Martin Knez, PhD

Principal Research Associate, Associate Professor, Professor of Karstology

+386 5 700 19 15

+386 5 700 19 99


Research Activity

In 1995, he finished his studies, but did not receive his doctoral degree until 1996 with his thesis The Bedding-Plane Impact on the Development of Karst Caves (An Example of Velika Dolina, Cave Škocjanske Jame). His main field of work involves the stratigraphic, lithopetrologic and microtectonic research of karst terrains, as well as the subjects of selective corrosion and erosion of carbonates, and the speleogenesis of karst caves as a part of an underground karst aquifer. He is a successful leader and member of international research programmes, within which he works with karst experts from Croatia, the USA, Cuba, Spain, Japan, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Iran, Germany, Italy, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, the People's Republic of China, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, France, Australia, Vietnam, etc. Since 1995, he has been researching Chinese Karst. He participates in and manages planning and construction projects on karst, which includes the issue of protecting the features of this area: since 1990 he has been participating in the planning and karstological supervision of motorway and railway construction.

He is author of the books Vpliv lezik na razvoj kraških jam (1996) and Paleoekološke značilnosti apnencev v okolici Škocjanskih jam (2014), co-founder, co-editor and co-author of the books Karst features discovered during motorway construction on Slovene karst (2007), Karst Rock Features, Karren Sculpturing (2009), South China Karst 1 (1998) and South China Karst 2 (2011), new edition Karstology and Develoment Challenges on Karst (2012, 2013), The Beka-Ocizla Cave System (2015), Cave Exploration in Slovenia (2016), Karstology in the Classical Karst (2020), and author several tens chapters in different other books and encyclopedias.

He is co-founder and co-developer of the first under graduate study program of karstology in Slovenia and co-founder and co-developer of the only doctoral study program at the international level.

Other Activities

Director of Doctoral Study Programme Karstology, Graduate School, University of Nova Gorica.

Head of UNESCO Chair on Karst Education.

Collaborator of the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO, Slovenian National Committee of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (UNESCO IGGP).

A co-founder and member of the Executive Committee and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Yunnan University International Joint Research Centre for Karstology and Yunnan International Karst Environmental Laboratory at the Yunnan Institute for Geography, Yunnan University (Kunming, Yunnan, China).

Active contributor to the inclusion of the Stone Forest (Shilin), an exceptional karst landscape in the south of China, on UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage List (South China Karst).

The first Slovenian to co-lead one of the global UNESCO IGCP projects, the UNESCO IGCP project No. 598 entitled Environmental Change and Sustainability in Karst Systems, co-leads also the following, the UNESCO IGCP project No. 661 entitled The Critical Zone in Karst Systems.

Editor of the fundamental Slovenian karstological work bearing the title Karst in Slovenia in Space and Time.

Lecturer at higher education institutions:

  • University of Nova Gorica, Graduate School, Nova Gorica;
  • University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities, Koper;
  • University of Nova Gorica, School of Environmental Sciences, Nova Gorica;
  • Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU;
  • ERUDIO Business School, ERUDIO School of Sustainable Tourism, Ljubljana.


He has taken part in over 100 applied research projects, acting as project leader in majority of them.

Membership in editorial boards and associations:

  • Acta carsologica, thematic, Postojna, Slovenia;
  • Karst Development, Szombathely, Hungary;
  • Geologia Croatica, Zagreb, Croatia;
  • among other things, member of the International Geographical Union - Karst Commission, member of the International Union of Speleologists - Commission on Karst, Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis, member of the Karstological Academy, and member of the Athens Institute for Education and Research, Greece.


The Prešeren Award for students, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering (in 1989; for separate research work)
The American award for Outstanding Contribution to Karst Science (in 2007; member of the group)
Yunnan Friendship Award - People's Republic of China’s national award (in 2003; member of the group)
The award of the Geographical Society of United Arab Emirates (in 2016; member of the group)

Scientific Articles

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, TRAJANOVA, Mirka, AKIMOVA, Tatjana, KALMYKOV, Igor. The karren peeling off on marbles in Altai (Altai Republic, Russian Federation). Acta carsologica. 2020, 49, 1, 11-38. ISSN 0583-6050., DOI: 10.3986/ac.v49i1.7197. [COBISS.SI-ID 35064323]

PETRIČ, Metka (avtor, fotograf), RAVBAR, Nataša, ZINI, Luca, CALLIGARIS, Chiara, CORAZZI, Riccardo, ŽITKO, Zdenka, RESTAINO, Marco, KNEZ, Martin. Determining the directions and characteristics of underground water flow in karst for the purpose of traffic routes construction : the case of the new Divača-Koper railway line (SW Slovenia). Acta carsologica. 2020, 49, 1, 63-80. ISSN 0583-6050., DOI: 10.3986/ac.v49i1.8582. [COBISS.SI-ID 35064579]

KNEZ, Martin, RUGGIERI, Rosario, SLABE, Tadej. Karren above Custonaci (Sicily, Italy). Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2019, 48, 1, 43-58., doi: 10.3986/ac.v48i1.7029. [COBISS.SI-ID 44403245]

ŠEGINA, Ela, BENAC, Čedomir, RUBINIĆ, Josip, KNEZ, Martin. Morphometric analyses of dolines : the problem of delineation and calculation of basic parameters. Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2018, 47, 1, 23-33., doi: 10.3986/ac.v47i1.4941. [COBISS.SI-ID 43563309]

ČERU, Teja, ŠEGINA, Ela, KNEZ, Martin, BENAC, Čedomir, GOSAR, Andrej. Detecting and characterising unroofed caves by ground penetrating radar. Geomorphology, ISSN 0169-555X, 2018, 303, 524-539, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.11.004. [COBISS.SI-ID 42204205]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, URUSHIBARA-YOSHINO, Kazuko. Lithology, rock relief and karstification of Minamidaito Island (Japan). Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2017, 46, 1, 47-62., doi: 10.3986/ac.v46i1.2022. [COBISS.SI-ID 41879085]

AUDRA, Philippe, BOSÁK, Pavel, GÁZQUEZ, Fernando, CAILHOL, Didier, SKÁLA, Roman, LISÁ, Lenka, JONÁŠOVÁ, Šárka, FRUMKIN, Amos, KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, AL FARRAJ AL KETBI, Asma. Bat urea-derived minerals in arid environment: first identification of allantoin, C4H6N4O3, in Kahf Kharrat Najem Cave, United Arab Emirates. International journal of speleology, ISSN 0392-6672, 2017, 46, 1, 81-92,,, doi: 10.5038/1827-806X.46.1.2001. [COBISS.SI-ID 41188397]

GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, MIHEVC, Andrej, OTONIČAR, Bojan, MULEC, Janez, PERNE, Matija, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, RAVBAR, Nataša, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. Development challenges in karst regions : sustainable land use planning in the karst of Slovenia. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, ISSN 0372-8854, ISSN 0044-2798, Supplementband, 60, 2, 2016, 293-318. https://www.schweizerbart. de/papers/zfg_suppl/detail/60/86496/ Development_challenges_in_karst_regions_sustainable_land_use_planning _in_the_karst_of_ Slovenia, doi: 10.1127/zfg_suppl/2016/00309. [COBISS.SI-ID 40073261]

MIHEVC, Andrej, GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOZEL, Peter, MULEC, Janez, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. Karst in Slovenia. Boletín geológico y minero, ISSN 0366-0176, 2016, 127, 1, 79-97. [COBISS.SI-ID 39886637]

GUTIÉRREZ DOMECH, Roberto, KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Felo Pérez Mogote (Viñales, Pinar del Río, Cuba) : typical shaping of rock surface below dense tropical vegetation. Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2015, 44, 1, 47-57., doi: 10.3986/ac.v44i1.680. [COBISS.SI-ID 38635821]

AL FARRAJ AL KETBI, Asma, SLABE, Tadej, KNEZ, Martin, GABROVŠEK, Franci, MULEC, Janez, PETRIČ, Metka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. Karst in Ras Al-Khaimah, northern United Arab Emirates. Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2014, 43, 1, 23-41., doi: 10.3986/ac.v43i1.579. [COBISS.SI-ID 37575469]

KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, LIU, Hong, MULEC, Janez, PETRIČ, Metka, RAVBAR, Nataša, SLABE, Tadej. Karstological study of the new Kunming airport building area (Yunnan, China). Environmental earth sciences, ISSN 1866-6280, 2012, 67, 1, 273-283., doi: 10.1007/s12665-011-1506-x. [COBISS.SI-ID 34280749]

KNEZ, Martin, LIU, Hong, SLABE, Tadej. Major stone forest, litomorphogenesis and development of typical shilin (Yunnan, China). Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2012, 41, 2/3, 205-218. [COBISS.SI-ID 35117101]

DEBEVEC, Bogdan, KNEZ, Martin, KRANJC, Andrej, PAHOR, Marko, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SEMEJA, Aleš, SLABE, Tadej. Preliminary study for the adaptation of the "Heaven's Cave" for tourist purposes (Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam). Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2012, 41, 1, 115-127. [COBISS.SI-ID 34581805]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, PANISSET TRAVASSOS, Luiz Eduardo. Karren on laminar calcarenitic rock of Lagoa Santa (Minas Gerais, Brazil). Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050, 2011, 40, 2, 357-367. [COBISS.SI-ID 33244973]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Karren of Mushroom Mountain (Junzi Shan) in the Eastern Yunnan Ridge, Yunnan, China : karstological and tourist attraction. Acta geologica sinica, ISSN 1000-9515, 2010, 84, 2, 424-431. [COBISS.SI-ID 31325741]

Book Chapters

KNEZ, Martin, HONG, L., SLABE, Tadej. Stripped karen on Snake Mountain above Kunming (Yunnan, China). V: ANDREO NAVARRO, Bartolomé (ur.). Hydrogeological and environmental investigations in Karst systems, (Environmental Earth Sciences, ISSN 1866-6280, vol. 1). Heidelberg: Springer, 2015, 589-597. [COBISS.SI-ID 37757229]

KNEZ, Martin. Geološke značilnosti župnije Dobrova. V: DOLINAR, Janez (ur.). Marija v leščevju : Dobrova pri Ljubljani. Ljubljana: Salve, 2015, 39-60. [COBISS.SI-ID 39326253]

KNEZ, Martin, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja. The geological setting of Križna jama. V: PACHER, Martina (ur.), POHAR, Vida (ur.), RABEDER, Gernot (ur.). Križna jama : palaeontology, zoology and geology of Križna jama in Slovenia, (Mitteilungen der Kommission für Quartärforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Bd. 21). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2014, 15-20. [COBISS.SI-ID 37576237]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Stone forests and their rock relief. V: SHRODER, John F. (ur.). Treatise on geomorphology. 1st ed. San Diego: Academic Press: Elsevier, 2013, 6, 139-156, ilustr., DOI: 10.1016/978-0-12-374739-6.00124-X. [COBISS.SI-ID 35476781]

KNEZ, Martin, KRANJC, Andrej. Kras = Karst. V: PLENIČAR, Mario (ur.), OGORELEC, Bojan (ur.), NOVAK, Matevž (ur.). Geologija Slovenije = The geology of Slovenia. Ljubljana: Geološki zavod Slovenije, 2009, 563-574. [COBISS.SI-ID 32258093]

KNEZ, Martin. Geologic characteristics of the Kras plateau. V: URUSHIBARA-YOSHINO, Kazuko (ur.). Changing social conditions and their impacts on the geoecology : transhumance regions of Romania and Slovenia : Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research (B), 2003-2005. Tokyo: Department of Geography, Hosei University, 2006, 133-147. [COBISS.SI-ID 25404461]

KNEZ, Martin. Geološke razmere v katastrskih občinah Divača, Volčji Grad in Račice kot eden temeljev za način izrabe prostora = Geological conditions in the cadastral municipalities of Divača, Volčji Grad and Račice as one of the essential elements determining land use. V: MIHEVC, Andrej (ur.). Kras : voda in življenje v kamniti pokrajini = water and life in a rocky landscape, (Projekt Aquadapt). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, 29-36. [COBISS.SI-ID 24609069]

KNEZ, Martin, ŠEBELA, Stanka, GABROVŠEK, Franci. Geološke osnove ter jame, Geološke razmere na področju Udin boršta, Tektonski položaj Udin boršta, Jame v Udin borštu. V: KRANJC, Andrej (ur.). Kraške kulturne pokrajine : edinstveni odnos med človekom in kraškim svetom = Karstic cultural landscapes = architecture of a unique relationship people - territory, Udin boršt. Montebelluna: Museo di Storia Naturale e Archeologia, 2005, 9-24. [COBISS.SI-ID 24570413]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Caves and sinkholes in motorway construction, Slovenia : case study 3. V: WALTHAM, Tony, BELL, Fred, CULSHAW, Martin. Sinkholes and subsidence : karst and cavernous rocks in engineering and construction, (Springer-Praxis books in geophysical sciences). Berlin: Springer: Praxis, 2005,  283-288. [COBISS.SI-ID 23421741]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Highways on karst. V: GUNN, John (ur.). Encyclopedia of caves and karst science. New York; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004, 419-420. [COBISS.SI-ID 21899565]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Lithologic and morphological properties and rock relief of the Lunan stone forest. V: GABROVŠEK, Franci (ur.). Evolution of karst: from prekarst to cessation, (Carsologica, [1]). Postojna: Inštitut za raziskovanje krasa ZRC SAZU; Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2002, 259-266. [COBISS.SI-ID 19979821]

KNEZ, Martin. Kamnine na krasu, Terciar. V: LIKAR, Vojislav (ur.), et al. Kras : pokrajina, življenje, ljudje. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 1999, 25-41. [COBISS.SI-ID 13580333]

KNEZ, Martin. Karst cave development from the bedding-plane point of view (Skocjanske Jame Caves, Slovenia). V: DOAXIAN, Yuan (ur.). Proceedings of the 30th International geological congress, Beijing, China, 24, Environmental geology. Utrecht: VSP, 1997, 86-105. [COBISS.SI-ID 5833773]

KNEZ, Martin. The Tertiary. V: KRANJC, Andrej (ur.), KRANJC, Andrej. Kras : Slovene classical karst. Ljubljana: Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, Založba ZRC: Inštitut za raziskovanje krasa ZRC SAZU, 1997, 34-41, [COBISS.SI-ID 5697325]

Books: initiator, author and editor

BLATNIK, Matej, CULVER, David C., GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Blaž, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, LIU, Hong, MAYAUD, Cyril, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, ALJANČIČ, Magdalena, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, SHAW, Trevor R., SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, KNEZ, Martin, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, SLABE, Tadej. Karstology in the Classical Karst, (Advances in karst science). Cham: Springer, 2020. XII, 222. ISBN 978-3-030-26826-8. ISSN 2511-2066., DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-26827-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 17912067]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, GABROVŠEK, Franci, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, KRANJC, Andrej, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PERNE, Matija, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, BOSÁK, Pavel, PRUNER, Petr, LIU, Hong, KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Cave exploration in Slovenia : discovering over 350 new caves during motorway construction on classical karst, (Cave and karst systems of the world). Cham: Springer, 2016. XIII, 324. ISBN 978-3-319-21203-6. ISBN 978-3-319-21202-9., DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21203-6. [COBISS.SI-ID 39082541]

GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PERNE, Matija, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, TURK, Janez, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. The Beka-Ocizla cave system : karstological railway planning in Slovenia, (Cave and karst systems of the world). Cham: Springer, 2015. X, 102. ISBN 978-3-319-04455-2. ISBN 978-3-319-04456-9, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-04456-9. [COBISS.SI-ID 56041570]

CULVER, David C., DEBEVEC, Bogdan, KNEZ, Martin, KOVAČIČ, Gregor, KRANJC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, SEMEJA, Aleš, SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, KNEZ, Martin, PETRIČ, Metka, SLABE, Tadej. Krasoslovje v razvojnih izzivih na krasu. 2, Gradnja, turizem, ekologija, varovanje = Karstology and development challenges on karst. 2, Construction, tourism, ecology, protection, (Carsologica, 14). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2012. 199., ISBN 978-961-254-340-2. [COBISS.SI-ID 259195648]

KNEZ, Martin, PETRIČ, Metka, SLABE, Tadej. Krasoslovje v razvojnih izzivih na krasu. 1, Voda = Karstology and development challenges on karst. 1, Water, (Carsologica, 13). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2011. 167., ISBN 978-961-254-334-1. [COBISS.SI-ID 258948608]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Shilin - the formation of stone forests in various rock. V: KNEZ, Martin, LIU, Hong, SLABE, Tadej. South China karst II, (Carsologica, 12). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2011, 35-48. [COBISS.SI-ID 32448813]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Lithological characteristics, shape and rock relief of the Lunan stone forest. V: GINÉS, Ángel, KNEZ, Martin et al. Karst rock features: karren sculpturing, (Carsologica, 9). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2009, 439-452. [COBISS.SI-ID 30962477]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Krasoslovna spremljava gradnje, raziskave ter načrtovanja avtocest prek slovenskega krasa. V: KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej. Kraški pojavi, razkriti med gradnjo slovenskih avtocest, (Carsologica, 7). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2007, 9-22. [COBISS.SI-ID 27570477]

GAMS, Ivan, KNEZ, Martin (urednik). Kras v Sloveniji v prostoru in času. 2. pregledana izd. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2004. 515., ISBN 961-6500-46-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 214527488]

GAMS, Ivan, KNEZ, Martin (urednik). Kras v Sloveniji v prostoru in času. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2003. 516., ISBN 961-6358-91-X. [COBISS.SI-ID 124733440]

KNEZ, Martin. Lithologic properties of the three Lunan stone forest (Shilin, Naigu and Lao Hei Gin). V: CHEN, Xiaoping, KNEZ, Martin et al. South China karst I, (Zbirka ZRC, 19). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 1998, 30-43. [COBISS.SI-ID 9778221]

KNEZ, Martin. Vpliv lezik na razvoj kraških jam (primer Velike doline, Škocjanske jame), (Zbirka ZRC, 14). Ljubljana: Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, 1996, 186., ISBN 961-6182-12-9. [COBISS.SI-ID 60293888]


He has over 600 units recorded in COBISS.

lecturing on karstology
development challenges on karst
research of karst surface and caves
selective corrosion and erosion of carbonates
karst geology