Supervisors from Institute of Nature Conservation

Institute of Nature Conservation




Aleksandra Biedrzycka works at the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences (INC PAS), where she has been an associate professor since 2018. She received Marie Curie fellowships from the University of Barcelona and University of Newcastle, UK. Her main research interests focus on factors shaping the genetic diversity of wild populations. She studies mechanisms shaping the diversity of immune-related genes, including major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, in endangered and invasive mammal populations. She is also interested in using metabarcoding methods to answer questions related to biological invasions and pathogen detection. She has led 5 scientific projects funded by Poland’s National Science Centre and one by the Foundation for Polish Science. She has supervised a number of master’s students.


Research interests:

Population genetics, genomics, evolution of functional diversity, endangered species, biological invasions.


Major publications:

Biedrzycka A., Popiołek M., Zalewski A. (2020). “Host-parasite interactions in non-native invasive species are dependent on the levels of standing genetic variation at the immune locus”, BMC Evolutionary Biology 20: 43. DOI: 10.1186/s12862-020-01610-x.

Biedrzycka A., Konopiński M., Hoffman E., Trujillo A., Zalewski A. (2019). “Comparing raccoon major histocompatibility complex diversity in native and introduced ranges: Evidence for the importance of functional immune diversity for adaptation and survival in novel environments”, Evolutionary Applications 00: 1-16, DOI: 10.1111/eva.12898.

Biedrzycka A., Bielański W., Ćmiel A., Solarz W., Zając T., Migalska M., Sebastian A., Westerdahl H., Radwan J. (2018). “Blood parasites shape extreme major histocompatibility complex diversity in a migratory passerine”, Molecular Ecology 27 (11): 2594-2603. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14592.

Biedrzycka A., O’Connor E., Sebastian A., Migalska M., Radwan J., Zając T., Bielański W., Solarz W., Ćmiel A., Westerdahl H. (2017). “Extreme MHC class I diversity in the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus); selection patterns and allelic divergence suggest that different genes have different functions”, BMC Evolutionary Biology 17: 159: 1-12, DOI: 10.1186/s12862-017-0997-9.

Biedrzycka A., Sebastian A., Migalska M., Westerdahl H., Radwan J. (2017). “Testing genotyping strategies for ultra‐deep sequencing of a co‐amplifying gene family: MHC class I in a passerine bird”, Molecular Ecology Resources 17: 642-655, DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12612.



Nuria Selva works at the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences (INC PAS). She is a conservation biologist specialized in trophic and community ecology, with a special focus on large carnivores, mainly the brown bear, scavengers and seed dispersers. She is also interested in global change effects on ecosystems and species and in conservation policies, such as the protection of roadless areas.


Research Interests:

Large carnivores, carrion ecology, stable isotopes, roadless areas, conservation biology.


Major Publications:

Selva N., Fortuna M.A. (2007). “The nested structure of a scavenger community”, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 274: 1101-1108.

Ibisch P.L., Hoffmann M.T., Kreft S., Pe’er G., Kati V., Biber-Freudenberger L., DellaSala D.A., Vale M.M., Hobson P.R., Selva N. (2016). “A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status”, Science 354 (6318): 1423-1427.

Selva N., Teitelbaum C.S., Sergiel A., Zwijacz-Kozica T., Zięba F., Bojarska K., Mueller T. (2017). “Supplementary ungulate feeding affects movement behavior of brown bears”, Basic and Applied Ecology 24: 68-76.

Bautista C., Revilla E., Naves J., Albrecht J., Fernández N., Olszańska A., Adamec M., Berezowska-Cnota T., Ciucci P., Groff C., Härkönen S., Huber D., Jerina K., Jonozovičk M., Karamanlidis A.A., Palazón S., Quenette P.-Y-, Rigg R., Seijas J., Swenson J.E., Talvi T., Selva N. (2019). “Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention programs”, Biological Conservation 235: 308-316.

Selva N., Chylarecki P., Jonsson B.G., Ibisch P.L. (2010). “Misguided forest action in EU Biodiversity Strategy”, Science 368: 1438-1439.





Agnieszka Sergiel is a zoologist, with a PhD in biological sciences. She graduated from the University of Wrocław, Poland, with a thesis on stereotypic behavior and physiological indicators of stress in captive bears. She has been working on bears since 2002, initially focusing on physiological and behavioral effects of stress and then expanding into ecology. Currently, she is an assistant professor at the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences (INC PAS) in Kraków. In her professional work she is engaged in expert associations (councilor and member of the International Association of Bear Research and Management, member of IUCN/SCC Bear Specialist Group). She is an associate editor of the journal Ursus and senior editor of Scientific Reports. In her scientific work, she currently focuses on the ecology of stress in free-living populations, population health assessment, the welfare of captive bears, cognitive ethology and chemical communication in mammals.


Research interests:

Stress physiology and ecophysiology; behavioral and physiological indicators of stress in vertebrates; mammalian ethology and cognition; chemical communication.


Major publications:  

Lazarus M., Orct T., Sergiel A., Vranković L., Filipović Marijić V., Rašić D., Reljić S., Aladrović J., Zwijacz-Kozica T., Zięba F., Jurasović J., Erk M., Maślak R., Selva N., Huber Đ. (2020). “Metal(loid) exposure assessment and biomarker responses in captive and free-ranging European brown bears (Ursus arctos)”, Environmental Research 183: 109166.

Sergiel A., Cattet M., Kapronczai L., Janz D. M., Selva N., Bartoń K. A., Swenson J. E., Zedrosser A., (2020).Do follicles matter? Testing the effect of follicles on hair cortisol levels”, Conservation Physiology 18(1): coaa003.

Sienkiewicz T., Sergiel A., Huber D., Maślak R., Wrzosek M., Podgórski P., Reljić S., Paśko Ł. (2019). “The brain anatomy of the brown bear (Carnivora, Ursus arctos L., 1758) compared to that of other carnivorans: a cross-sectional study using MRI”, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 13: 79.

Tucker M.A., Böhning-Gaese K., Fagan W.F., Fryxell J.M., Van Moorter B, Alberts S.C., Ali A.H., Allen A.M., Attias N., Avgar T., Bartlam-Brooks H., Bayarbaatar B., Belant J.L., Bertassoni A., Beyer D., Bidner L., van Beest F.M., Blake S., Blaum N., Bracis C., Brown D., de Bruyn P.J.N., Cagnacci F., Calabrese J.M., Camilo-Alves C., Chamaillé-Jammes S., Chiaradia A., Davidson S.C., Dennis T., DeStefano S., Diefenbach D., Douglas-Hamilton I., Fennessy J., Fichtel C., Fiedler W., Fischer C., Fischhoff I., Fleming C.H., Ford A.T., Fritz S.A., Gehr B., Goheen J.R., Gurarie E., Hebblewhite M., Heurich M., Hewison A.J.M., Hof C., Hurme E., Isbell L.A., Janssen R., Jeltsch F., Kaczensky P., Kane A., Kappeler P.M., Kauffman M., Kays R., Kimuyu D., Koch F., Kranstauber B., LaPoint S., Leimgruber P., Linnell J.D.C., López-López P., Markham A.C., Mattisson J., Medici E.P., Mellone U., Merrill E., de Miranda Mourão G., Morato R.G., Morellet N., Morrison T.A., Díaz-Muñoz S.L., Mysterud A., Nandintsetseg D., Nathan R., Niamir A., Odden J., O’Hara R.B., Oliveira-Santos L.G.R., Olson K.A., Patterson B.D., de Paula R.C., Pedrotti L., Reineking B., Rimmler M., Rogers T.L., Rolandsen C.M., Rosenberry C.S.,  Rubenstein D.I., Safi K., Saïd S., Sapir N., Sawyer H., Schmidt N.M., Selva N., Sergiel A., Shiilegdamba E., Silva J.P., Singh N., Solberg E.J., Spiegel O., Strand O., Sundaresan S., Ullmann W., Voigt U., Wall J., Wattles D., Wikelski M., Wilmers C.C., Wilson J.W., Wittemyer G., Zięba F., Zwijacz-Kozica T., Mueller T. (2018). “Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements”, Science 359: 466-469.

Sergiel A., Naves J., Kujawski P., Maślak R., Serwa E., Ramos D., Fernández-Gil A., Revilla E., Zwijacz-Kozica T., Zięba F., Painer J., Selva N. (2017). “Histological, chemical and behavioural evidence of pedal communication in brown bears”, Scientific Reports 7: 1052.



Piotr Skorka is an associate professor at the the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences (INC PAS), where he has headed the Department of Biodiversity since 2016. He earned his PhD from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He has been a member of the British Ecological Society and PAS Committee on Environmental and Evolutionary Biology. He is also a member of a panel of experts advising the National Science Centre, Poland and the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. He has supervised four PhD candidates. Skórka has published over 100 scientific papers and 5 book chapters. He has led five research projects. His research interests embrace ecology, evolution, biogeography and the behavior of birds, butterflies, ants and plants.


Research interests:

Biogeography, conservation biology, ecology, evolution, ornithology, entomology.


Major publications:

Skórka P., Żmihorski M., Grzędzicka E., Martyka R., Sutherland W. J. (2018). “The role of churches in maintaining bird diversity: A case study from southern Poland”, Biological Conservation 226: 280-287.

Skórka P. (2016). “The detectability and persistence of road-killed butterflies: An experimental study”, Biological Conservation 200: 36-43.

Skórka P., Lenda M., Sutherland W.J. (2016). “Response of young and adult birds to the same environmental variables and different spatial scales during post breeding period”, Landscape Ecology 31: 2063-2078.

Skórka P., Lenda M., Moroń D., Martyka R., Tryjanowski P., Sutherland W. J. (2015). “Biodiversity collision blackspots in Poland: separation causality from stochasticity in roadkills of butterflies”, Biological Conservation 187: 154-163.

Skórka P., Lenda M., Moron D., Tryjanowski P. (2013). “New methods of crop production and farmland birds: effects of plastic mulches on species richness and abundance”, Journal of Applied Ecology 50: 1387-1396.



Elżbieta Wilk-Woźniak is an associate professor at the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences (INC PAS) and head of the Karol Starmach Freshwater Biology Department since 2012. She studied as an undergraduate at Jagiellonian University and then earned her PhD from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. She is a member of the Polish Phycological Society (also its vice-president), the British Phycological Society and the Society for Conservation Biology. She has supervised two PhD candidates. She has published over 60 scientific papers, 3 monographs and over 25 book and monograph chapters, in addition to editing 2 books. She has led four research projects and one LIFE project. Her research interests embrace the ecology of phytoplankton and cyanobacterial blooms.


Research interests:

Ecology of phytoplankton, cyanobacterial blooms, alien and invasive species, eDNA, conservation of freshwater habitats, stable isotopes.


Major publications:

Solarz W., Najberek K., Wilk-Woźniak E., Biedrzycka A. (2020). “Raccoons foster the spread of freshwater and terrestrial microorganisms – Mammals as a source of microbial eDNA”, Diversity and Distributions 26 (4): 453-459.

Wilk-Woźniak E., et al. (2019). “Effects of the environs of waterbodies on aquatic plants in oxbow lakes (habitat 3150)”, Ecological Indicators 98: 736-742

Mantzouki E., Lurling M., Fastner J., de Senerpont Domis L., Wilk-Woźniak E., Koreiviene J., Seelen L., Teurlinck S., Verstijnen Y., Krztoń W., Walusiak E., et al. (2018). “Temperature Effects Explain Continental Scale Distribution of Cyanobacterial Toxins”, Toxins 10 (156): 1-24.

Wilk-Woźniak E., Solarz W., Najberek K., Pociecha A. (2016). “Alien cyanobacteria: an unsolved part of the ‘expansion and evolution’ jigsaw puzzle?”, Hydrobiologia 764 (1): 65-79.

Wilk-Woźniak E., Pociecha A., Amirowicz A., Gąsiorowski M., Gadzinowska J. (2014). “Do planktonic rotifers rely on terrestrial organic matter as a food source in reservoir ecosystems?”, International Review of Hydrobiology 99 (1-2): 157-160.