Adam Flakus joined the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS in 2003 as a PhD student, focusing on the ecology and systematics of lichen-forming fungi in the highest vegetation belt in the Carpathians. From 2008 to 2019, he worked as assistant professor, and in 2019 also as a lichen curator at KRAM. In 2020 he became Professor. Currently he studies the evolution of symbiotic systems involving fungi, algae and cyanobacteria in tropical ecosystems, especially in Bolivia. He is particularly interested in the lichen-associated microbiome and the evolutionary outcomes of these symbioses.
Lichenology, molecular evolution, symbiotic relationships, systematics, fungal parasites.
Kosecka M. et al. (2020). “Trentepohlialean algae (Trentepohliales, Ulvophyceae) show preference to selected mycobiont lineages in lichen symbioses”, Journal of Phycology. DOI.org/10.1111/jpy.12994.
Piątek M. et al., (2020). “Phylogenetic placement of Leptosphaeria polylepidis, a pathogen of Andean endemic Polylepis tarapacana, and its newly discovered mycoparasite Sajamaea mycophila gen. et sp. Nov”, Mycological Progress 19(1): 1–14.
Flakus A. et al. (2019). “Biodiversity assessment of ascomycetes inhabiting Lobariella lichens in Andean cloud forests led to one new family, three new genera and 13 new species of lichenicolous fungi”, Plant and Fungal Systematics 64(2): 283–344.
Flakus A. et al. (2019). “A new genus, Zhurbenkoa, and a novel nutritional mode revealed in the family Malmideaceae (Lecanoromycetes, Ascomycota)”, Mycologia 111: 593–611.
Wei X. et al. (2017). “Circumscription of the genus Lepra, a recently resurrected genus to accommodate the “Variolaria”-group of Pertusaria sensu lato (Pertusariales, Ascomycota)”, PLoS ONE 12(7): e0180284.
Marcin Piątek, is a mycologist and phytopathologist, has been employed at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS since 1998. He earned his PhD from the Institute in 2003 and his DSc (habilitation) in biological sciences in 2013. His main scientific interests focus on the evolution, diversity and systematics of phytopathogenic fungi (mostly smut fungi), their species concept, host specificity, co-evolutionary relations with host plants, and biogeography on the worldwide scale.
Mycology, evolution, systematics, biodiversity, plant pathology.
Piątek M. et al. (2020). “Phylogenetic placement of Leptosphaeria polylepidis, a pathogen of Andean endemic Polylepis tarapacana, and its newly discovered mycoparasite Sajamaea mycophila gen. et sp. nov.”, Mycological Progress 19(1): 1–14.
Riess K. et al. (2019). “The origin and diversification of the Entorrhizales: deep evolutionary roots but recent speciation with a phylogenetic and phenotypic split between associates of the Cyperaceae and Juncaceae”, Organisms Diversity and Evolution 19(1): 13–30.
Kruse J. et al., (2018). “Broad host range species in specialised pathogen groups should be treated with suspicion – a case study on Entyloma infecting Ranunculus”, Persoonia 41: 175–201.
Piątek M. et al. (2017). “Pattersoniomyces tillandsiae gen. et comb. nov.: linking sexual and asexual morphs of the only known smut fungus associated with Bromeliaceae”, Organisms Diversity and Evolution 17(3): 531–543.
Piątek M. et al. (2016). “Integrative analysis of the West African Ceraceosorus africanus sp. nov. provides insights into the diversity, biogeography, and evolution of the enigmatic Ceraceosorales (Fungi: Ustilaginomycotina)”, Organisms Diversity and Evolution 16(4): 743–760.
Anna Ronikier is a mycologist working at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS since 2000. Her research is focused on two areas: (1) taxonomy and biogeography of macrofungi with a special interest in species of arctic and alpine ecosystems, (2) taxonomy and biogeography of myxomycetes – a specialized group of fungal-like organisms. She is particularly interested in discovering worldwide biogeographical patterns of nivicolous myxomycetes, an ecological group associated with mountain areas and potentially important as biotic indicators of climate-driven changes in the extent and duration of winter snow cover. She works in various mountain ranges, but with a special focus on the Andes. In her recent work, she combines critical assessment of morphological features with phylogenetic approaches, develops molecular biogeography of nivicolous myxomycetes and conducts metabarcoding studies of myxomycete communities in mountainous and polar areas.
Arctic-alpine fungi, biogeography, nivicolous myxomycetes, phylogeography, taxonomy and nomenclature.
Janik P. et al. (2020). “Phylogeography of a nivicolous protist Didymium nivicola Meyl. (Myxomycetes, Amoebozoa): striking contrasts between the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere”, Protist (in press).
Ronikier A. et al. (2020). “Nivicolous Trichiales from the austral Andes: unexpected diversity including two new species” Mycologia. https://doi.org/10.1080/00275514.2020.1759978.
Janik P. et al., (2020). “New protocol for successful isolation and amplification of DNA from exiguous fractions of specimens: a tool to overcome the basic obstacle in molecular analyses of myxomycetes”, PeerJ 8:e8406.
Ronikier A., Lado C. (2015). “Nivicolous Stemonitales from the Austral Andes: analysis of morphological variability, distribution and phenology as a first step toward testing the large-scale coherence of species and biogeographical properties”, Mycologia 107(2): 258–283.
Ronikier M., Ronikier A. (2011). “Rhizomarasmius epidryas (Physalacriaceae): the phylogenetic placement of an arctic-alpine fungus with obligate saprobic affinity to Dryas spp”, Mycologia 103(5): 1124–1132.
Michał Ronikier is employed at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS, where he earned his PhD (2005) and DSc (habilitation) (2014). Currently, he heads the Laboratory of Molecular Analyses and leads his own research group. He is a botanist and biogeographer, particularly interested in studying the structure and patterns of biodiversity and the dynamics of their changes in time and space, with the disjunctively distributed cold-adapted (high-mountain and polar) biota as a main model. He applies the latest molecular tools to unravel patterns of genetic diversity and divergence in cold-adapted organisms, understand the evolutionary processes shaping their historical biogeography and forecast potential scenarios of species’ response to ongoing climate changes. In his current work, he explores such approaches as comparative phylogeography and next-generation sequencing including museum genomics (museomics) and metabarcoding of environmental DNA, to extend sources of available biogeographical information.
Biodiversity, biogeography, evolution, phylogeography, alpine and polar biota.
Suchan T. et al. (2019). “Relict populations and Central European glacial refugia: the case of Rhododendron ferrugineum (Ericaceae)”, Journal of Biogeography 46: 392–404.
Tkach N. et al. (2019). “Contrasting evolutionary origins of two mountain endemics: Saxifraga wahlenbergii (Western Carpathians) and S. styriaca (Eastern Alps)”, BMC Evolutionary Biology 19: 18.
Saługa M. et al. (2018). “Do Antarctic populations represent local or widespread phylogenetic and ecological lineages? Complicated fate of bipolar moss concepts with Drepanocladus longifolius as a case study”, Organisms Diversity & Evolution 18: 263–278.
Mráz P., Ronikier M. (2016). “Biogeography of the Carpathians: evolutionary and spatial facets of biodiversity”, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 119: 528–559.
Ronikier M. et al. (2012). “The extreme disjunction between Beringia and Europe in Ranunculus glacialis s.l. (Ranunculaceae) does not coincide with the deepest genetic split – a story of the importance of temperate mountain ranges in arctic-alpine phylogeography”, Molecular Ecology 21: 5561–5578.
Błażej Ślązak has been an assistant professor at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS since 2015. He earned his PhD from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 2014, studying biologically active metabolites: alkaloids and circular peptides called cyclotides. He collaborates closely with the Pharmacognosy at Uppsala University, Sweden. Since 2012, he has spent almost 3 years working at Uppsala University as a post-doc and guest researcher and gained extensive experience in state-of-the-art analytical tools for natural products research and molecular biology. In 2015-2020, he has been awarded several grants and scholarships from Poland’s National Science Center (SONATA, MINIATURA), and foundations at Uppsala University such as the Regnells Foundation travel grant, the Tryggers Foundation 6-month post-doc scholarship, the Ahlquist Foundation grants for research exchange (Faculty of Pharmacy, Uppsala University) as well as a Polish Academy of Sciences grant for young researchers.
Chemical ecology, pharmacognosy, plant defense mechanisms, plant peptides.
Slazak B. et al. (2018). “How does the sweet Violet (Viola odorata L.) fight pathogens and pests – cyclotides as a comprehensive plant host defense system”, Front. Plant Sci. 9.
Slazak B. et al. (2016). “Immunolocalization of cyclotides in plant cells, tissues and organ supports their role in host defense”, Planta 244: 1029–1040.
Slazak B. et al. (2015). “Exogenous plant hormones and cyclotide expression in Viola uliginosa (Violaceae)”, Phytochemistry 117: 527–536.
Slazak B. et al. (2015). “Micropropagation of Viola uliginosa (Violaceae) for endangered species conservation and for somaclonal variation-enhanced cyclotide biosynthesis”, Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture 120: 179–190.
Lucyna Śliwa is a full professor at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS (since 2014). She earned her PhD from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She spent both a scholarship from the Kościuszko Foundation (1991) and a post-doctoral fellowship (2001) spent at the University of Minnesota (St. Paul). Her international collaboration has also included Arizona State University (Tempe), the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and most recently also Duke University. For over 10 years, she has headed the Department of Lichenology and been a curator of the lichen herbarium KRAM L. Currently she serves as director of the Institute. She has been a principal investigator, co-investigator or manager of numerous research projects funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, National Science Center, NSF, OTKA, DFG, and EU. Prior to her appointment at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS in 2003, for over 15 years Prof. Śliwa was a research staff member at the Institute of Botany of the Jagiellonian University.
Lichenology, systematics and biogeography of lichenized fungi.
Szczepańska K. et al. (2020). “Taxonomic recognition of some species-level lineages circumscribed in nominal Rhizoplaca subdiscrepans s. lat. (Lecanoraceae, Ascomycota)”, PeerJ, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.9555;
Zhao X. et al. (2016). “Towards a revised generic classification of lecanoroid lichens (Lecanoraceae, Ascomycota) based on molecular, morphological and chemical evidence”, Fungal Diversity 78: 293–304.
Śliwa L. et al. (2012). “Are widespread morphospecies from the Lecanora dispersa group (lichen-forming Ascomycota) monophyletic?”, Bryologist 115(2): 265–277.
Śliwa L. (2007). “A revision of the Lecanora dispersa complex in North America”, Polish Botanical Journal 52(1): 1–70.
Ryan B.D. et al. (2004). “Lecanora Ach. In: T.H. Nash III et all.” (eds.) Lichen flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert region. 2, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, pp. 176–286.
Renata Stachowicz-Rybka is a researcher at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany, PAS. She graduated in geology and biology from the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She received her PhD in biological sciences in 2005 and her DSc (habilitation) degree in 2016. Her main research interests are focused on reconstructing climate and environment changes in the Pleistocene and Holocene in Poland, Ukraine, and Germany based on the analysis of plant macroremains (fossil seeds, fruits, megaspores and others). She has investigated carpological floras of numerous sites dated to the Augustovian, Ferdynandovian, and Eemian interglacials.
Palaeobotany, plant macroremains, reconstruction of climate and environment changes, Pleistocene, Holocene.
Börner A. et al. (2018). “Palaeoecological investigations and 230Th/U dating of the Eemian Interglacial peat sequence from Neubrandenburg-Hinterste Mühle (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, NE Germany)”, Quaternary International 467: 62–78.
Stachowicz-Rybka R. et al. (2017). “New palaeoclimate reconstructions based on multidisciplinary investigation in the Ferdynandów 2011 stratotype site (Eastern Poland)”, Geological Quarterly, 61(2): 276–290.
Stachowicz-Rybka R. (2011). “Flora and vegetation changes on the basis of plant macroremains analysis from an early Pleistocene lake of the Augustów Plain, NE Poland”, Acta Palaeobotanica. 51(1): 39–104.
Stachowicz-Rybka R. et al. (2009). “Plant macrofossils and malacocoenoses of Quaternary mineral-organic sediments at Starunia palaeontological site and vicinity (Carpathian region, Ukraine)”, Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae. 79: 297–313.
Anna Stefanowicz has been an associate professor in ecology at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS since 2017. She earned her PhD from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 2009 and her DSc (habilitation) from the University of Łódź in 2017.
Ecology of forests, post-industrial areas, soil microorganisms and invasive plants.
Stefanowicz A.M. et al. (2020). “Large differences in biomass quantity and quality between invasive Reynoutria japonica and resident vegetation are not reflected in topsoil physicochemical properties”, Geoderma 368: 114307.
Zubek S. et al. (2020). “Solidago canadensis invasion in abandoned arable fields induces minor changes in soil properties and does not affect the performance of subsequent crops”, Land Degradation and Development 31: 334–345.
Stefanowicz A.M. et al. (2020), “Soil organic matter prevails over heavy metal pollution and vegetation as a factor shaping soil microbial communities at historical Zn-Pb mining sites”, Chemosphere 240: 124922.
Stanek M., Stefanowicz A.M. (2019). “Invasive Quercus rubra negatively affected soil microbial communities relative to native Quercus robur in a semi-natural forest”, Science of the Total Environment 696: 133977.
Stefanowicz A.M. et al. (2019). “Invasion of Rosa rugosa induced changes in soil nutrients and microbial communities of coastal sand dunes”, Science of the Total Environment 677: 340–349.
Agnieszka Wacnik is a professor at the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS (since 2015). She specializes in Quaternary palynology and paleoecology, holding a DSc (habilitation) degree obtained in 2013. She works on reconstructing past land cover and land use changes on a different spatial scales, based on fossil pollen and NPP data from lakes, bogs, and archaeological sites. Her interests focus on the long term perspective of the anthropogenic impact on vegetation, the exploitation of natural resources (especially wood material), cultural landscapes, and climate change during the Weichselian glaciation and Holocene in Central and Eastern Europe. She has been a leader, principal Investigator, co-investigator of numerous research projects granted by Poland’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education, National Science Center and from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU. She works in interdisciplinary, national and international cooperation. She has spent short-term research and training stays abroad, e.g. at Aix-Marseille Universite, France (1997); Virije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Holand (2004); the University of Bremen, Germany (2004); the University of Bern, Switzerland (2006). She also participated in the American-Italian archaeological expedition in Wadi Kubbaniya, Egypt (2012). For seven years (2013-2019), she taught students as a guest lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Rzeszów.
Palynology, palaeoecology, environmental archaeology, climate changes, the last glacial-interglacial cycle.
Wacnik A. et al. (2020). “Forests and foragers: exploitation of wood resources by Mesolithic and para-Neolithic societies in north-eastern Poland”, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, DOI: 10.1007/s00334-020-00778-y.
Żarczyński M. et al. (2019). “Tracing lake mixing and oxygenation regime using the Fe/Mn ratio in varved sediments: 2000 year-long record of human-induced changes from Lake Żabińskie (NE Poland)”, Science of the Total Environment 657: 585–596.
Dietze E. et al. (2018). “Holocene fire activity during low-natural flammability periods reveals scale-dependent cultural human-fire relationships in Europe”, Quaternary Science Reviews 201: 44–56.
Wacnik A. et al. (2016). “Determining the responses of vegetation to natural processes and human impacts in north-eastern Poland during the last millennium: combined pollen, geochemical and historical data”, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 25: 479–498.
Wacnik A. et al. (2015). “Development of modern forest zones in the Beskid Niski Mts. and adjacent area (Western Carpathians) in the late Holocene: a palaeobotanical perspective”, Quaternary International 415: 303–324.
Magdalena Żywiec is an ecologist. Her study focuses on evolutionary and forest ecology. She earned her PhD in biological sciences in 2004, followed by her DSc (habilitation) degree in 2013. In 2016, she received an Individual Fellowship of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (Horizon 2020) and for two years she studied tree generation replacement in a European natural forest at the University of Lisbon. She has participated (as a leader or researcher) in 11 research projects, both national and international. Her major achievement was to determine several evolutionary and ecological factors controlling tree reproduction. Currently, she is leading a project relating individual plants’ masting behavior to their reproductive success.
Mast seeding, plant-animal interactions, forest ecology.
Bogdziewicz M. et al. (2019). “Environmental veto synchronizes mast seeding in four contrasting tree species”, American Naturalist 194: 246-259. DOI:10.1086/704111.
Żywiec M. et al. (2019). “Non-trophic plant–animal interactions mediate positive density dependence among conspecific saplings”, Oikos 128: 1041–1050.
Żywiec M. et at. (2018). “Rare events of massive plant reproductive investment lead to long-term density-dependent reproductive success”, Journal of Ecology 106: 1307–1318.
Żywiec M. et al. (2016). “Long-term effect of temperature and precipitation on radial growth in a threatened thermo-Mediterranean tree population”, Trees – Structure and Function. 31: 491–501.
Żywiec M. et al. (2013). “Reproductive success of individuals with different fruit production patterns. What does it mean for the predator satiation hypothesis?”, Oecologia 172: 461ؘ–467.