrology – the integration of hydrology and ecology.
In the following years Mr. Zalewski has published a number of studies both in Poland and abroad (independently or in collaboration with other researchers) on hydrology, which were the basis for the development of this field of knowledge around the world.
He is the founder of Department of Applied Ecology at the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection of the University of Łódź. He has been the head of International Centre for Ecology at Polish Academy of Sciences since 2000. Since 1997 he advises the National Council for Water Management to the Minister of the Environment.
He is an appreciated scientist in Poland and beyond. He has been a long-time collaborator of UNESCO and during 2001-2004 was a member of UNESCO Venice Office’s Scientific Council.
From 1989 to 1996 he chaired a working group as part of UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) – “Role and Land/Water Ecotones in Lanscape Management and Restoration” project.
Since 1997 he has led a project carried out as part of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme “Ecohydrology“. He also chairs a working group at European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission FAO.