The name Dionyz Stur (1827-1893) became notable in scientific circles in the second half of the 19th century. He was a naturalist, who set the direction for modern research in Central Europe with his excellent results in the field of geology, paleobotany and botany.
Dionyz Stur had studied at the Vienna Polytechnic School since 1844. His life direction was influenced by mathematic, physic and chemistry lectures. Indeed, he was interested in the lectures of botanist prof. Stefan Endlicher, and a prominent mineralogist prof. Wilhelm Haidinger, who determined the direction of Dionyz’s life path. He completed further studies at the Mining Academy in Banska Stiavnica. He joined the Imperial Geological Institute in Vienna on the 15th of May in 1850. He retired from the post of director with the highest honors after 42 years, 5 months and 15 days. Something like that has never repeated in the history of the institute. Only Austrians have been in charge of the establishment.
Stur scientifically researched nature in his lifelong research. In addition to strenuous geological tours, he also devoted himself to the exploration of the plants. He revealed the connection between the vegetation and the geological ground, but also the variability of the plant species according to their living conditions. His work UEBER DER EINFLUSS DES BODENS AUF DIE VERTHEILUNG DER PFLANZEN (1856) was published two years before Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. His significant work became a pillar of the first clear geological map of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. His maps were awarded a gold medal at the World’s Fair in London in May in the 1862.
Dionyz Stur did the first systematic mapping of the most of Slovakia and laid the foundations of the geology of the Western Carpathians. He gradually processed the individual mountains together with the nearby areas – Little Carpathians, Myjava Hills, White Carphatians, the Vah and Nitra river basins, Maple Mountains, Kysuce Hills, Povazsky Inovec, Strazov Mountains, Little and Great Fatra, Orava Magura, Choc Mountains, Low and High Tatras, and Spis-Gemer Mountains. He introduced many names that have been used in professional works until these days – Puchov Marlstone, the conglomerate of Upohlav, the conglomerate of Sulov, etc.