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Šiauliai University is the biggest university in the Northern Lithuania and was founded in 1977, after the merger of Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute and Šiauliai Polytechnic Faculty of Kaunas University of Technology.

The Šiauliai University Department of Environmental Research and Physics was established on 01 February 2015 by merging two previously independent departments: the Department of Environmental Research and the Department of Physics.

The Department of Environmental Research was established in 2000 in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. The department emerged principally as the result of Šiauliai University taking on a new study programme in biomedicine. The department staff initiated the first systematic aerobiological studies in Lithuania. From 2005, the department of Environmental Research was reorganised under the Faculty of Natural Science. During this period of time, the department expanded rapidly both in the area of studies and science, and built national as well as international partnership with other educational institutions.

In 1948, the Department of Physics and Mathematics was founded in the Teacher’s Institute. With the establishment of the Pedagogical Institute in 1954, the department was split into two departments, Mathematics as well as Physics and Natural Sciences. From 1972, Foton, a part-time school for young physicists, operated for a long time under the Department of Physics, and from 2005, the department came to house the Optometric Association. In 2009, the department became a member-founder of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO).

An academic division established in 2015 organises research in the areas of physical and biomedical sciences. The academic interests of department staff range from the assessment and modelling of the sustainability of biological diversity and ecological processes occurring in natural ecosystems and anthropogenic environments, aerobiological research, relativist effects in atoms and mesons, vacancy research in Si and Ge single crystals, helium energy technology, and the development and possibilities for physics education.