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History of the Institute

prof. Radim Kettner

With its rich, almost one hundred years long history, the Institute of Geology and Paleontology is one of the most traditional centers of research and education in Earth Sciences in the Czech Republic. The rich tradition paved the way to its modern history starting in 1992. The original Geological Institute, which also included Palaeontology, was established together with the Faculty of Science as early as in 1920. A major milestone in the early history of the Institute was appointment of Professor Radim Kettner (1891–1967), one of the most influential big names of Czech Geology ever. Since 1926, Prof. Kettner raised the Institute to a high international level, established a modern geological school, brought up many followers, and published a vast number of now classic papers on tectonics and stratigraphy of the Bohemian Massif. He also expanded and newly reorganized geological collections of the Institute and authored a modern comprehensive textbook Physical Geology, first published in 1941, which soon became a must-read for generations of Czech geologists. 

prof. Ivo Chlupáč

Among many of Kettnerʼs followers, one name stands out. In the beginning of 1990s, the Institute appointed Professor Ivo Chlupáč (1931–2002), a brilliant palaeontologist and geologist who devoted his entire professional career to research into the ‘Barrandian’ and promoted it to one of the World’s classic areas of Lower Palaeozoic stratigraphy. His work was crowned by establishing the Silurian–Devonian GSSP at Klonk and the Lochkovian and Pragian stages of the Devonian, but also included a wide range of outreach activities, presenting the beauty of Geology to the general public.

prof. Josef Augusta

Last but not least, the Czech Palaeontology school was represented by Professor Josef Augusta (1903–1968). Together with academic painter Zdeněk Burian, they pioneered modern palaeontological reconstructions, which soon became recognized internationally. Their work was further elaborated by Professor Zdeněk V. Špinar (1916–1995), who focused on Vertebrate Palaeontology and published a number of seminal textbooks.  In vertebrate palaeontology continued Professor  Oldřich Fejfar (*1931). An important field of research has also been Palaeobotany, established at our Institute by Professor František Němejc (1901–1976) and brought to the highest international level especially by Professor Zlatko Kvaček (*1937), and Micropalaeontology, promoted by Professor Vladimír Pokorný (1922–1989). His Principles of Zoological Micropalaeontology was published both in German and English and has served as a basic source of information in this field worldwide.

prof. Zdeněk V. Špinar
prof. Vladimír Pokorný
prof. František Němejc

Memory book of the Institute

Memory book of the Institute with first record from to October, 14th 1907, free for download in  PDF

Historic photos: as time passed by since 1920



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