Jelena Kovačić

Division of Occupational and Environmental Health

PhD / Scientific Associate

Place and date of birth

Split, 26 March 1987


  • 2017 PhD, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb
  • 2011 MSc in Mathematical Statistics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb
  • 2008 BSc in Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb

Work Experience

  • Since 2011 Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine Unit (2011-2023) / Division of Occupational and Environmental Health (since 2023), Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb; doctoral research assistant (2011 – 2017), postdoctoral researcher (2017 – 2020), scientific associate (since 2020)
  • 2011 Business systems specialist, Data Warehousing and Business Analytics Unit, Croatian Telecom, Zagreb

Fields of interest

Statistics with applications in epidemiology and toxicology

Additional training

  • How to identify and characterise uncertainties in EFSA’s chemical scientific assessments, online, organized by Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2021)
  • Monte Carlo simulation and probability bounds analysis in R with hardly any data, online, organized by Society for Risk Analysis, Herndon, USA (2021)
  • Chemical mixtures health risk assessment of environmental contaminants: concepts, methods, applications and advanced topic, online, organized by Society for Risk Analysis, Herndon, USA (2021)
  • Training school on risk assessment and communication, Porto, Portugal, organized by the COST project DiMoPEx (2018)
  • A Little Bit of STATA Programming Goes an Awfully Long Way, Syracuse, Italy, organized by TStat (2016)
  • Survey methodology and sampling techniques, European Statistical Training Programme (ESTP), Neuchatel, Switzerland (2013)
  • Medical image automatic annotation, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal (July – August 2010)


  • 2020 Annual award for young scientists and artists, awarded by The Association of University Teachers and Other Scientists in Zagreb
  • 2016 Invited lecture: Developing prediction models using a small number of datasets with overlapping variables, 21st Young Statisticians Meeting (4 – 6 November 2016., Piran, Slovenia)
  • 2015 Travel grant of the French Statistical Society for attending MissData – Conference on missing values and matrix completion (17 – 19 June 2015, Rennes, France)
  • 2010 Award for the best student of the Graduate University Programme in Mathematical Statistics, awarded by the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb
  • 2010 Award for extraordinary achievements in extracurricular activities, awarded by the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb

Select Publications

  1. Kovačić J. Learning parameters of Bayesian networks from datasets with systematically missing data: A meta–analytic approach. Expert Systems with Applications. 2020;141:112956.
  2. Kovačić J, Wittlich M, John SM, Macan J. Personal ultraviolet radiation dosimetry and its relationship with environmental data: A longitudinal pilot study in Croatian construction workers. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2020;207:111866.
  3. Kovačić J, Varnai VM. A graphical model approach to systematically missing data in meta-analysis of observational studies. Statistics in medicine. 2016;35(24):4443-58.
  4. Piasek M, Škrgatić L, Sulimanec A, Orct T, Sekovanić A, Kovačić J, Katić A, Branović Čakanić K, Pizent A, Brajenović N, Jurič A, Brčić Karačonji I, Kljaković-Gašpić Z, Tariba Lovaković B, Lazarus M, Stasenko S, Miškulin I, Jurasović J. Effects of maternal cigarette smoking on trace element levels and steroidogenesis in the maternal-placental-fetal unit. Toxics. 2023;11(8):714.
  5. Skoko B, Kovačić M, Lazarus M, Sekovanić A, Kovačić J, Sergiel A, Zwijacz-Kozica T, Reljić S, Petrinec B, Selva N, Huber Đ. 90Sr and stable element levels in bones of brown bears: long-term trends in bear populations from Croatia and Poland. Environ Sci Pollut Res 2023;30:32507-22.


Kovačić J. iRepro: R package for reproducibility of interval-censored data, software package (2014). Available at:


Research projects

Research team member in ongoing projects: 

  • HumEnHealth: Interactions between human and environmental health: determinants for health preservation (leader of the work package Research methodology); PI: J. Macan, PhD; 2024 – 2027. Funded by: European Union – Next Generation EU.
  • PARC: Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals; HORIZON Europe Grant No 101057014; coordinator: French Agency for Food Safety, Environmental Protection and Occupational Health (ANSES); 2022 – 2029. Funded by: Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme and Member States.
  • PyrOPECh: Exposure to pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides in children – risk assessment for adverse effects on neuropsychological development and hormonal status; HRZZ-IP-2019-04-7193, PI: V. M. Varnai, PhD; 2020 – 2025. Funded by: Croatian Science Foundation.

Research team member in completed projects:

  • METALORIGINS: Assessment of daily exposure to metals and maternal individual susceptibility as factors of developmental origins of health and disease; HRZZ-IP-2016-06-1998, PI: M. Piasek, PhD/ J. Jurasović, PhD; 2017 – 2022. Funded by: Croatian Science Foundation.
  • SkinWork: Interaction of constitutional and occupational risk factors on the incidence of occupational contact dermatitis in hairdressing apprentices during vocational training; in-house scientific project of the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, PI: J. Macan, PhD; 2017 – 2020. Funded by: Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health.
  • DiMoPEx: Diagnosis, Monitoring and Prevention of Exposure-Related Noncommunicable Diseases; COST action CA15129, PI: Prof L. T. Budnik; 2015 – 2019. Funded by: European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST).
  • Preventing child poisonings by educational intervention aimed at parents of preschool children; in-house scientific project of the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, PI: Ž. Babić, PhD; 2018 – 2019. Funded by: Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health and Zagreb City Office for Education.
  • Allergo-toxic effects of general and occupational environment; MZOS no. A22-0222411-2410, PI: J Macan, PhD; 2007 – 2014. Funded by: Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.

Since 2014 member of the Executive Committee and Statistics Editor of the journal Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology

Since 2018 external expert of the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices of Croatia

List of publications