This forum is in memory of the distinguished Polish Geographer, World-wide recognized Karstologist and great friend of Bulgaria,
Professor Marian Pulina (1936-2005)

Professor Marian Pulina (1936-2005) is one of the most distinguished Polish Geographers, worldwide famous karstologist and glaciologist and a great friend of Bulgaria.

Curriculum Vitae

Marian Pulina graduated Geography (1959) at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Wrocław University. He was a speleologist from 1955 and constituting member of the Speleological Club in Wrocław. He became one of the founders of the Polish Speleological Bulletin Speleologia (1959). Working at the Field station Sudeteland of the Geographical Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1962-63), he developed his Doctoral thesis (Karst phenomena in the Sudeteland), which defended successfully in 1964.

In 1963 Dr Pulina specialized at the Lyon University, France, with Professor Jean Korbel (organizer of the Laboratory of Karstology in Calluire near Lyon). In 1964 and 1965 he did two specializations at the Moscow University Lomonosov (Physics of ice) and at the Institute for Earth crust of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Irkutsk (Karst hydrology and hydrochemistry). In 1968 he was invited by C.N.R.S. to deliver lectures at the Universities of Grenoble and Lyon. This became a tradition and over the subsequent several decades he was guest-lecturer in Lyon, Grenoble, Bordo, Strassburg, Montreal, Padua and Madrid.

In 1965 Dr. Pulina started teaching at the Department of Geomorphology of Wrocław University. In 1972 he became eligible for appointment to a professorship with his habilitation thesis Chemical denudation in carbonate karst areas (published in 1974 as a monograph). The same 1972 he took part in the Third scientific expedition of Wrocław University in the archipelago of Spitsbergen (Svalbard) and became passionate polar explorer. He was among the organizers and builders of the Polish polar station in Hornsund and led the Second year-round expedition in this station in 1979/1980. So Marian Pulina combined two scientific fields, namely Glaciology and Karstology and became one of the few World experts on Kryo-Karst.

In 1975 Professor Pulina received an offer to organize a new Scientific and Educational Center at the University of Silesia in Sosnowiec (urban agglomeration Katowice). First as an Associate Professor and later as Full Professor and University president, Marian Pulina developed his vast organizational talent and established at his University a unique research/education Center for Karst. Originally it was Laboratory on Karst Geomorphology, and later Department of Geomorphology with a division on Karst Geomorphology. Almost 30 years he skillfully guided and supported this only one in Poland scientific and didactic unit.

It became a World-renowned School of Karstology in which more than 150 graduate students (including foreign students) have been taught; many Doctoral theses have been developed, as well as series of research works. The first Polish textbook of Karstology ras Formy i process was published in 1999, as well as the remarkable encyclopedic edition Kras i jaskine on World karst (Volume V of the Polish Encyclopedia Geografia Swiata).

At the Sylesian University Professor M. Pulina founded the scientific journal Kras i speleologia (1977). For many years he was a member of the Editorial boards of a number of respected journals, namely the specialized French journal Karstologia, the International journal of Speleology, as well as the Geographical Journal of the Polish Geographic Society.


Professor Pulinas Speleologic and Karstologic research covers a wide spectrum, including: Climatc Geomorphology, Microclimate of caves, Chemical denudation in Karst regions, Periglacial processes in high mountain caves (Tatra), Impacts of human activities on Karst, Kryokarst in Polar regions. The results of these studies were published in over 150 articles, papers and several books.

From 1965 Professor Pulina was an active member of the International Speleological Union (UIS). He launched the initiative to set up an International Programme of Genesis and Evolution of Karst (PIGEK) within the Commission of Karst Physicochemistry and Hydrogeology. He was a full member of the Karst Commission of the International Geographic Union (IGU).

Professor Marian Pulina has also serious scientific achievements in his Polar research. For many years he was head of the Arctic Committee at the Polish Academy of Sciences and was one of the founders of the Polar Club at the Polish Geographic Society. Together with Adolfo Eraso and Jacques Schroeder he raised the initiative to set up a Working Group for study of caves and Karst glaciers in Polar Regions, which was subsequently established during the Xth International Congress of Speleology of UIS in Budapest (1989).

Later on this Working Group became Commission of Glacier Caves and Karst in Polar Regions (GLACKIPR), renamed into Commission of Glacier Caves and Cryokarst in Polar and High Mountain Regions in 2000. The long-standing collaboration of Professor Pulina and Adolfo Eraso (president of GLACKIPR) produced a fundamental scientific work on Cryokarst - Cuevas en hielo y rios bajo los glaciares (two editions of the McGraw-Hill publisher in 1994 and 2001).

In 2005 Professor Pulina and Jean-Noël Salomon published in Bordo another book dedicated to this topic - Les karst des régions climatiques extrêmes (Karstologia Mémoires 14, 2005). In the beginning of 2005 Professor Pulina began preparing a fundamental scientific work a monograph on Spitsbergen, which he planned to release in 2007 on occasion of the International Geophysics Year

* * *

Professor Marian Pulina rendered outstanding service in organizing Karst education. In 1975 he became the initiator and organizer of annual schools at the University of Wrocław, that gained international popularity as Speleological schools. Some of the most prominent foreign researchers of Karst were invited as guest lecturers.

During some of these schools some important meetings of the International Speleological Union (UIS) were held, namely: Third symposium of the Commission of Karst Physicochemistry and Hydrogeology in 1979 and Second symposium Glacier Caves and Karst in Polar Regions in 1983.

Based on the experience of the Polish Speleological schools and in cooperation with Professor M. Polina similar schools were held in Bulgaria (1982-1985) and Slovenia (International Karstological School Classical Karst).

In 1992 Professor Pulina became also an initiator of an International School of Nature Protection in Karst Regions. It was organized by the Sylesian University and the Directorate of landscape parks in Sylesia, Poland (Zespół Parków Krajobrazowych Województwa Śląskiergo) and the Directorate of Moravian Kras (Sprava CHKO Moravski Kras) (Sprava CHKO Moravski Kras) in the Czech Republic.

Professor M. Pulina is the organizer of a number of major international scientific forums, including the Regional Forum of IGCP 448 "World Correlation on Karst Geology and Its Relevant Ecosystem", held in Irkutsk in June 2003.

* * *

Marian Pulina permanently connected his scientific interests with Bulgaria, and that continued until the end of his life.

Professor Marian Pulina and Bulgaria

He got interested in this country in 1958, when he participated in a Polish-Bulgarian speleologic expedition in Ptichata dupka (Birds cave) in the Troyan Balkan. During his later visits to Bulgaria he met the Bulgarian Geomorphologist and Karstologist Vladmimir Popov and subsequently they developed many joint research projects.

As a result the first paper on Karst denudation in Bulgaria was published in English in Poland (Comments on karst denudation in Bulgaria, 1972). In the coming years Bulgarian karstologists recognized the hydrochemical field methodology of Professor M. Pulina and began to apply it in their work. Research/educational development benefited much from a number of consequtive educational practices of students from the Sylesian University in Bulgarian Karst areas (1981-1985). They were guided by Professor Pulina, with the active participation and support from Bulgarian karstologists.

Revitalization of the Bulgarian-Polish karstologic cooperation began in 1999, when Professor Pulinas Department and the Institute of Geography, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (today Department of Geography in NIGGG-BAS) began active research collaboration. A bilateral research project on comparative studies of landuse in karst regions in Poland and Bulgaria was initiated. The academic partnership of both institutions was affixed with an official cooperation agreement, signed in spring of 2005.
Since 1999 Professor Marian Pulina was a member of the Board of Foundation Center on Karstology Vladimir Popov, based in Sofia.


In 2005 Professor Pulina supported the First forum on protected karst territories in Bulgaria and became a member of the Organizing committee. He was invited an Honorary guest, but rapidly growing disease thwart his journey. Sadly enough the forum closure coincided with the end of his life time
Ten years later we honor his memory and dedicate the Third consecutive Forum on protected karst territories in Bulgaria to our teacher, colleague and friend Professor Marian Pulina.

Selected Publications of Marian Pulina