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Anthropocene Biology Lab

Our research focuses on the study of the ecology & evolution of living organisms in the Anthropocene - a human-dominated period considerably impacting the Earth's ecosystems. In particular, we look for patterns and processes associated with the natural variation of wild organisms living in a gradient of environments - from primary and secondary forests to suburban and urban areas.

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Eukaryotic Microorganisms

The main focus of our team’s research is eukaryotic microorganisms, with special emphasis on autotrophic euglenids. The topics of our research encompass such disciplines as taxonomy, phylogenetics, ecology, evolution, genetics and genomics. The team consists of three groups: Molecular biology of euglenids, Evolution and genomics of eukaryotic microorganisms and Taxonomy, phylogenetics and evolution of euglenids.

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The topic of our interest above all are evolutionary old lineages of land fungi as well as their widely comprehended interactions with bacteria. Mucorales are commonly found in various habitats all around the world. The vast majority of them are organisms which degrade dead organic matter. In recent years it has been discovered that the hyphae of some Mucorales may contain bacteria on the inside. However, the diversity and factors influencing the frequency of occurrence or the effect on the host of these bacteria remains poorly understood.

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Laboratory of Structural Bioinformatics

The amount of available biological data, originating from various experimental procedures (genome and transcriptome sequencing, structure determination, functional assays), is vast. In our group, we employ computational techniques, such as deep learning, molecular dynamics simulations, and sequence analysis to make use of this data. We are particularly interested in understanding how protein folds have emerged and how protein structures and functions are encoded by the alphabet of 20 amino acids.

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Plant Phylogeny and Evolution

We focus on the phylogenetics, evolution, taxonomy and biogeography of plants, specifically those from a very economically important family Apiaceae, which includes crops such as carrot, celery, parsley, fennel, dill, coriander, aniseed and others. Though our research is not applicable, the understanding of the evolutionary relationships between crops and their wild brethren is vital for agriculture and biotechnology.

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Vertebrate Paleobiology

Evolution and functional biology of reptiles - Evolution and development of conodonts - Triassic ecosystems - Origins of animals in the fossil record - Origin of molluscs - Biogeography, evolution and embryogenesis of water fleas

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Our main research focuses on macroevolution particularly on the relative contributions of biotic interactions (e.g., parasitism) and abiotic factors (e.g., climate) in driving large-scale patterns in the evolution of life. Other interests are quantitative methods in paleontology and paleobiology in general. Our main tools for these purposes range from body fossils of marine invertebrates including mollusks and helminths to trace fossils and paleopathologies. Our current project focuses on the impact of climate warming and extinction on parasite-host interactions and disease.

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Institute of Evolutionary Biology

Eucaryotic Microorganisms * Plant Phylogeny and Evolution * Mycology * Paleobiology * Bioinformatics * Wild Urban Evolution and Ecology

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