Leptodirus hochenwartii The Subterranean Biology Lab studies biodiversity in caves and other subterranean habitats. Based at the University of Ljubljana it is part of the long tradition of biospeleology / speleobiology in Slovenia that arose with the first scientific description of a specialized cave creature back in 1832.

Our mission is to study the evolution and functioning of subterranean organisms, and to monitor and conserve their diversity.

Leptodirus hochenwartii (Photo: S. Polak)

Troglocaris anophthalmus (Photo: S. Polak)

Hubelj - Kuhna (Photo: M. Zagmajster)

Niphargus balcanicus (Photo: G. Balasz)

Polina peü (Photo: S. Polak)

Rhinolophus hipposideros (Photo: M. Zagmajster)

Neobisium spelaeum (Photo: S. Polak)

Fieldwork (Photo: Ž. Fišer)

Cave millipede (Photo: S. Polak)

Our mission is to study the evolution and functioning of subterranean organisms, and to monitor and conserve their diversity.

Last news / read more on the news page

Lecture: Adaptive challenges for bat echolocation

On Wednesday (9.5.2018) dr. Klemen Koselj, from Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, gave a presentation on his research work on. Currently, he is a visiting researcher in our research group, with the financial support of Public scholarship, development, disability and maintenance fund of the Republic of Slovenia. Read more

BioBlitz 2018

On Friday, 8th June 2018, we participated at BioBlitz – 24 hours with Mura River, held at Veržej. The event was organized for the fourth time by the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation. We introduced the characteristics of the water interstitial to the students of Gimnazija Ljutomer. Read more

Examples of our research / read more on the research page

Convergent divergence

N. balcanicusExtreme habitats do not only direct evolution to convergent, predictable phenotypes, but also show a repeatable pattern of niche diversification within. Classical niche theory best explains morphological diversity among closely related cave species.N. balcanicus

Global and regional biodiversity patterns

Troglocaris The Dinaric Karst supports a uniquely rich assemblage of obligate subterranean fauna. The global hotspot of subterranean biodiversity is - unlike for terrestrial and marine life - outside the tropics.

Cryptic species revealed by phylogeography

MarifugiaRanges of subterranean animals are small and fragmented like their habitat. Same conditions lead to same phenotypes and consequently cryptic species.Marifugia

Contact / drop us a line

- at our email

info (at)

- contact us through snail mail

Subterranean Biology Lab
Department of Biology
Večna pot 111
SI-1000 Ljubljana

- or find us at

WGS X: 14.46950
WGS Y: 46.05125
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