UPWr (Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences) focuses its wide-ranging activities on education and research covering agriculture, biotechnology, food science as well technical science. UPWr is an innovation leader; it ranks second among Polish higher education institutions with respect to the number of obtained patents. Research projects carried out at UPWr have wide financial support from the National Research Centre, National Centre for Research and Development, industry, local government and international – mainly European Union funds. In 2017, UPWr was granted the Human Resources Excellence in Research Award.
Three units are involved in the WATERAGRI project:
The Institute of Environmental Engineering is the biggest Institute at the Faculty of Environmental and Geodesy of UPWr. It’s unique position results from conducting research combining technical and life sciences in the field of environmental protection with particular emphasis on the surface and underground waters as well as soil protection. The main scientific and research activities include hydraulic modeling studies of water constructions, stormwater management by means of sustainable solutions, modeling of groundwater and water flows in watercourses, modelling of hydrological and hydraulic processes (floods and drought), design and management of retention reservoirs, impact assessment of agricultural activity on quality and quantity changes in the environment as well as analysis of environmental threats (natural and anthropogenic).
The Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics is a renowned geodetic research institute with significant expertise in processing, interpreting and integration of spatial data in environmental applications. This expertise lays in the following areas: soil and crop monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite data (basic phenological traits like crop water stress assessment, vegetation indices and crop heights); spatiotemporal nutrient content variability in crops and soil; InSAR data processing (experience in processing SAR data from the different satellite missions – Sentinel- 1, TSX, ENVISAT, ALOS, etc. using a variety of processing tools like SNAP, SARscape and DORIS); and LiDAR data processing (experienced in LiDAR data processing for topographic and non-topographic purposes; developed original algorithms for LiDAR data filtering. The non-topographic applications of LiDAR data are related to the following: 3D reconstruction of various objects (e.g., buildings and vegetation) from point clouds; real-time GNSS processing; NRT GNSS processing; and troposphere modelling.
The Department of Plant Nutrition is located at The Faculty of Life Sciences and Technology of UPWr. Main scientific and research activities include impact assessment of mineral and organic fertilization on the state of agricultural environment. Research considers also the effects of environmental factors such as salinity, drought, deficiency or excess of nutrients and heavy metals in plants, water and soils on crop production. The department has expertise in the biology, chemistry of soils and soil processes in arable and grassland systems.
UPWr main role in the project is the provision of case study and development, evaluation, and validation of various WATERAGRI solutions in the Polish context.
Wieslaw Fialkiewicz (male) is a senior researcher at the Institute of Environment Engineering. He specializes on modelling water flow, transport of contaminants and water footprint accounting. His main interest is in hydrological processes, but he also works on interactions between agriculture and the environment, application of water footprint approach in water management and impact of climate change on environment. He has worked on several international collaborative research projects related to water and climate change: PEGASE (Pesticides in European Groundwaters: Actual status and Scenarios of possible Evolution), FOOTPRINT (Functional Tools for Pesticide Risk Assessment and Management), IMPACCT (The climate change mitigation potential of an EU farm: towards a farm-based integrated assessment), OSCAR (Optimal design of climate change policies through the EU’s rural development policy), URBAN_WFTP (Introduction of Water Footprint approach in urban area to monitor, evaluate and improve the water use) and CHASE (Citizens’ behaviour patterns for smart utilities and service management). He is a member of International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) and reviewer for peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Ewa Burszta-Adamiak (female) holds a PhD and DSc in environmental engineering (Wrocław University of Science and Technology). Currently, she is an associate professor at Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences at the Institute of Environmental Engineering. Her main expertise is in the analysis of the applicability and functioning of sustainable drainage systems– (quantity and quality assessments). She is the author or co-author of over 100 scientific papers and the editor of the technical guidelines “Good Practices – principles for the sustainable management of storm water from road surfaces” and “DAFA DZ 1.01 Guidelines for the design, performance and maintenance of green roofs – guidelines for green roofs”. She is a member of the Association of Water and Reclamation Engineers and Technicians, Polish Federation of Engineering Associations and the Polish Green Roof Association. Ewa was also the organizer and participant of many workshops and conferences in the field of stormwater management in terms of adaptation to climate change and water resource management for sustainable development of urban and rural areas.
Jolanta Dabrowska (female) is an associate professor at the Institute of Building Engineering. Her research areas and interests are in surface water quality, agricultural catchments, water scarcity, sustainable water management, ecological engineering, riparian buffers and application of remote sensing data in water resources management. Her main expertise is in analysis of pollutant transfer to surface waters in small catchments. She was a member of the research team working on the interdisciplinary project “Water absorbing geocomposites – innovative technologies supporting plant growth” carried out under the Operational Programme Innovative Economy co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. She also participates in the project „Hydrobox2.0 – innovative technology supporting water saving and plant growth” carried out under the Smart Growth Operational Programme.
Adam Michalski (male) is an assistant professor at the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics. He is a geospatial data analyst. His research activity is focused on using geographic information systems, remote sensing and drone data in agriculture and hydrology. He has participated in the following research projects: “Optimal design of climate change policies through the EU’s rural development policy” – EU project; “Introduction of Water Footprint (WFTP) approach in urban area to monitor, evaluate and improve the water use” – EU project; and “Wheat Initiative Strategic Programme (WISP)” – British project. Adam is a lecturer at the Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Geodesy and gives lectures and practicals on spatial information systems. He held a one-year research fellowship at Rothamsted Research in the United Kingdom.
Grzegorz Jóźków (male) received his MSc degree in Geodesy and Cartography from the Agricultural University of Wroclaw (Poland) in 2003. From 2006 onward, he is working at Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, where he defended his PhD in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing in 2010. In the years 2013 to 2016, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at The Ohio State University (USA). His scientific interests focus on photogrammetry and remote sensing, in particular, LiDAR technology. He conducted research on airborne laser scanning data accuracy and filtering algorithms as well as building digital terrain models from airborne laser scanning data and its use in environmental applications (e.g., landslide studies and laser scanning data compression). For the last few years, he is involved in research related to mapping with unmanned aerial systems using cameras and laser scanners. He is an author of more than 40 papers including peer-reviewed journal papers and conference proceedings.
Kulczycki Grzegorz (male) is an assistant professor at the Department of Plant Nutrition, UPWr. He is an agronomist. His research focusses on the use of macro- and microelement fertilization for crops. Part of his research is also on fertilization of plants in precision farming systems. He is also interested in researching fluctuations in forms of soluble elements in the soil depending on their variable fertilization (mainly phosphorus and potassium). He also deals with variable nitrogen fertilization using remote sensing methods to determine the dose of nitrogen fertilizer. He gained research experience in scientific institutes in Germany and England. Kulczycki is an author and co-author of 50 papers. He is a principal investigator in 1 and participant in 5 national projects with particular emphasis on the exploitation of research and development results.