Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović, Serbia

Portrait Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović © Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović
  • Current Position: Professor at the Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, University of Niš, Serbia
  • Scholarship: CEEPUS Free Mover Teacher Option
  • Duration: 04/2018–05/2018

Curriculum Vitae

Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović is a full professor at the University of Niš in Serbia, Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Biology and Ecology, engaged in teaching Evolutionary Biology at undergraduate and graduate level of study as well as Conservation Biology at undergraduate, graduate and PhD level of study. The model systems of her research are amphibians and reptiles and she is interested in applying knowledge on their life history traits and species genetic structuring into evaluation of their threatening level and required conservation actions Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović has been a member of Societas Europaea Herpetologica since 1993, and member of IUCN SSC since 2004. She has been one of the vice-secretaries of SEH for eight years, also a regional coordinator of Viper Specialist Group and Amphibian Specialist Group within IUCN. Since 2002 she is a member of the National Committee for Biological Safety.


I had a very nice professional experience at Uni Salzburg with the opportunity to actively participate in one of the courses at graduate level. It was a wonderful experience, especially because the course was very interactive and oriented toward practical knowledge and skills that students are supposed to get after completing it. I am also very grateful to the Head of Department of Biosciences where the Department of Ecology and Evolution had just been recently integrated for the constructive support and to the colleagues for the friendly atmosphere. I would like to see them as guest teachers in my home institution soon. During the participation in the chosen course I had the opportunity to judge my lecturing skills as this was for the first time in my professional career to give lectures to foreign students. Some thought and conclusions I made during this involvement in the course are very valuable for the further improvement of my curriculum and for improving the quality of teaching at my home institution. I particularly admired the open communication with the Austrian students and could make some comparison between them and my students what helps me to push my students to be more open, agile and independent. Generally, I did not find Austrian culture much different than the one I know from my family. In Serbia we have a mixture of both Ottoman and Habsburg cultural influences. So, for me it was very comfortable to stay in Salzburg, even more because it is a city devoted to classical music which I like very much. The time I spent in Salzburg on the Free Teacher Mover programme refreshed me in an intellectual sense and gave me a hint to continue to change my curriculum to the better. The idea of more praxis and less theory in the lecturing process was applied in the course I had the opportunity to participate in during my stay at the University of Salzburg, so shortly after continuing lecturing at my home institution I made some changes in the curriculum of the Conservation Biology course at undergraduate level. It was done well and I will make further changes in the next accreditation procedure at my home institution.