Meet the Scientist #7 – Tanja Petrović Pantić

Tanja in the Canyon of Rosomačka river in Upper Jurassic limestones – east Serbia (photo: M. Mandić, 2019)

Tanja Petrović Pantić is a senior hydrogeologist at the Geological Survey of Serbia (GSS). Tanja has been working in Geological Survey of Serbia since 2007. Before, she worked 3 years at the Faculty of Mining and Geology. Her PhD thesis was about hydrogeothermal resources in the southern part of Serbia, hence her research focus are thermal and mineral water, geothermal energy, and hydrogeochemistry. Currently, she works on creating 1:100.000 hydrogeological maps, as well as on a few EU-funded projects (Horizon 2020) regarding geomanifestations (GeoConnect³d), special groundwater (HOVER), Climate Changes (TACTIC) and Pan-EU groundwater resource map (RESOURCE).

You can connect with Tanja on ResearchGate and LinkedIn.

The thermal water puzzle

Tanja during groundwater sampling (photo: M. Tomić, 2018)

After creating the geothermal database of Serbia, Tanja is now working on updating it by collecting new data and getting chemical and isotopic analyses. The aim is to obtain a more realistic picture of geothermal resources, their potential and possibility of use. Tanja: “I believe that a numerous thermal resources could be better utilised, which can lead to a great benefit.”.

Needless to say, thermal water is her favourite geomanifestation. She considers a big scientific challenge to understand and explain the origin of water temperature and chemical composition of water, and links to geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, and hydrochemistry. Tanja: “From my perspective it is like a puzzle. I find it necessary to link all the scientific fields to get the better image. On the other hand, thermal water finds its purpose in many different areas such as balneology and recreation, heating, industry, agriculture… and it deserves special attention.”.

Tanja during groundwater sampling (photo: M. Tomić, 2018)

Recognition of scientific work as a young researcher

In 2010, as a young researcher, Tanja was awarded the “Milan Milicevic, geology engineer” for the best scientific work in the field of geology. She considers this the proudest moment of her career, giving her the confirmation of being on the right path to become a good scientist. The prize also encouraged her to continue with her research work. Tanja: “I strongly believe that it is very important to find a vocation that inspire you, to enjoy every moment of work knowing you made some perfect choices in your career.”.

Tanja at Devil’s town, southern Serbia. Soil erosion as an effect of intense volcanic activity millions of years ago created these formations (photo: N. Petrović, 2011)

Structural framework versus geomanifestations

Between the two pillars of GeoConnect³d, structural framework and geomanifestations, Tanja prefers the latter. As a hydrogeologist, she is very familiar with thermal water as the main geomanifestation in her field of expertise. But she also sees the importance of many other types of geomanifestations such as gas seeps and mineral occurrences, and the good opportunities they bring to broaden geological knowledge. Tanja: “I find very interesting to present all geomanifestations for a particular area and to try to find the connection between their occurrences and the structural framework.”.

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