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Geobotanical labs and the students‘ common room

Rules for work in the laboratories of geobotanical group and inhabiting the students' common room

Usage rules for work in the labs

The geobotany group has currently two laboratories – a large one (ground floor, door 28) and a dirty one (basement). Furthermore, there is a study common room for students and so-called „inžovna“ (behind the common room). All of them are being managed by Barbora Lepková (barbora.lepkova@natur.cuni.cz) and Jindra Prach (jindraprach@seznam.cz) (at least one of them regularly to be found in inžovna). In case of any questions do not hesitate to contact them.

Since the labs are rather frequently used, three Google Calendars were created: Geobot. laborka (the main lab including analytical scales), Geobot. laborka – suterén (the basement lab) and Fotokomora (door 57, room of Karl Rudolph's laboratory for palaeoecology https://www.natur.cuni.cz/biology/botany/structure/palaeoecology?set_language=en). If you are not allowed to write into the calendar, contact Bára for access rights.

If you need to work in any of our labs, reserve the time window in the correct calendar. Do not forget to write your whole name, e-mail address and what work you do or which part of the lab you need (e.g. soil grinding, fume cupboard). This allows for more people to coordinate their work. Please be aware that under any circumstances the digital reservation will have priority!


Important links:


Calendar Geobotanická laborka



Calendar Geobotanická laborka - suterén



Calendar Fotokomora



Website of Karl Rudolph's laboratory for palaeoecology



Reference library




Inžovna, its inhabitants and equipment – analytical scales

Both above mentioned managers Bára and Jindra can be found in inžovna. Outside the vegetation season, Bára is present on more or less daily basis. Jindra’s presence cannot be predicted so easily so we recomend to contact him on e-mail first.

A large number of devices and various equipment are deposited in inžovna which are available for the students to help them with their fieldwork. The final list of all assets was not yet published online but the equipment available includes GPS devices, maps of Czech Republic and Slovakia, metal detectors, various sensors (e.g. for humidity, temperature…), of course relevé frames, snowshoes etc. Please do not borrow anything without contacting the managers first! Everything is being lent in exchange for a signature.


Bára (aka Inža) represents the organizational component and cares for:

- things in need of regular maintenance or inspection

- communication with companies: ordering chemical substances and equipment, providing complicated repairs etc.

- buying collective stuff unless it is highly technical

- preparing apparatuses, distilled water etc. if required

- helping with running the lab experiments or individual apparatuses if notified on time

- taking care of the growing chambers (filling and emptying the water reservoir, exchanging light bulbs)

- communication with the department of building administration: regular maintenance as well as large contracts

- providing for the labs and the common room run smoothly, keeping it clean and reminding those who do not do it, refilling items of every-day use (dishcloths, jar, printing paper, toners)

- almost constant help considering things like where are beakers of this size, where to put my samples and I need a relevé frame


Jindra (alias Pavla) represents more the component of strength and knowledge of equipment:

- helping with technically more complicated things (with previous anouncement) – to help the students in lab with new and complex lab methods, basic maintenance of the common room (like drill and screw cupboards) and of the lab equipments (exchange batteries, dismantle and grease etc.)

- securing the availability and functionality of tools (like drills) and knowing what we have and have not

- heavy lifting

- knowing what devices we have to lend what it can and cannot do and what it is good for


In case you need assistance with any of the above listed activities (or anything else we did not think of), do not hesitate to ask for it.



Analytical scales

Currently there are three scales in inžovna with analytical precision:

  • old Mettler default d=0,0001 (possible also d=0,00001)
  • newer KERN d=0,001 (it will show you e.g. 3,264(4) but the number in brackets only shows you the drift)
  • the newest PRECISA d=0,00001. If the weight is > 30 g, then automatically d=0,0001

The Mettler scale is less reliable if you need to weigh right now and a large amount of samples. Considering their age, the display sometimes does not work properly even though till now we have been able to convince it to work again. Unfortunatelly this malfunction cannot be repaired. They stay while they work.

If you need to weigh (especially if you need to do it for a long time), reserve the scales in the Calendar.



All visitors of the labs and the common room, please respect the following lab rules

1. Everybody who works in the lab must be familiarized with the safety regulations.

The regulations are on a wall in the lab next to growing chamber. We ask all new students, collegues, part-timers and external employees of the department to study the regulations an certify their knowledge by signing the attached signature sheet. Follow these instructions! Rather dangerous chemicals are used in the lab frequently, so take this into considerations even if you only water plants with a beaker or use it as a glass for drinking. Do not believe the previous user washed it properly and don't forget to follow basic safety and lab rules:

  • Eating, drinking and smoking is not allowed.
  • All chemical substances must be poured on a tray.
  • If working with dangerous substances (acids, alkalis, solvents) protective gear must be worn – gloves, glasses, lab coat (you can borrow one in inžovna).
  • Volatiles can be only worked with in the fume cupboard (powered and pulled down).
  • When making deionized water, the container must be placed in the sink. Water supply must be cut off on time.
  • If you spill acid or alkali on yourself:
    • Immediately wash it with water
    • Neutralize with neutralizing solvent:
      • 5 % NaHCO3 when burnt by acid
      • 5 % H3BO3 when burnt by alkali
    • Put a calming cream on it (Pantenol, Calcium cream) – in the first aid kit behind the door.
  • All dangerous substances spilled on the floor must be neutralized immediately with sorbent from the blue bucket (dust it from the edges to the centre).
  • Before you leave, check if windows are closed and water is turned off.
  • Before you leave, wash your hands.


2. Keep all rooms clean! In the labs, all used chemicals must be returned to the lockers, all glassware must be washed properly and the desks must be wiped clean. Broken glass goes to the bin labelled GLASS! Tidy the lab even if you want to come again the next afternoon. Be aware that you are not the only user, other people need to work there too and lessons are held there on regular basis!


3. Label everything with your name!

Samples deposited in the basement lab must be legibly marked with the name of the owner and year of collection. In case of bachelor and master students, the name of the supervisor is most welcome as well. Samples of large amounts (e.g. soil) must be put in boxes. Label everything on which you are working at the moment (grinding, sample concentrating, biomass drying)!

If you are leaving for a short period of time (like for a lunch), put all dangerous chemicals into the lockers and label your work with name, reason and length of absence (e.g. on lunch, be back at 2).

4. We have several refrigerators in the lab and the common room. Please, try to respect following separation: fridges in the common room - food and drinks; fridges in the hall and in the labs - samples.

5. If you need to buy any chemical substances, ask Bára first before buying them needlessly. We can also order chemicals from the faculty storage on your grant.

The students‘ room

The common room including the kitchen is available to all students from the geobotany group. Here you can find limited supplies for common use (coffee, tea, sugar), dishes and pots for simple cooking. You can store your own supplies into an unoccupied drawer labelled with your name. If you are interested in staying in the common room, you can get your own key in inžovna.


For the happiness of all users, please follow these rules:

1. Drawers in the common room as well as in the lab must be legibly signed (preferably by stickers). Please clear unused drawers for new students.

ATTENTION! Unlabelled drawers will be emptied approximately once a year and its contents will be given to general use!

2. Do not forget to label your stuff in the common space (e.g. fridge). Unlabelled things are intended to be for common use. Do not hesitate and use them. Also sign your food in the fridges, if need be all your belongings in the common room which you do not the others to use (recommended in case of cups with emotional attachment as well). Also please respect signed belongings of other students.

3. Do not forget to switch off the computer every time you leave it, not only in the evening. They often run not only overnight but over the whole weekend. Does not apply for the printers.

4. Clean after yourselves! If you cook in the kitchen, do not leave the pots soak for a week. There is a number of boxes and jars in the cabinet above the sink you can use to store your meals. Don't leave it on the cooker and don't put the pots to the fridge! After washing, put the dishes were they belong.

5. Please, do not take our dishes and cutlery to other rooms!


Reference library

The reference library is in the students’ common room. You can find a number of books here, some are in possession of geobotany, some are from the large department library. Considering the age of many of the titles, please take extra care.

The list of books (divided into several basic categories) can be found here:


Books are under a lock and can be borrowed only after previous arrangements and against your signature. Books about paleoecology are deposited in Fotokomora (contact Alice Moravcová alice.moravcova@natur.cuni.cz).


We are also in possession of almost all issues of Preslia since 1952:



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