MAJA PODGORNIK, PhD, Research Associate

Institute for Oliveculture

Phone: +386 5 663 77 74


Research Areas:

  • Agronomy / Environmental protection
  • Agricultural production technologies focusing on the olive production and Mediterranean plants; Plant protection; Irrigation management; Climate change


Maja Podgornik graduated at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, where she also received her PhD with doctoral dissertation “Comparison of nutrient leaching from selected golf course”. In 2008 she also successfully completed the Pedagogical and Andragogical Education at the Faculty of Education of the University of Ljubljana.

She gained the first work experience at the Grammar school Koper and in Olive Center – Institute of agriculture and forestry Nova Gorica. In the framework of national and international projects, she has worked at the Institute for Oliveculture, Science and research Centre of Koper since 2005. Maja Podgornik is a member of the Scientific Council and the head of the Institute for Oliveculture. Since 2018 is also Head and national coordinator of the public service in the olive production. Between 2008 and 2016 she was also involved in the undergraduate study programs Mediterranean Agriculture and Biodiversity and in the postgraduate study program Sustainable Development Management at the University of Primorska.

Maja Podgornik presented her research achievements at numerous scientific meetings and congresses. Until now, she has published over 90 bibliographic units, of which 8 are the original scientific articles.

Research activity:

Maja Podgornik participated and coordinated different national and international projects. Among the international projects, it is important to point out her successful coordination of project – WELLFOOD – Promoting Food Innovation for Wellness in the Adriatic – Adriatic IPA Cross Border Cooperation 2007-2013 and project ZOOB – Pollution reduction and conservation of biodiversity in agriculture with emphasis on olive growing – Operational Programme IPA Slovenia-Croatia 2007-2013. Maja Podgornik played an important role also in the implementation of project SIGMA – Innovative systems for joint management in the agricultural sector and the joint use of the cross-border network for agricultural and environmental monitoring – INTERREG IIIA – SLO/IT 2000-2006 and SIGMA 2 – Cross-border network for the sustainable management and biodiversity – CBC Programme Italy-Slovenia 2007-2013. She also made great efforts to implement national projects in the field of olive irrigation (V4-1411 Adaptation of agronomic technologies to weather conditions for achievement of high and quality harvest of olives and olive oil, V4- 0557 Establishment of technological guidelines for irrigation of olives in Slovenia, V4-1609 Accuracy of Irrigation Forecast – TriN). In 2018 she obtained a scholarship from the International Olive Oil Council with the help of which she upgraded her olive-growing and olive oil production skills at the University of Jaén.

Maja Podgornik was involved in different organization and scientific committees of numerous congresses in conferences. Since 2016, is a member of the Management Board of the largest Slovenian olive society – the Society of Olive Oil in Slovene Istria.