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Department of Botany

Department of Cell Biology


Department of Genetics

Department of Zoology

Laboratory of Molecular-
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Department of Biology Education


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History of the Department of Animal Physiology

The Department of animal physiology is one of the academic workplaces of the Institute of biology and ecology (IBE) of the Faculty of Science of the P. J. Šafarik University in Kosice. It arose from the original Dept. of animal and human physiology (Head: prof.Ivan Ahlers, M.D.,Dr.) after the integration of bio-chairs into the new-established IBE. The head of the department became prof.Beňadik Šmajda, PhD. who is heading the department till now.

The field of research inherited from previous period was focused on the study of effects of ionizing radiation on the metabolism of saccharides and lipids and some behavioral parameters in mammals, as well as on the topic of the photic- and non-photic synchronization of biological rhythms in metabolism and behavior in model animals. Later the focus of research was shifted into the field of experimental oncology studying the possibility of chemoprevention of mammary carcinogenesis using melatonin and other compounds of natural or synthetic origin with proposed preventive effects. The research of behavioral effects of radiation was oriented on the investigation of the effects of very low doses of gamma-rays applied during the embryonic development on the emotional state and cognitive performance in adult age. The recently introduction of neuro-immunohistochemical methods allowed to study the changes of the neurogenesis in the hippocampal brain area of the irradiated animals.

The research in the areas of field ethology and ecology of reptiles is continually developing at the department, too. This research is focused on the behavior of reptiles in their natural environment, but also on the study of special, stadial and quantitative representation of the infestation by ectoparasites on reptiles. It could be of practical importance to establish the role of reptiles as reservoirs for the pathogens carried by ectoparasits, such as Borelia, Anaplasma or blood parasites and following up the influence of the parasites on the behavior of the host animals.