History of the faculty

August 2023 marked the 78th anniversary of the founding of the Faculty of Geology by the world-famous geologist-mineralogist, academician Yevhen Lazarenko, who became the first dean of the faculty, and later — Vice-Rector and Rector of Lviv University.

The establishment of the faculty was preceded by a long and complex history of the formation and development of geology at the university. Conditionally, it is divided into certain periods, according to the state-wide system.

The first period, the Polish one, lasted 110 years (1661–1772). It is known that even then there were mineralogical collections used in the training.

The second period was Austro-Hungarian (1772–1918). There was an optional course in “Special Natural History ”. In the 1852–1853 academic year, the Mineralogical Museum was opened, in 1864 – the Department of Mineralogy, and in 1905 – the Department of Geology. These were the first two geological departments at the Faculty of Philosophy.

The third period is Polish (1919–1939). Three more departments of the geological profile were opened: geophysics and meteorology (1920), crystallography (1922), and paleontology (1924). They became part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (1924).

The fourth period — the Soviet one (1939–1991, interrupted during 1941-1944 due to World War II) — began with the opening of the Geological Department (1939) at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Geology, and Geography (1944), and the Faculty of Geology (1945).

The fifth period — the modern and Ukrainian one (since 1991) — is associated with the independence of Ukraine. The five existing departments were joined by two newly created departments — Ecological and Engineering, Geology and Hydrogeology (1999), and Earth Physics (2000).

The development of geology at Lviv University is associated with the activities of three departments of geology, opened at the Faculty of Philosophy. The first one was founded in 1864, the Department of Mineralogy, which in different years was headed by such well-known scientists as professors F. Zirkel, F. Kreutz and J. Medvetsky. The second department of geology was opened in 1905, headed by professor R. Zuber, a well-known researcher in petroleum geology. In 1922, the world’s second department of crystallography was founded at the University, headed by professor Z. Weiberg.

The further history of the development of geology at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv dates back to the existence of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, which was separated from the Faculty of Philosophy in 1924. This faculty includes the three above-mentioned departments of geological profile. Heads of the faculty: Professors of the Department of Mineralogy d Z. Weiberg, Yu. Tokarskyi and K. Smulikovskyi; Professor of Geology Department V. Rohal; Professors of Crystallography Department   Z. Weiberg and L. Hrobak, and Professors of the new Department of Paleontology Y. Semiradskyi and J. Samsonovych. As well as V. Teisere,  B.Kokoshynska,  Z. Pazdro and others, made a lot of effort for the establishment and development of General Geology, Tectonics, Mineralogy, Petrography, Crystallography and Paleontology.

Geology Department of Lviv University was founded in 1945. During the first years of its existence it was located in two buildings: in the university building at St. Nicolas Street 4 (now Hrushevskoho Street) the premises were occupied by the departments of Mineralogy, Crystallography and Petrography, and in the building at Dluhosh Street (now Cyril and Methodius Street), built for Chemical, Geological and Physical Departments, the premises belonged to Departments of General Geology, Historical Geology and Paleontology and USSR Geology Department. Starting with 1950s all departments were located at 4, Hrushevskoho Street, which now occupies the first and second floors and part of the basement.

The initiator of creation of the Geology Department was Yevhen Lazarenko – a graduate of Kharkiv University, associate professor, deputy dean and dean of the Geology Department of Voronezh University, and during the World War II — a senior researcher at the Ural branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Geology until 1949, later he was appointed as Vice-Rector (until 1951), and then – Rector of the Lviv University (until 1963).

Later the faculty was headed by Professors Mykola Yermakov (1949-1952), Volodymyr Kozerenko (1952–1958), graduates of the faculty, associate professors Leonid Koltun (1958–1965, 1969–1971), Yurii Pekun (1965–1969), Ihor Marushkin (1971–1974), and Yurii Mysnyk (1973–1980). During 1980-1996, the Faculty was headed by Professor Orest Matkovskyi. In 1996–1998, the duties of the Dean were performed by associate professor Yurii Fedoryshyn. In 1998–2003 Professor Roman Leshchukh was the Dean of the Faculty. In 2003–2004 and 2011–2014, the duties of the Dean were performed by Associate Dean Vitalii Furman. Professor Mykola Pavlun headed the faculty from 2004 to 2011 and has been the dean from January 15, 2014 up to now.


The faculty currently consists of four departments.

The Department of Mineralogy, Petrography and Geochemistry was founded on January 1, 2020, through the merger of the Departments of Mineralogy and Petrography. The Head of the Department is associate professor Leonid Skakun. Professor and academician Yevhen Lazarenko chaired the Department of Mineralogy from 1945 to 1969, and associate professor Anhelina Yasynska was the head of it from 1969 to 1974. She was superseded in this position by the faculty graduate professor Orest Matkovskyi (1974–1999), associate professor Petro Bilonizhka, and associate professor Leonid Skakun. The Department of Petrography was headed by professor and academician Volodymyr Sobolev (1945–1960), professor Danylo Bobrovnyk (1960–1974), graduates of the faculty professor Oleksandr Bobriievych (1974–1995), associate professor Vitalii Khmelivskyi, professor Kyrylo Svieshnikov, associate professor Andrii Senkovskyi, associate professor Iryna Poberezhska, and professor Vasyl Hulii.

The Department of General and Historical Geology and Palaeontology was founded on January 1, 2020, through the merger of  the Department of General and Regional Geology, with the Department of Historical Geology and Palaeontology. The Head of the Department is associate professor Antonina Ivanina. The Department of General and Regional Geology was chaired by professors Mykola Yermakov (1945–1952), Dmytro Riezvoi (1952–1987), and Albert Sivoronov (1988–2016). The Department of Historical Geology and Palaeontology was headed by professor and academician Oleh Vialov (1945–1957), professor Vasyl Horetskyi (1957–1964), one of the first graduates of Lviv University, professor Yaroslav Kulchytskyi (1964–1991), a graduate of Chernivtsi University, professor Hryhorii Hryhorchuk (1991–1995), and graduate of the faculty, profуііщк Roman Leshchukh (1996–2019).

The Department of Mineral Geology and Geophysics was founded on January 1, 2020, through the merger of the Departments of Mineral Geology and Earth Physics. The department is headed by associate professor Serhii Tsikhon. There is a Museum of Ore Formations at the department as well as the Laboratory of Geoinformation Technologies and Computer Modeling. Professors Volodymyr Kozerenko (1955–1958), Davyd Horzhevskyi (1958–1964), Yevhen Lazko (1964–1990), and Andrii Pizniur (1990–1995) headed the Department of Methods of Search and Exploration of Mineral Deposits, which was founded in 1955. The Department of Minerals and Environmental Geology was renamed in 1994 and later divided into two departments: the Department of Geology of Minerals and Environmental Geology, and the Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. Associate professor Vitalii Furman chaired the Department of Earth Physics, founded in 2000. We would like to point out that the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology was founded back in 1920 by a prominent Polish scientist, Henryk Arctowski.

Since 1994, the Department of Ecological and Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology  has been headed by Professors Heorhii Rudko, Andrii Pizniur, associate professor Mariia Lebedynets, Professor Volodymyr Kolodii, and since 2010 it has been headed by associate professor Petro Voloshyn.

An important contribution to the development of the faculty belongs to such outstanding and well-known scientists, future academicians as: Volodymyr Selskyi, Volodymyr Soboliev, Seraphym Subbotin, Lukyan Tkachuk; professors: Zbigniew Bartoszynski, Vasyl Hlushko, Vasyl Horetskyi, Hryhorii Hryhorchuk, Yurii Dolhov,​Yurii Dogorii, Yaroslav Kulchytskyi, Severyn Pasternak, Andrii Pizniur, Kyrylo Svieshnikov, Yevhen Shevchenko; associate professors: Adolf Alekseenko, Oksana Anastasieva, Nina Vartanova, Yakiv Hillier, Mykola Holovchenko, Olha Horbachevska, Vasyl Yershov, Volodymyr Kuzemko, Yevhenia Lavrenko, Vasyl Liesniak, Borys Merlich, Yurii Pekun, Ivan Popivniak, Ernst Portniahin, Kateryna Sydorenko, Martyn Slyvko, Mykhailo Fishkin, Vasyl Sheremeta and many others.

Over the years, the Faculty of Geology has trained more than 5,500 qualified geologists and ecologists, who have successfully worked or are currently working in geological associations and expeditions, research institutions, and higher education institutions of Ukraine and around the world (Canada, Australia, Central Asia, etc.). Graduates of the faculty discovered and explored many deposits of various minerals in different periods and became doctors and candidates of science.

Training of young specialists at the faculty is carried out in two forms of education – full-time and part-time. In the first years of the faculty’s existence, there was one specialty – “geology”, later there were three – “geological survey and prospecting”, “exploration of mineral deposits”, and “geochemistry”. Subsequently, the first two specialties merged into one – “geological surveying, exploration, and prospecting”, and the third was renamed into the specialty “geochemistry, mineralogy, and petrology”. In 1995 a new direction of training was launched – “Ecology, environmental protection and sustainable use of nature”. Currently, the faculty teaches students in two specialties: 101 – Ecology and 103 – Earth Sciences. The teaching of academic disciplines is carried out for certain specialties according to the curricula which are constantly updated and cover the main courses of professional and humanitarian cycles and several elective courses.

Students from Mongolia, Algeria, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Germany, Brazil, Angola, Ecuador, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Turkmenistan have studied at the faculty over the years. Many of them have already become well-known geologists in their homeland, and leaders of exploration and mining companies.

Currently, the teaching staff of the faculty includes four Doctors of Science, professors, 20 Candidates of Sciences, associate professors, and five assistant lecturers. About 40 members of the engineering and laboratory staff support the educational process. A number of laboratories have been involved in the educational and scientific process for 76 years of the faculty’s existence: experimental mineralogy (mineral physics), spectral, chemical, thermal, electron-microscopic, mass spectrometric analysis, X-ray crystallography studies, microchemistry, chromatography, geological maps and aeromethods, methods of studying mineral deposits, paleontological, physical research methods in geology, information network technology and computer modeling. There is a laboratory of ecological and geological research in the village of Verkhnie Syniovydne.

An important didactic and scientific base is the unsurpassed Mineralogical Museum named after Ye. Lazarenko, Paleontological Museum, and Museum of Ore Formations. All these museums are included in the register of the national heritage of Ukraine. Also, there is the scientific library at the faculty.

Scientific work at the faculty is carried out in the fields of basic and applied research. The research results are published in three scientific journals of the Faculty of Geology (“Mineralogical Collection”, “Paleontological Collection” and “Herald of Lviv University. Geological Series”), as well as in other domestic and foreign scientific journals. The faculty staff are the authors of more than five thousand scientific articles and monographs, numerous textbooks, manuals, and other educational and methodical works, dictionaries, reference and bibliographic publications, etc. Ye. Lazarenko’s textbooks “The Course of Mineralogy” (five editions) and Ye. M. Lazka’s “Geology of the USSR” (two editions) received worldwide acclaim. Monographs by V. S. Sobolev “Introduction to the Mineralogy of Silicates” (1949) and M. S. Yermakova “Study of mineral-forming solutions” (1950) were awarded the state prize.

The following scientific directions have been established and actively developed at the faculty: mineralogical (Yevhen Lazarenko), crystal-chemical and petrographic (Volodymyr Sobolev), thermobarogeochemical (Mykola Yermakov), paleontological and stratigraphic (Oleg Vialov), surveying and tectonic (Dmytro Rezvoy), Precambrian formational (Yevhen Lazko), crystallographic (Hugo Piotrovsky), lithological (Danylo Bobrovnyk), geology of combustible minerals (Volodymyr Porfyrjev). Some of them have grown into world-famous scientific schools: mineralogical school by academician Yevhen Lazarenko, thermobarogeochemical by professor Mykola Yermakov, school of geology and metallogeny of the Precambrian by professor Yevhen Lazko, paleontological and stratigraphic school founded by academician Oleg Vialov. The first three schools are officially approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. During the last decade new directions in the scientific area emerged: micropaleontological, ecological- and engineering-geological, oil-gas-coal, geotouristic, direction of physics of the Earth.

Students who work in scientific clubs at the departments are constantly involved in research work. They are the authors of more than 250 scientific publications. For the last 25 years, there has not been any All-Ukrainian competition of student research papers in the specialty, where our students were not in the top three. Over the past four years, at the second stage of the All-Ukrainian Olympiad in Geology, our students have often taken all three prizes, which points to a high level of the scientific and pedagogical school of geology at our faculty.

Scientific developments of scientists of the faculty have been acknowledged by numerous awards and prizes. In particular, the winners of the State Science and Technology Prizes became: Oleh Vialov (1947), Volodymyr Sobolev (1950), Vasyl Yershov (1951), Mykola Yermakov (1952), Yevhen Lazko (1981), Yevhen Lazarenko (1983), Orest Matkovskyi (1983), Oleh Vialov (1986), Yaroslav Kulchytskyi (1986), Vasyl Hlushko (twice – in 1986 and 1994). Vasyl Hlushko and Andriy Senkovskyi (1994) received the Academician V. I. Vernadskyi Award of the AS of Ukraine. Honorary titles were granted to: Yaroslav Kulchytskyi, Yevhen Lazarenko, Yevhen Lazko, Dmytro Rezvoi – Honoured Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine; Mykola Pavlun – Honoured Worker of Education of Ukraine; Vasyl Hlushko, Yurii Krupskyi – Honoured Geologist of Ukraine; Orest Matkovskyi is an Honoured Professor of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Professor Oleksandr Bobrievych won the “Man of the Year” Gold Medal (1998) of the American Biographical Institute and the “Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century” Silver Medal (2000) in the IBC Cambridge (UK) nomination. Professor Aida Andreeva-Hryhorovych – “International Woman of the Year” in Science in Cambridge (1993). Petro Bilonizhka, Yurii Doroshenko, Anatolii Kostenko, Orest Matkovskyi, Mykola Pavlun, and Albert Sivoronov were awarded “the 800th Anniversary of Mongolia” Medal for training specialists for Mongolia. Zbigniew Bartoszynski and Serhii Bekesha received a patent in Ukraine for the invention of the “Method of diamond sorting” in 1997.

During the long-term functioning of the Faculty of Geology there have been held a number of scientific forums of the international level (for example, the IV Congress of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association), numerous meetings and conferences on various issues of geology and ecology have been conducted, and the Lviv branches of the Ukrainian Mineralogical and Ukrainian Paleontological Societies and the Geological Commission of the Shevchenko Scientific Society carried out their active work. Over the last decade the following international and local scientific forums have taken place: “Importance of complex litho-bio-stratigraphic research in search for oil and gas” (2011), “Geophysical research and modeling of the Earth’s physical fields” (2012), the Seventh scientific readings named after Academician Yevhen Lazarenko on “Development of Y.K. Lazarenko’s ideas in modern mineralogy” (2012), “Current issues of geological research in Ukraine” (2013), “Geotourism: practice and experience” (2014, 2016, 2018, 2021), the Eighth scientific readings named after Academician Yevhen Lazarenko on “Mineralogy: present and future” (2014), “Problems of geology of the Ukrainian Phanerozoic” (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), “Fundamental significance and applied role of geological education and science” (2015), the Tenth scientific readings named after Academician Yevhen Lazarenko (2016), “Geophysical research and modeling of the physical fields of the Earth” (2016), student scientific geological conference “Geological structure, minerals and ecology of their mining in Ukraine” (2017), the Eleventh scientific readings named after Academician Yevhen Lazarenko (2018), “Environmental Problems of Subsoil Use. Science, education, practice” (2019), and others.

Currently, the Faculty of Geology of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv holds a prominent place among the eight geological faculties of Ukraine. We will continue to educate and raise new generations of geologists and ecologists who will work for the benefit of the free and independent Ukraine.