About employee

prof. dr. sc. Gordana Medunić

Title: Full Professor
Location: MPZ
Public phone number:+38514605909
Internal phone number:5909
E-mail: E-mail
Official web page URL: https://www.bib.irb.hr/pregled/profil/21972
Department: Department of Geology
PhD graduation year:2004
Employed in this institution since:1997

Teaching duties





Office hours 11-12 am (MPZ), and online (mail, Teams).




A: University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology, Horvatovac 95, Zagreb, Croatia.

E: gordana.medunic@geol.pmf.hr




Short bio

I am an environmental earth scientist. My multidisciplinary research is focused on geochemical characterization of the environmental pollution caused by coal and ash. I am particularly interested in various pollution legacy and treatment technology topics.


Research interests

My latest research deals with geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of karst soil and estuarine sediments affected by the pollution legacy of unique SHOS Raša coal, highly enriched in organically bound sulfur and hazardous trace elements (Se, U, Mo, and V). I am particularly interested in their mobilities and speciation in the complex coastal karst environment. I am participating in a scientific research project 'Transport, fate and toxicity of metal(loid)s released from industrial waste landfills' (FORtIS)', led by Dr. Željka Fiket (2020–2023).   


Teaching responsabilities

I teach selected geology and environmental science courses as follows: (undergraduate) 1/ atmospheric pollution and global warming, and 2/ element and phase analysis; (graduate) 3/ phase and element analysis, 4/ geological aspects of waste management, 5/ geostatistics, 6/ geochemical methods of environmental research, and 7/ geoforensics and geomedicine; (postgraduate) 8/ interpretation and mathematical methods of geological data analysis, and 9/ selected topics in sedimentary geochemistry. I co-supervised >60 Master thesis students and 1 Ph.D. student.



1990 – 1995 geology undergraduate (University of Zagreb);

1997 – 2001 geology master (University of Zagreb);

2001 – 2004 geology Ph.D. (University of Zagreb).


Foreign language skills

English – active, French and German – passive.


Title degrees

Young researcher (1997 – 2006);

Assistant professor (2006 – 2011);

Associate professor (2011 – 2020);

Full professor (2020-today).


Research training mobilities

1/ Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (Barcelona, Spain), November 19–30, 2014: geochemical and mineralogical analyses of coal and soil; a grant by University of Zagreb.

2/ National Museum of Natural Sciences, Department of Geology (Madrid, Spain), May 7–17, 2017: participation in an EU project 'Synthesys' with the theme: Sulphur and sulphate phases in coal, by-products, and soil; an EU mobility grant.

3/ Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi, India), November 1–30, 2017, March 5–May 29, 2018, and August 1–31, 2018: participation in an EU project 'TECO' with the theme: Decontamination of SHOS Raša coal and soil polluted by Raša coal using bacterial biomass: a case study of coal and soil from the Labin city area (North Adriatic, Croatia); an EU mobility grant.

4/ National metallurgical laboratory (Jamshedpur, India) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Nagpur, India), November 26–December 21, 2018: geochemical and mineralogical analyses of coal, soil, ash, and plant samples; a grant by University of Zagreb.

5/ Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Research Unit for Mineral Technology (Lampung Selatan, Indonesia), May 21–June 17, 2019: training in new analytical skills; Erasmus+ mobility.

6/ University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio, the USA), and University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky, the USA), February 20–March 7, 2020, research visit; mobility grant issued by the UC for an initiation of a bilateral collaboration.   


Professional and teaching training

1/ Geostatistics workshop (IAGS conference, Tucson, the USA), April 19, 2015; Eric Grunsky: 'The interpretation of geochemical survey data'. 

2/ Workshop (Medical faculty, Zagreb), June 18, 2015: 'What is hidden behind a review?'.

3/ Visiting professor (the CEEPUS mobility) at the Mining-geology faculty in Belgrade (Serbia), April 10–29, 2016; statistical analysis of environmental data.

4/ Workshop (Medical faculty, Zagreb), June 1, 2016: 'How to get published'.

5/ Visiting professor (Erasmus+ mobility) at the Jagiellonian University (Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Krakow, Poland), October 16–21, 2016; statistical analysis of environmental data.

6/ Visiting professor at the Southwest University (School of geographical science, Chongqing, China), July 8–22, 2019; statistical analysis of environmental data.

7/ Presented a talk 'Statistical methods as a tool for interdisciplinary research' at a scientific workshop 'An integrated approach to research on the environmental impact of industrial landfills', November 25, 2020.


Memberships and functions

1/ Croatian geological society (Geomathematical division); European Association of Geochemistry (2016); Society for Ecological Restoration (2019). 

2/ Editorial board (since 2014): 1/ Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment (Finland); 2/ Journal of International Environmental Application & Science (Turkey).

3/ Guest editor of a journal Geologia Croatica (Vol 69, 2, 2016, 231-243).

4/ Head of a Department of mineral resources and environmental restoration (Istrian mines Raša), 2019/20.

5/ Participated in a technical program committee of an online conference 'The 6th International Conference on Water Resource and Environment (WRE 2020)', August 23–26, 2020, Tokyo, Japan.    



1/ An annual (2015) award of the Croatian geological society (promoting the discipline of geomathematics).

2/ Digital PlumX Metrics award for the paper Medunić et al. (2020), Int. J. Coal Geol. (2019–2021).


Reviewing record and public talks

1/ Reviewed >180 research manuscripts (https://publons.com/researcher/1408938/gordana-medunic/).

2/ External expert reviewer for EU research (Horizon) and career (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions) projects.

3/ Actively contributed to popularisation of science (talks and workshops) in Croatia and abroad in front of students, school children, retirees, and scientists (2013–recent): Global warming; Geological multidisciplinary collaborations; Geology is cool!; Magnesium and oxygen got together!; Geological beauties of American south-west; Geomedicine doesn't live here; Let's travel to Japan; Does scientific research need a lot of money?; Geology across the world; Science in India; Climate change trends; Environmental pollution.

4/ Participated in eTwinning projects in 2020 (soil pollution), and 2021 (earth and environment).


Invited talks

1/ Penn State University (State College, the USA), March 2016: Toxicity of soil polluted with sulfur (S) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); a Zagreb University mobility grant.

2/ Yamanashi University (Kofu, Japan), June 2016: Soil pollution with S, PAHs, and heavy metals: ecological risk assessment. 

3/ Chubu University (Nagoya, Japan), June 2016: Multidisciplinary research of the Plomin power plant locality: soil pollution with S and PAHs.

4/ Conference 'Technological ECO-innovations for the quality control and the decontamination of polluted water and soils', Delhi, India, November 2-3, 2017; talk title: Mediterranean coastal locality polluted with coal and ash enriched in S and Se: bacteria assisted remediation of soil.

5/ India (November 2017, November 2018), a series of scientific talks presented at the following institutions: Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi), Ewing Christian College (Allahabad), CSIR-NEIST (Jorhat), CSIR-NML (Jamshedpur), and NEERI (Nagpur). 

6/ Conference '8th SYMPOSIUM Chemistry and Environmental Protection', Kruševac, Serbia, May 30-June 1, 2018; talk title: Today's cheap coal-derived electricity means future costly environmental pollution.

7/ Conference 'Sixth International Conference on Plants & Environmental Pollution (ICPEP-6)', Lucknow, India, November 27-30, 2018; talk title: Coal-related environmental pollution has been affecting our lives.

8/ Conference 'Two Day International Seminar on sustainable environment', Chennai, India, December 10-11, 2018; talk title: Does scientific research need a lot of money?.

9/ Online conference 'The 6th International Conference on Water Resource and Environment (WRE 2020)', August 23–26, 2020, Tokyo, Japan; talk title 'Human and animal health risk posed by increased environmental selenium leached from karst coal deposits (Raša Bay, Adriatic Sea, Croatia)'.

10/ Online conference 'The 4th International Conference on Sustainable Development of Water and Environment (ICSDWE2021)', March 12–13, 2021, Bangkok, Thailand; keynote speech title 'Is there a brilliant future for coal-derived selenium, the essential toxin found in Croatian coastal karst waters?'.   


Peer-reviewed papers (Current contents journals)

  1. Medunić, G., Grigore, M., Dai, S., Berti, D., Hochella, M.F., Mastalerz, M., Valentim, B., Guedes, A., Hower, J.C. (2020). Characterization of superhigh-organic-sulfur Raša coal, Istria, Croatia, and its environmental implication. International Journal of Coal Geology, 217; 103344. 
  2. Dvoršćak, M., Stipičević, S., Mendaš, G., Drevenkar, V., Medunić, G., Stančić, Z., Vujević, D. (2019). Soil burden by persistent organochlorine compounds in the vicinity of a coal-fired power plant in Croatia: A comparison study with an urban-industrialized area. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26; 23707-23716.
  3. Fiket, Ž., Medunić, G., Vidaković- Cifrek, Ž., Jezidžić, P., Cvjetko, P. (2019). Effect of coal mining activities and related industry on composition, cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of surrounding soils. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27, 6; 6613-6627.
  4. Ivanić, M., Fiket, Ž., Medunić, G., Furdek Turk, M., Marović, G., Senčar, J., Kniewald, G. (2019). Multi-element composition of soil, mosses and mushrooms and assessment of natural and artificial radioactivity of a pristine temperate rainforest system (Slavonia, Croatia). Chemosphere, 215; 668-677.
  5. Medunić, G., Singh, P.K., Singh, A.L., Rai, A., Rai, S., Jaiswal, M.K., Obrenović, Z., Petković, Z., Janeš, M. (2019). Use of bacteria and synthetic zeolites in remediation of soil and water polluted with superhigh-organic-sulfur Raša coal (Raša Bay, North Adriatic, Croatia). Water, 11, 7; 1419-1440.
  6. Fiket, Ž., Medunić, G., Furdek Turk, M., Kniewald, G. (2018). Rare earth elements in superhigh-organic-sulfur Raša coal ash (Croatia). International Journal of Coal Geology, 194; 1-10.
  7. Medunić, G., Kuharić, Ž., Krivohlavek, A., Fiket, Ž., Rađenović, A., Gödel, K., Kampić, Š., Kniewald, G. (2018). Geochemistry of Croatian superhigh-organic-sulphur Raša coal, imported low-S coal, and bottom ash: their Se and trace metal fingerprints in seawater, clover, foliage, and mushroom specimens. International Journal of Oil Gas and Coal Technology, 18, 1/2; 3-24.
  8. Radić, S., Medunić, G., Kuharić, Ž., Roje, V., Maldini, K., Vujčić, V., Krivohlavek, A. (2018). The effect of hazardous pollutants from coal combustion activity: Phytotoxicity assessment of aqueous soil extracts. Chemosphere, 199, 1; 191-200.
  9. Fiket, Ž., Medunić, G., Kniewald, G. (2016). Rare earth element distribution in soil nearby thermal power plant. Environmental Earth Sciences, 75, 7; 1-9.
  10. Medunić, G., Ahel, M., Božičević Mihalić, I., Gaurina Srček, V., Kopjar, N., Fiket, Ž., Bituh, T., Mikac, I. (2016). Toxic airborne S, PAH, and trace element legacy of the superhighorganic- sulphur Raša coal combustion: cytotoxicity and genotoxicity assessment of soil and ash. Science of the Total Environment, 566–567; 306-319.
  11. Rađenović, A., Medunić, G., Sofilić, T. (2016). The use of ladle furnace slag for the removal of hexavalent chromium from an aqueous solution. Metallurgical Research & Technology, 113, 606; 1-12.
  12. Rađenović, A., Medunić, G. (2015). Removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous solution by a commercial carbon black. Desalination and Water Treatment, 55; 183-192.
  13. Zeiner, M., Juranović Cindrić, I., Ivanović, M., Medunić, G., Kampić, Š., Tomašić, N., Stingeder, G. (2015). Availability of Selected (Pollutant) Elements and their Influence on Soil Composition in Urban Area. Croatica Chemica Acta, 88, 1; 23-33.
  14. Zeiner, M., Juranović Cindrić, I., Lovrenčić Mikelić, I., Medunić, G., Kampić, Š., Tomašić, N., Stingeder, G. (2013). The determination of the extractability of selected elements from agricultural soil. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(1); 223-229.
  15. Juranović Cindrić, I., Krizman, I., Zeiner, M., Kampić, Š., Medunić, G., Stingeder, G. (2012). ICP-AES determination of minor- and major elements in apples after microwave assisted digestion. Food Chemistry, 135(4); 2675-2680.
  16. Oreščanin, V., Kollar, R., Buben, K., Lovrenčić Mikelić, I., Kollar, K., Kollar, M., Medunić, G. (2012). Chemical and radiological characterization of fly and bottom ash landfill of the former sulfate pulp factory Plaski and its surroundings. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering, 47(11); 1592-1606.
  17. Oreščanin, V., Medunić, G., Tomašić, N., Ćosović, V., Lovrenčić Mikelić, I., Kampić, Š., Urlić, J. (2009). The influence of aluminium industry and bedrock lithology on the oxide content in the urban soil of Sibenik, Croatia. Environmental Earth Sciences, 59(3); 695-701.
  18. Oreščanin, V., Mikelić, L., Tomašić, N., Medunić, G., Kampić, Š., Mikulić, N., Rubčić, M., Lulić, S., Harambašić, M. (2009). Characterization and treatment of the phosphoric gypsum transport water. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering, 44(7); 682-687.
  19. Oreščanin, V., Mikelić, L., Sofilić, T., Rastovčan-Mioč, A., Užarević, K., Medunić, G., Elez, L., Lulić, S. (2007). Leaching properties of electric arc furnace dust prior/following alkaline extraction. Journal of Environmental Science & Health. Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering, 42(3); 323-329.
  20. Oreščanin, V., Lulić, S., Mikelić, L., Pavlović, G., Coumbassa, N. (2007). Seasonal variations in the concentrations of selected heavy metals and radionuclides in Sava River sediments upstream and downstream of NPP Krško. Nuclear instruments & methods in physics research. Section B, Beam interactions with materials and atoms, 263(1); 85-89.
  21. Oreščanin, V., Barišić, D., Lovrenčić, I., Mikelić, L., Rožmarić Mačefat, M., Pavlović, G., Lulić, S. (2005). The influence of fly and bottom ash deposition on the quality of Kastela Bay sediments. Environmental Geology, 49; 53-64.
  22. Pavlović, G., Barišić, D., Lovrenčić, I., Oreščanin, V., Prohić, E. (2005). Use of fallout 137Cs for documenting the chronology of overbank sediments from the river Sava, Croatia, and interpreting their geochemical patterns. Environmental Geology, 47(4); 475-481.
  23. Oreščanin, V., Lulić, S., Pavlović, G., Mikelić, L. (2004). Granulometric and chemical composition of the Sava river sediments upstream and downstream of the Krsko nuclear power plant. Environmental Geology, 46(5); 605-614.
  24. Oreščanin, V., Mikelić, L., Lulić, S., Nađ, K., Mikulić, N., Rubčić, M., Pavlović, G. (2004). Purification of electroplating waste waters utilizing waste by-product ferrous sulfate and wood fly ash. Journal of Environmental Science & Health. Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering, 39(9); 2437-2446.
  25. Pavlović, G., Prohić, E., Tibljaš, D. (2004). Statistical assessment of geochemical pattern in overbank sediments of the river Sava, Croatia. Environmental Geology, 46(1); 132-143.
  26. Pavlović, G., Prohić, E., Miko, S., Tibljaš, D. (2002). Geochemical and petrographic evidence of meteoric diagenesis in tufa deposits in Northern Dalmatia (Zrmanja and Krupa Rivers, Croatia). Facies, 46; 27-34.



Peer-reviewed papers (WoS journals)

  1. Prevendar Crnić, A., Damijanić, D., Bilandžić, N., Sedak, M., Medunić, G. (2022). Enhanced levels of hazardous trace elements (Cd, Cu, Pb, Se, Zn) in bird tissues in the context of environmental pollution by Raša coal. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, doi:10.17794/rgn.2022.1.3.  
  2. Medunić, G., Bilandžić, N., Sedak, M., Fiket, Ž., Prevendar Crnić, A., Geng, V. (2021). Elevated selenium in vegetables, fruits, and wild plants affected by Raša coal mine water chemistry. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, doi:10.17794/rgn.2021.1.1. 
  3. Medunić, G., Bucković, D., Prevendar Crnić, A., Bituh, T., Gaurina Srček, V., Radošević, K., Bajramović, M., Zgorelec, Ž. (2020). Sulfur, metal(loid)s, radioactivity, and cytotoxicity in abandoned karstic Raša coal-mine discharges (the north Adriatic Sea). Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 35, 3; 1-16.
  4. Rađenović, A., Medunić, G. (2020). Dynamics and thermodynamics of a nickel uptake from a water system onto the blast furnace sludge. Journal of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, 55, 1; 110-118.
  5. Medunić, G., Kuharić, Ž., Fiket, Ž., Bajramović, M., Singh, A.L., Krivohlavek, A., Kniewald, G., Dujmović, L. (2018). Selenium and other potentially toxic elements in vegetables and tissues of three non-migratory birds exposed to soil, water, and aquatic sediment contaminated with seleniferous Raša coal. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 33, 3; 53-62.
  6. Medunić, G., Kuharić, Ž., Krivohlavek, A., Đuroković, M., Dropučić, K., Rađenović, A., Lužar Oberiter, B., Krizmanić, A., Bajramović, M. (2018). Selenium, sulphur, trace metal, and BTEX levels in soil, water, and lettuce from the Croatian Raša Bay contaminated by superhigh-organic- sulphur coal. Geosciences, 8, 11; 408-426.
  7. Medunić, G., Mondol, D., Rađenović, A., Nazir, S. (2018). Review of the latest research on coal, environment, and clean technologies. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 33, 41; 13-21.
  8. Rađenović, A., Medunić, G. (2018). Hexavalent chromium adsorption capability onto carbon black: kinetic and thermodynamic aspects. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, 17, 8; 1931-1939.
  9. Rađenović, A., Medunić, G., Saikia, B. (2017). Comparative review of Croatian and Indian air pollution studies with emphasis on pollutants derived by coal combustion. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 32, 1; 33-43.
  10. Medunić, G., Rađenović, A., Bajramović, M., Švec, M., Tomac, M. (2016). Once grand, now forgotten: what do we know about the superhigh-organic-sulphur Raša coal?. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 31, 3; 27-45.
  11. Medunić, G., Šmit, Z. (2016). Organic micropollutants in the Sava and Bosna river overbank and floodplain sediments during the May through June 2014 catastrophic flood. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 31, 1; 45-52.
  12. Mesić Kiš, I., Karaica, B., Medunić, G., Romić, M., Šabarić, J., Balen, D., Šoštarko, K. (2016). Soil, bark and leaf trace metal loads related to the war legacy (The Prašnik rainforest, Croatia). Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 31, 2; 13-28.
  13. Rađenović, A., Medunić, G. (2015). Adsorptive removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous solution by carbon black. Journal of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, 50, 1; 81-88.
  14. Medunić, G., Juranović Cindrić, I., Lovrenčić Mikelić, I., Tomašić, N., Balen, D., Oreščanin, V., Kampić, Š., Ivković, I. (2013). Copper and zinc fractionation in apple orchard soil in the village of Bukevje (Croatia) using the revised four-step BCR extraction procedure. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, 64(4); 531-537.
  15. Oreščanin, V., Kollar, R., Vratarić, D., Nađ, K., Medunić, G., Lončar, G., Halkijević, I., Kuspilić, M. (2013). The electrocoagulation/advanced oxidation treatment of the well water from Županja. Gazette of Chemists, Technologists and Environmentalists of Republic of Srpska, 1; 37-41.
  16. Oreščanin, V., Lovrenčić Mikelić, I., Kollar, R., Mikulić, N., Medunić, G. (2012). Inertisation of galvanic sludge with calcium oxide, activated carbon, and phosphoric acid. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, 63(3); 337-343.
  17. Medunić, G., Tomašić, N., Balen, D., Oreščanin, V., Prohić, E., Kampić, Š., Ivanišević, D. (2009). Distribution of copper and zinc in the soil of an industrial zone in the city of Garešnica, Croatia. Geologia Croatica, 62(3); 179-187.
  18. Oreščanin, V., Barišić, D., Mikelić, L., Lovrenčić, I., Rožmarić Mačefat, M., Pavlović, G., Lulić, S. (2006). Chemical and radiological profile of the coal ash landfill in Kaštel Gomilica. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, 57; 9-16.
  19. Lovrenčić, I., Oreščanin, V., Barišić, D., Mikelić, L., Rožmarić Mačefat, M., Lulić, S., Pavlović, G. (2005). Characterization of TENORM and sediments of Kastela Bay and the influence of TENORM on the quality of sediments. Global NEST. International journal. 7, 2; 188-196.
  20. Oreščanin, V., Lulić, S., Medunić, G., Mikelić, L. (2005). Granulometric and chemical composition of the Danube river sediments, the village of Batina, Croatia. Geologica Croatica, 58(2); 185-194.
  21. Pavlović, G., Zupanič, J., Prohić, E., Tibljaš, D. (2002). Impressions of the biota associated with waterfalls and cascades from a holocene tufa in the Zrmanja River canyon, Croatia. Geologia Croatica, 55(1); 25-37.


 Book chapters

  1. Fiket, Ž., Sabar, M.A., Medunić, G., Mishra, V. (2020). Microbial detoxification of polluted soils and agroecosystem. U: Microbial services in restoration ecology. Singh, J.S., Vimal, S.R. (ed.), Elsevier, 237-257.
  2. Medunić, G., Fiket, Ž., Ivanić, M. (2020). Arsenic contamination status in Europe, Australia, and other parts of the world. U: Arsenic in drinking water and food. Srivastava, S. (ed.), Springer, 183-234.


Professional papers

  1. Bruckler, F.M., Ilišević, D., Medunić, G. (2015). Preddiplomski i diplomski sveučilišni studij geologije na PMF-u Sveučilišta u Zagrebu (Undergraduate and graduate study of geology at Faculty of Science at UNIZG). Matematičko fizički list, 260, 4; 285-291.
  2. Medunić, G. (2014): The joy of using nuclear analytical tools in environmental studies. (Editorial), Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, 1:2, http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/ jreac.1000e103.


Student textbooks   

  1. Translated the textbook 'Sedimentary petrology' (M. Tucker) to a Croatian language edition (2008).
  2. Co-authored a student textbook 'Statistics in geology' (Malvić T. & Medunić G.) in 2015.

Published papers recorded in the Croatian Scientific Bibliography Database (CROSBI)

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List of select publications




List of select projects

Transport, fate and toxicity of metal(loid)s released from industrial waste landfills, (FORtIS)“ - HRZZ (2019 – 2023), principal investigator: dr. sc. Željka Fiket (IRB)