Research group Ecology of Aquatic Habitats and Organisms represents the Department of Hydrobiology of the Faculty of Biology UW.

This group works on issues in broadly understood ecology of aquatic habitats and organisms and carries out research:

  • in different types of water bodies (small temporary water bodies, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers),
  • in different zones of a water body (littoral, profundal and pelagic zones),
  • on different organisms (algae, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates),
  • on different levels of organization (from the molecular level, via an individual, a population, a biocenosis, to an ecosystem),
  • in the laboratory and in the field, in different areas of Poland (i.a. the Vistula River, Warsaw, the Masurian Lake District, the Tatra Mountains).


Professor Joanna Pijanowska



Professor Joanna Pijanowska,
phone:+ 4822 55 26597;
+ 48 22 55 26518;
CNBCh UW,room number 5.06.

Anna Bednarska Ph.D.
professor Piotr Dawidowicz
professor Z. Maciej Gliwicz
Anna Hankiewicz M.Sc.
Andrzej Kołodziejczyk Ph.D.
Paweł Koperski D.Sc.
Piotr Maszczyk M.Sc.
Jolanta Melaniuk
Andrzej Mikulski Ph.D.
Elżbieta Minkowska
Teresa Ozimek Ph.D.
professor Ewa Pieczyńska
Barbara Pietrzak Ph.D.
Maciej Rojek M.Sc.
Mirosław Ślusarczyk D.Sc.


Evolutionary and population ecology of plankton and fish:

  • Significance of food and predators for: behavior, life history and morphology of an individual; density and distribution of population, structure of biocenoses of open waters
  • Predator-prey relationships: phyto-zooplankton, zooplankton-fish
  • Chemical communication, induced defense
  • Diurnal migrations
  • Diapause as mechanism of dispersion in space and in time
  • Senescence of clonal organisms
  • Feeding optimization

Ecology of lacustrine littoral zone:

  • Biology of chosen species of plants (macrophytes and algae) and animals (nematodes, leeches, crustaceans, snails), defence against predator, herbivory and detritivory
  • Interactions between algae, macrophytes and macrofauna
  • Role of macrophytes in production, biogeochemical cycles, and in conservation and recultivation of lakes

Stress ecology:

  • Adaptations to biotic (predation, hunger) and abiotic (temperature, salinity, xenobiotics) stress – research conducted at molecular and individual levels: behaviour, life history, morphology
  • Adaptative role of maternal effect in phenotypic adaptations to stress
  • Role of heat shock proteins (HSP) in individual response to different types of stress

Monitoring of quality and biodiversity of waters. Biomanipulation, recultivation of lakes and fishing management. Impact of global warming on individuals, populations and biocenoses of aquatic organisms. Biology of invasive species and invasion dynamics.

This group is furnished with field equipment for limnological (rivers and lakes) and hydroacoustic research, analyzers of various chemical compounds in water and bottom sediments (in situ and in laboratory), thermostatic chambers for cultivation and experiments, optical instruments, equipment for electrophoresis and Western blotting, and a unique experimental system (2 experimental flow systems connected to biological waste treatment unit, each system containing 10 circularly connected reservoirs with the total volume of 4000 liters).

This group is the main user and a coordinator of services of the Hydrobiological Station of the Faculty of Biology in Pilchy (the Masurian Lake District). The station offers accommodation, field and laboratory equipment, and experimental possibilities, in laboratory, in mesocosms and in the field (access to the Great Masurian Lakes system).

Research services

We offer research services regarding:

  • Monitoring (chemical and biological) of water quality in lakes and rivers;
  • Assessment of eutrophication rate;
  • Recultivation of water bodies;
  • Autoecological, population and biocenotic research
  • Environmental expertises,
  • Internships, vocational practices, trainings, courses and workshops

In the laboratories of the Hydrobiological Station of the Faculty of Biology, on the basis of our scientific experience, modern instruments, field equipment and research infrastructure, we perform: essential analyses of water, bottom sediments and suspensions, field hydroacoustic research, analyses of aquatic organisms’ reactions to environmental stress, analyses of biomass, composition and dynamics of populations of aquatic organisms (i.a. phyto- and zooplankton, benthos, epiphytic fauna, macrophyes and ichtiofauna), basic molecular and biochemical analyses (i.a. electrophoresis, Western blotting).