copyright Stanisław & Julia Pagacz


Opportunity for Ukrainian researchers

March 2022

We're looking for biologists with Ph.D. (or equivalent) who worked at Ukrainian universities/research centers before the war and have sought or will seek refuge in Poland. We are able to offer a full-time post-doc position for up to a year in Poznań (Adam Mickiewicz University) funded by a National Science Centre grant. We study mostly plant-animal interactions (this is also the theme of the grant: rodents as seed predators and dispersers), but are broadly interested in ecological interactions in forested ecosystems. Email me for details and formal requirements of our funding agency: rafal.zwolak[at]

[graphics: Aleksander Małachowski]


Our research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

March 2022

Seed masting is a reproductive strategy in which plants produce massive amounts of seeds in some years, but very few in other years. The seed predator satiation hypothesis states this strategy ensures plant reproductive success by overwhelming seed predators with an excess of seeds. We conducted a meta-analysis of 48 studies published over four decades to evaluate this notion. We found that seed predator satiation is high in mast years following years of low seed production; that satiation is greater at higher latitudes, where plant diversity is relatively low; and that masting may be losing its efficacy as a reproductive strategy, likely due to the effects of climate change on masting intensity and frequency. [pdf]


Sarah Serafini received "Preludium" grant!

November 2021

National Science Centre in Poland awarded "Preludium" grants. Sarah Sarafini is one of the recipients! She will investigate factors that drive the recruitment of native and invasive trees in broadleaved forests of western Poland.


Article on Eurasian jays and invasive oaks in Forest Ecology and Management

November 2021

We published an article on factors influencing the decisions of jays that disperse red oak acorns. Elongated acorns of the invasive oak were more likely to be dispersed than round ones. The dispersal was also more likely when the invasive acorns co-occurred with native ones [pdf].


Paulina Celebias in the United States

September 2021

Paulina Celebias is visiting Wilkes University (Pennsylvania), where she will study acorn dispersal by squirrels. This research will be conducted in collaboration with prof. Michael Steele and his lab.



Field work in Swiss Alps

August 2021

We are conducting a research project in collaboration with Aleksandra Wróbel. For many years, she was a key member of our lab. Now Aleksandra works at the University of Life Sciences in Poznań. We are going to find out what is the role of rodents in the recruitment of Swiss stone pine.


Aleksandra Wróbel finishes ultramarathon in Bieszczady Mountains

October 2018

Here's Wróbel, after fifty-two kilometers in "the Poland's wildest mountain range":



Paulina Celebias joins our lab

July 2018

Paulina Celebias was accepted for a PhD program at our Department. She will be co-advised by Michał Bogdziewicz (a former member of our lab) and her research project will be on the influence of seed consumption on the recruitment of Northern red oak (invasive in Poland).


Our research published in Journal of Mammalogy

June 2018

We show how beech masting indirectly affects rodents that live above the elevational treeline in the Carpathian Mountains (link) (pdf).


Paula Bednarz wins medals

April 2018

When not working on her PhD, Paula Bednarz is rowing, and her team just won a Bronze Medal at the Polish Academic Championship in indoor rowing. Congratulations!



Publication on the cover of Biological Reviews

February 2018

Biological Reviews published my article on the importance of individual variation for interactions between plants and seed dispersing animals (link) (pdf). My goal was to provide a general framework and specific recommendations to guide future work in this novel research area.


Seminar at University of California, Davis

January 2018

Rafał Zwolak was invited to give a talk in the Ecology and Evolution Seminar Series at the University of California in Davis. The talk, entitled "How decisions of scatterhoarders influence tree recruitment", was a synthesis of our recent research on plant-granivore interactions.


Polish Press Agency writes about our research

August 2017

Polish Press Agency published an interview with Rafał Zwolak, who was talking about animal personalities and their ecological consequences (link).


Paula Bednarz started internship in Canada

June 2017

Paula Bednarz has started an intership in Denis Réale lab (Université de Montréal). Have fun - and good luck!


Article by Michał Bogdziewicz receives recognition from PAS

May 2017

A publication ""Effects of nitrogen deposition on reproduction in a masting tree: benefits of higher seed production are trumped by negative biotic interactions" (link) received honorable mention in a competition for the best research article published by a PhD student. The competition was held by Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS)


Our research published in Integrative Zoology

May 2017

Aleksandra Wróbel conducted a set of experiments where she manipulated the composition of rodent communities in Harvard Forest, USA. It turned out that even slight alterations in disperser communities translate into considerable changes in the fate of red oak acorns - and potentially in oak recrutiment (link).


Michał Bogdziewicz, PhD!

April 2017

Michal Bogdziewicz successfuly defended his PhD thesis entitled "Plant-animal interactions in dynamic environments: how tree masting and nitrogen deposition affect consumer populations, seed dispersal and seed predation". Great job, congratulations!


Our research published in Animal Behaviour

April 2017

What is the origin of animal personalities? According to one of the explanations, social interactions are the key because personalities develop when different individuals interact with each other and play different social roles. Our recent research on shrews (link) supports this notion: we found a strong evidence of personalities in the gregarious species (the Mediterranean water shrew) and much weaker personality differences in three other, asocial species of shrews.


Fulbright Scholarship

February 2017

I received the Fulbright Program award that will allow me to spend 9 months at University of California, Davis. I will work with Andy Sih on the influence of persistent behavioral differences (a.k.a. "animal personalities") on the dynamics and outcome of plant-animal interactions.


New research grant!

November 2016

Milena Zduniak received a National Science Centre "Preludium" grant to investigate the connection between behavioral syndromes in yellow-necked mice and their parasite loads. Congratulations! She will start working on it once she's back from South Africa, where she's employed as a field assistant.


Position available

November 2016

Position of a research technician is available at the Department of Systematic Zoology. Details here.

artso web design