History of the Department

In the predecessor institutions botanical lectures were held by Károly Schilberszky as early as 1893. He was followed by Béla Husz from 1927 to 1943. At this time, the Department of Botany was separated from the Department of Phytopathology, which taught botany, plant physiology, breeding and genetic sciences. The organizational unit was officially named as Horticultural Botany and Plant Breeding Institute. The department’s experimental station was located in Érd and called as Elvira major and Maria major. From 1949 onwards, the department had been pushed into the background, for a while, after the termination of the research institute. Fundamental change in research has occurred from 1962, when the 55 hectare Soroksár Botanical Garden was founded (the current area of the garden is 60 ha). The botanic garden became the demonstration, training and experimental field of the department. The head of the department was named to the director of the botanical garden.

Heads of the Department:

  • 1944-1949: György Mándy
  • 1949-1972: Zoltán Kárpáti
  • 1972-1989: András Terpó
  • 1989-2012: Imre Rimóczi
  • 2012-now: Mária Höhn

In accordance with the general theme of botany, the members of the Department of Botany form three working groups for teaching and research (anatomy, taxonomy and plant geography- and vegetation ecology).

Past and present members of the department:

András Terpó, as a professor, was teaching from mid-June 1951 at the Department of Botany. Among the most important research programs he launched studies of adventive plant species, native shade-tolerant perennials, broadleaf evergreens and wild fruit plants as the main profile of the department. Zoltán Kárpáti has gained international recognition through the taxonomic processing of domestic species.

At the Soroksár Botanical Garden, which was established at the university's experimental farm in Soroksár in February 1962, Erzsébet Felhősné Váczi and Erzsébet Grúsz began their work as trainees and one year later they started teaching also. They also became deputy heads of the botanical garden. Erzsébet Váczi Felhős studied tissue structure of the cultivated plants. Erzsébet Grúsz (from 1967 until her retirement in 1997) was the head of the Soroksár Botanical Garden.

Géza Facsar worked as a trainee in the botanical garden from 1964 till 1965. From 1972, he continued his teaching activity as a senior lecturer. Although he continued his archaeobotanical research on cultivated grapes after obtaining his degree in horticultural engineering (1964), he became known mostly with the research of native wild rose species.

Márta Bényeiné Himmer has been working at the Department since 1970, before spending over one year as a trainee in the botanical garden. She began his research with indigenous shade-tolerant perennials and herbaceous evergreens and today he is carrying out intensive research on the taxonomy and cytogenetics of ivy.

Ms. Sándorné Bogya started working as an assistant in the botanical garden in 1969. Later, between 1976 and 1993 she was an assistant research fellow and thereafter a research fellow. From 1996 she was a teacher at the department and from 1997 she became the head of the Soroksár Botanical Garden until her retirement.

From the middle of July 1971 Imre Rimóczi started working at the department. Later, in 1978 he was teaching as a senior lecturer and by 1988 as an assistant professor. Following András Terpó in 1989, he has become the head of the department. His research topic focuses on wide range of mycological topics.

Lujza Mária Reményi worked as a technical assistant at the department from October 1980 and from July 1989 as a technical instructor. From 1991 onwards she worked as an lecturer. Her research deals with morphological-anatomical study of stems of species belonging to the Lamiaceae family.

Barbara Krizsainé Niemirow worked at the Department from March 1987 until August 1997, studying histology/anatomy of tomato.

Mária Höhn and Ferenc Kecskés strated to teach at the Department in 1990. Both of them were interested in plant geography, association and ecology, but Ferenc Kecskés was working at the department only a few years. They have started their research linked to vegetation studies.

József Nagy in 1992 and László Udvardy in 1993 started teaching at the Department of Botany with a scholarships of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. 3 years later, they continued to work as science fellows. 1997 brought several unexpected personal changes. Barbara Krizsainé Niemirow unexpectedly left and Erzsébet Grúsz went retired. At the same time, György Végvári a young colleague joined the department for several years.

Zsolt Erős-Honti joined the department in 2008 and took over plant anatomy teaching. His research focuses primarily on the area of mycorrhiza research. Later, from 2009, Gabriella Somogyi a former PhD candidate involved in molecular taxonomy started teaching as an assistant lecturer. After the PhD years, Lajos Benedek and Viktor Papp (from September 2011) mycologists started their teaching carrier at the department.

After the tragic death of László Udvardy in 2010, Sándor László Barabás joined the department, who teaches nature conservation and plant systematics.

From September 2012 Prof. Imre Rimóczi continue his teaching and research work as Professor Emeritus and in the same year Mária Höhn became the head of the department.