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prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Spalik

Scientific interests

Our team focuses 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. For instance, the wild species of carrot (Daucus spp.) identified by us may work as a genetic diversity reservoir for the cultivation of new varieties of the domesticated carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus). Furthermore, the phylogenetically accurate classification system of the Thapsia and Ferula genera devised by us is an unparalleled aid for the researches searching for new biologically active substances, specifically cytostatic ones, which these plants are rich in.

Our current main project is „ Ecological factors and developmental preconditions shaping the evolution of secondary woodiness in the umbellifer subfamily Apioideae” (more information). Concurrently, we work on the phylogenetics and taxonomy of Apiaceae. The main projects and their published results may be found 0n my ResearchGate profile. An updated publication list, together with quotations, is also available on Google Scholar.

Organisational experience

Currently I hold the office of the Dean at the Faculty of Biology as well as of the head of the Scientific Council of the Biological-Chemical Research Centre. I also lead the Committee of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology PAS.  In the past I held the offices of the head of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Botany UW and – for two terms of office – the deputy head of the Committee for Evolutionary and Theoretical Biology PAS.  I was also a member many times in expert panels for the National Science Centre Poland (NZ8), Ministry of Science and Higher Education and Ministry of Education and Science.

Didactics and popularization

I am a co-coordinator of the following subjects: Botany, Ecological education: theory and practiceEvolutionism (for B&SB), Mechanisms of  evolution II, Methods of contemporary taxonomy. I also teach classes as part of the following subjects: Practical botany, Biodiversity, Flora and fauna. I like to teach, which is why one of my most important distinctions is the title of Academic Teacher of the Year at UW, in the field of exact and natural sciences, which I was awarded in 2013.

You may see the recording of my lecture on youtube

My texts on popular science may be found here, among others.

Since a long time ago, I take part in educational research, collaborating with the Institute of Educational Research (Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych), which carries out the national edition of the international PISA OECD research. I am also an expert in the Central Examination Board.



Piwczyński, Marcin; Trzeciak, Paulina; Popa, Madalina-Oana; Pabijan, Maciej; Corral, José María; Spalik, Krzysztof; Grzywacz, Andrzej

Using RAD seq for reconstructing phylogenies of highly diverged taxa: A test using the tribe Scandiceae (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 59 (1), pp. 58-72, 2021.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Frankiewicz, Kamil E; Banasiak, Łukasz; Oskolski, Alexei; Reduron, Jean-Pierre; Reyes-Betancort, Jorge Alfredo; Alsarraf, Mohammed; Trzeciak, Paulina; Spalik, Krzysztof

Long-distance dispersal events rather than growth habit and life-history traits affect diversification rate in tribe Apieae (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2021, ISSN: 0024-4074, (boab032).

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Frankiewicz, Kamil E; Oskolski, Alexei; Banasiak, Łukasz; Fernandes, Francisco; Reduron, Jean-Pierre; Reyes-Betancort, Jorge-Alfredo; Szczeparska, Liliana; Alsarraf, Mohammed; Baczyński, Jakub; Spalik, Krzysztof

Parallel evolution of arborescent carrots (Daucus) in Macaronesia Journal Article

American Journal of Botany, 107 (3), pp. 394-412, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Wojewódzka, Aneta; Baczyński, Jakub; Banasiak, Łukasz; Downie, Stephen R; Czarnocka-Cieciura, Agnieszka; Gierek, Michał; Frankiewicz, Kamil; Spalik, Krzysztof

Evolutionary shifts in fruit dispersal syndromes in Apiaceae tribe Scandiceae Journal Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution, 305 (5), pp. 401–414, 2019, ISSN: 0378-2697, 2199-6881.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Spalik, Krzysztof; Wojewódzka, Aneta; Constantinidis, Theophanis; Downie, Stephen R; Gierek, Michał; Banasiak, Łukasz

Laserocarpum, a new genus of Apiaceae endemic to Greece Journal Article

Acta Soc Bot Pol, pp. 9, 2019.

Abstract | BibTeX


Panahi, Mehrnoush; Banasiak, Łukasz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Puchałka, Radosław; Kanani, Mohammad Reza; Oskolski, Alexei A; Modnicki, Daniel; Miłobędzka, Aleksandra; Spalik, Krzysztof

Taxonomy of the traditional medicinal plant genus Ferula (Apiaceae) is confounded by incongruence between nuclear rDNA and plastid DNA Journal Article

Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 188 (2), pp. 173–189, 2018, ISSN: 0024-4074, 1095-8339.

Links | BibTeX

Spalik, Krzysztof

Apiaceae Book

2018, ISBN: 978-3-319-93604-8, (Publication Title: Flowering Plants. Eudicots).

Links | BibTeX


Banasiak, Łukasz; Wojewódzka, Aneta; Baczyński, Jakub; Reduron, Jean-Pierre; Piwczyński, Marcin; Kurzyna-Młynik, Renata; Gutaker, Rafał; Czarnocka-Cieciura, Agnieszka; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Spalik, Krzysztof

Phylogeny of Apiaceae subtribe Daucinae and the taxonomic delineation of its genera Journal Article

Taxon, 65 (3), pp. 563–585, 2016, ISSN: 0040-0262.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Kadereit, J W; Albach, D C; Ehrendorfer, F; Galbany-Casals, M; Garcia-Jacas, N; Gehrke, B; Kadereit, G; Kilian, N; Klein, J T; Koch, M A; Kropf, M; Oberprieler, C; Pirie, M D; Ritz, C M; Röser, M; Spalik, K; Susanna, A; Weigend, M; Welk, E; Wesche, K; Zhang, L -B; Dillenberger, M S

Which changes are needed to render all genera of the German flora monophyletic? Journal Article

Willdenowia, 46 (1), pp. 39–91, 2016.



Panahi, Mehrnoush; Banasiak, Łukasz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Puchałka, Radosław; Oskolski, Alexei A; Spalik, Krzysztof

Phylogenetic relationships among textitDorema , textitFerula and textitLeutea (Apiaceae: Scandiceae: Ferulinae) inferred from nrDNA ITS and cpDNA noncoding sequences Journal Article

Taxon, 64 (4), pp. 770–783, 2015, ISSN: 0040-0262.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Piwczyński, Marcin; Puchałka, Radosław; Spalik, Krzysztof

The infrageneric taxonomy of Chaerophyllum (Apiaceae) revisited: new evidence from nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS sequences and fruit anatomy Journal Article

Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 178 (2), pp. 298–313, 2015.



Spalik, Krzysztof; Banasiak, Łukasz; Feist, Mary Ann E; Downie, Stephen R

Recurrent short-distance dispersal explains wide distributions of hydrophytic umbellifers (Apiaceae tribe Oenantheae) Journal Article

Journal of Biogeography, 41 (8), pp. 1559–1571, 2014, ISSN: 03050270.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Weitzel, Corinna; Rønsted, Nina; Spalik, Krzysztof; Simonsen, Henrik Toft

Resurrecting deadly carrots: towards a revision of Thapsia (Apiaceae) based on phylogenetic analysis of nrITS sequences and chemical profiles Journal Article

Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2014.

Links | BibTeX

Spalik, Krzysztof

Pre-Linnaean herbaria viva of Helwing in the collections of the National Library of Poland and the University of Warsaw Journal Article

Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae, 83 (1), pp. 13–16, 2014.



Banasiak, Łukasz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Uliński, Tomasz; Downie, Stephen R; Watson, Mark F; Shakya, Bandana; Spalik, Krzysztof

Dispersal patterns in space and time: a case study of Apiaceae subfamily Apioideae Journal Article

Journal of Biogeography, 40 (7), pp. 1324–1335, 2013, (Number: 7).

Links | BibTeX


Grzebelus, Dariusz; Barański, Rafał; Spalik, Krzysztof; Allender, Charlotte; Simon, Philipp W

Chapter 7. Daucus Incollection

Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources, Vegetables, pp. 91–113, 2011.


Bone, T S; Downie, S R; Affolter, J M; Spalik, K

A phylogenetic and biogeographic study of the genus Lilaeopsis (Apiaceae Tribe Oenantheae) Journal Article

Systematic Botany, 36 (3), pp. 789–805, 2011.



Downie, Stephen R; Spalik, Krzysztof; Katz-Downie, Deborah S; Reduron, Jean-Pierre

Major clades within Apiaceae subfamily Apioideae as inferred by phylogenetic analysis of nrDNA ITS sequences Journal Article

Plant Diversity and Evolution, 128 (1), pp. 111–136, 2010.


Spalik, K; Piwczyński, M; Danderson, C A; Kurzyna-Młynik, R; Bone, T S; Downie, S R

Amphitropic amphiantarctic disjunctions in Apiaceae subfamily Apioideae Journal Article

Journal of Biogeography, 37 (10), pp. 1977–1994, 2010.



Spalik, K; Downie, S R; Watson, M F

Generic delimitations within the Sium alliance (Apiaceae tribe Oenantheae) inferred from cpDNA rps16-5′trnK (UUU) and nrDNA ITS sequences Journal Article

Taxon, 58 (3), pp. 735–748, 2009.



Kurzyna-Młynik, R; Oskolski, A A; Downie, S R; Kopacz, R; Wojewódzka, A; Spalik, K

Phylogenetic position of the genus Ferula (Apiaceae) and its placement in tribe Scandiceae as inferred from nrDNA ITS sequence variation Journal Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution, 2008.

Links | BibTeX


Spalik, K; Downie, S R

Intercontinental disjunctions in Cryptotaenia (Apiaceae, Oenantheae): An appraisal using molecular data Journal Article

Journal of Biogeography, 34 (12), pp. 2039–2054, 2007.



Spalik, Krzysztof; Downie, Stephen R

The evolutionary history of Sium sensu lato (Apiaceae): dispersal, vicariance, and domestication as inferred from ITS rDNA phylogeny. Journal Article

American Journal of Botany, 93 (5), 2006.

Links | BibTeX


Spalik, Krzysztof

Molecular systematics of the trans-Pacific alpine genus Oreomyrrhis (Apiaceae): phylogenetic affinities and biogeographic implications. Journal Article

American Journal of Botany, 2005.

Links | BibTeX


Hardway, T M; Spalik, K; Watson, M F; Katz-Downie, D S; Downie, S R

Circumscription of Apiaceae tribe Oenantheae Journal Article

South African Journal of Botany, 70 (3), pp. 393–406, 2004.


Spalik, K; Reduron, J -P; Downie, S R

The phylogenetic position of Peucedanum sensu lato and allied genera and their placement in tribe Selineae (Apiaceae, subfamily Apioideae) Journal Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution, 243 (3-4), pp. 189–210, 2004.



Stankovic, A; Spalik, K; Kamler, E; Borsuk, P; Weglenski, P

Recent origin of sub-Antarctic notothenioids Journal Article

Polar Biology, 25 (3), pp. 203–205, 2002.



Spalik, K; Wojewódzka, A; Downie, S R

Delimitation of genera in Apiaceae with examples from Scandiceae subtribe Scandicinae Journal Article

Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 58 (2), pp. 331–346, 2001.


Katana, A; Kwiatowski, J; Spalik, K; Zakryś, B; Szalacha, E; Szymańska, H

Phylogenetic position of Koliella (chlorophyta) as inferred from nuclear and chloroplast small subunit rDNA Journal Article

Journal of Phycology, 37 (3), pp. 443–451, 2001.


Spalik, K; Wojewódzka, A; Downie, S R

The evolution of fruit in Scandiceae subtribe Scandicinae (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Canadian Journal of Botany, 79 (11), pp. 1358–1374, 2001.


Spalik, K; Downie, S R

The utility of morphological characters for inferring phylogeny in Scandiceae subtribe Scandicinae (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 88 (2), pp. 270–301, 2001.


Downie, S R; Plunkett, G M; Watson, M F; Spalik, K; Katz-Downie, D S; Valiejo-Roman, C M; Terentieva, E I; Troitsky, A V; Lee, B; Lahham, J; El-Oqlah, A

Tribes and clades within Apiaceae subfamily Apioideae: the contribution of molecular data Journal Article

Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 58 (02), pp. 301–330, 2001, (Publisher: Cambridge Univ Press).



Downie, S R; Katz-Downie, D S; Spalik, K

A phylogeny of Apiaceae tribe Scandiceae: Evidence from nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer sequences Journal Article

American Journal of Botany, 87 (1), pp. 76–95, 2000.


Downie, S R; Watson, M F; Spalik, K; Katz-Downie, D S

Molecular systematics of Old World Apioideae (Apiaceae): Relationships among some members of tribe Peucedaneae sensu lato, the placement of several island-endemic species, and resolution within the apioid superclade Journal Article

Canadian Journal of Botany, 78 (4), pp. 506–528, 2000.



Spalik, Krzysztof

Influence of the size and density of Carpinus betulus on the spatial distribution and rate of deletion of forest-floor species in thermophilous oak forest. Book

1997, (Publication Title: Plant Ecology).

Links | BibTeX

Spalik, Krzysztof

Revision of Anthriscus (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Polish Botanical Studies, 13 , 1997.



Spalik, Krzysztof

Species boundaries, phylogenetic relationships, and ecological differentiation in Anthriscus (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution, 199 (1-2), pp. 17–32, 1996.



Reduron, J -P; Spalik, K

The genus Anthriscus (Apiaceae) in the French flora textbar Le genre Anthriscus (Apiaceae) dans la flore francaise Journal Article

Acta Botanica Gallica, 142 (1), pp. 55–96, 1995.


Spalik, Krzysztof

Typification of the Boissier names in Anthriscus Pers. (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 119 (1), pp. 77–86, 1995.



Spalik, K; Woodell, S R

Regulation of pollen production in Anthriscus sylvestris, an andromonoecious species Journal Article

International Journal of Plant Sciences, 55 (6), pp. 750–754, 1994.



Spalik, Krzysztof

On evolution of andromonoecy and 'overproduction' of flowers: a resource allocation model Journal Article

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 42 (3), pp. 325–336, 1991.



Spalik, Krzysztof; Jarvis, Charles E

Typification of Linnaean Names Now in Anthriscus (Apiaceae) Journal Article

Taxon, 38 (2), pp. 288, 1989.