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Prešeren Prize for Students

Prešeren Prize for Students

Prešeren Prize for Students of the University of Ljubljana is awarded for outstanding achievements in science and art.

Aljoša Lovrić Krapež

Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television of the University of Ljubljana

Weltschmerz, a play by Aljoša Lovrić Krapež, is undoubtedly an important addition to contemporary Slovenian dramatic writing. A graduate of the first-cycle Dramaturgy and the Performing Arts study programme at the University of Ljubljana’s Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, Lovrić Krapež has written a play for our coronavirus times – one that is free of moralising, lamentations over the loss of freedom, or descents into fruitless (dis)utopianism; his approach is unencumbered, witty, and thoughtful. The undeniable artistic achievement of this work is reflected in its original thinking about the world and the state in which it finds itself.

(Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Žanina Mirčevska; Co-mentor: Prof. Dr. Tomaž Toporišič)


Ester Premate

Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana

As part of her master’s thesis, Ester Premate studied the relation between the morphological indicators and the trophic ecology of the amphipod genus Niphargus. This thesis has deepened scientific understanding of trophic differentiation in subterranean ecosystems, where studies of this kind are very rare due to the inaccessibility of habitats, even on a global scale. Premate is currently a young researcher in the research group for speleobiology at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana. She continues her work on the functional morphology of the Niphargus under the mentorship of Asst. Prof. Dr. Cene Fišer.

(Mentors: Asst. Prof. Dr. Cene Fišer and Dr. Simon Laurent)


Matej Milijaš Jotić

Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana

Matej Milijaš Jotić completed his studies in Molecular and Functional Biology at the Department of Biology of the University of Ljubljana’s Biotechnical Faculty. His thesis described the unique molecular mechanism of insecticidal action of proteins produced by mushrooms on one of the major crop pests – the western corn rootworm. He proved that the receptor for these proteins in insects is a specific membrane lipid, which means that the likelihood of target insects developing resistance is significantly lower than in the case of protein receptors. The findings of the thesis open the door to a new generation of bioinsecticides for pest control in agriculture.

(Mentor: Prof. Dr. Kristina Sepčić, Co-mentor: Prof. Dr. Rok Kostanjšek)


Vida Maver

School of Economics and Business of the University of Ljubljana

After completing her master’s degree at the University of Ljubljana’s School of Economics and Business, Vida Maver continues her studies in the doctoral programme in Economics at the European University Institute in Florence. Her awarded thesis assesses market inflation expectations in the euro area, which are key in implementing monetary policy, and presents an alternative model for forecasting inflation through the assessment of inflation expectations, which is important in terms of forecasting inflation over longer horizons.

(Mentor: Prof. Dr. Igor Masten)


Maša Vozlič

Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana

In 2021, Maša Vozlič completed the integrated master’s study programme in Pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Pharmacy with a thesis entitled “The Effect of Phosphonic Coatings on the Fluorescent Nanoparticles Biocompatibility”. Her thesis defines the possibilities of using upconversion fluorescent nanoparticles based on NaYF4 (sodium yttrium fluoride) as potential new contrast agents in medical diagnostics. Vozlič succeeded in optimising the synthesis of different types of phosphonic coatings, which provided stability under physiological conditions and reduced the cytotoxic effects of nanoparticles on human endothelial cells.

(Mentor: Asst. Prof. Dr. Lovro Žiberna, Co-mentor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Darja Lisjak)


Valentina Rutar Polanec

Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering of the University of Ljubljana

Valentina Rutar Polanec began her studies in 2012 at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Health Sciences, where she completed the Sanitary Engineering programme. She furthered her knowledge at the University of Applied Sciences in Zurich, gaining valuable experience in environmental technologies. In 2017, she started the master’s programme in Water Science and Environmental Engineering at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, and completed it in 2021 with an ambitious master’s thesis that paves the way for new sustainable water management technologies.

(Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nataša Anastasova, Co-mentors: Prof. Dr. Andrej Kitanovski and Bernhard Pucher)


Aljaž Kavčič

Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana

Aljaž Kavčič, a physics student at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, successfully defended his master’s thesis in August 2021. He is continuing his studies at the doctoral level. His master’s thesis presented a completely new technique of microscopy using optical microresonators, which allows deep penetration into scattering tissues. The findings of the master’s thesis are presented in a scientific paper with Kavčič as its lead author. The paper is under review in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

(Mentor: Asst. Prof. Dr. Matjaž Humar)


Lojze Žust

Faculty of Computer and Information Science of the University of Ljubljana

Lojze Žust received his master’s degree in 2020 from the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Computer and Information Science. Prior to that, he furthered his knowledge at Stanford University. He has received several awards for his research and study achievements. In his master’s thesis, he developed HIDRA, a deep neural network for storm surge forecasting, which is a pressing issue, given the reality of global warming. HIDRA is half a million times faster than physical numerical models, while matching or exceeding their accuracy. The method has been published in one of the most prestigious geophysical journals and is used in the daily forecasts of the Slovenian Environment Agency.

(Mentors: Prof. Dr. Matej Kristan and Dr. Dr. Matjaž Ličer)


Rok Kuntner

Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana

The MA thesis by Rok Kuntner is a commendable case of an exemplary interdisciplinary research, conjoining Ancient Greek philology with the latest findings of Comparative Indo-European linguistics. The result is an impeccable study of the problems relating to the reconstruction of Proto-Greek nominal morphology. Its author is an accomplished classicist and Indo-Europeanist, whose achievements also include several important publications in Greek linguistics and philology. Currently, he is enrolled in a PhD programme in Indo-European Comparative linguistics with particular focus on Classical Armenian in Würzburg (Germany).

(Mentor: Asst. Prof. Dr. Matej Hriberšek, Co-mentor: Asst. Prof. Dr. Luka Repanšek)


Gašper Gajšek, Klara Rešetič

Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana

Klara Rešetič and Gašper Gajšek completed their postgraduate studies in textile and clothing design at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering. Their work is highly topical, offering in-depth insight into their creative universe through a critical view of the developments in the fashion industry and society in general. As a response, the authors present the multidisciplinary brand Garnir 2, which is based on authenticity, self-irony and humour; Garnir 2 respects tradition, and calls for a slow, artisanal and artistic approach to creation.

(Mentor: Asst. Prof. Petja Zorec)


Maruša Loboda

Faculty of Education of the University of Ljubljana

Maruša Loboda’s master’s thesis focuses on investigating executive functions in preschool children and the influence of factors such as gender, age, developmental anomalies, etc. as possible predictors of the development of these functions. The children’s executive functions questionnaire for parents, educators and teachers is a significant contribution to a field that is insufficiently researched in Slovenia, especially in the context of early detection of problems. This is a very topical and relevant issue for special pedagogy, as well as for work with preschool children without problems and their parents.

(Mentor: Asst. Prof. Dr. Milena Košak Babuder, Co-mentor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Janez Jerman)


Tim Horvat

Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana

Tim Horvat completed a master’s degree in law and received the Faculty’s Golden Plaque for outstanding academic achievements. He completed a part of his studies at La Sapienza University in Rome and undertook a traineeship at a law firm in France. His thesis combines a sophisticated understanding of legal theory issues with a detailed analysis of constitutional doctrine and practice, using an in-depth comparative law approach that is well-argued and persuasive, in order to address the multifaceted question of corporate constitutional personhood and suggest innovative approaches to an issue that is increasingly important in constitutional practice.

(Mentor: Asst. Prof. Dr. Aleš Novak)