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Krystyna Nadachowska-Brzyska (PI)

I am an evolutionary biologist particularly interested in understanding processes that shape genetic variation within natural populations. I have been working on diverse evolutionary biology topics including speciation with gene-flow in amphibians and birds, variation of major histocompatibility genes in several newt species, historical effective population size changes and its relationship to glaciation events in birds or selection on sex chromosomes and influence of statistical phasing on selection inference. Currently, I investigate the influence of  extreme fluctuations in population size of outbreaking species on the dynamics of neutral and adaptive genetic variation. In my research I use genome-wide datasets and novel analytical approaches and  pay special attention to the influence of data quality on the inference processes. 


More information on my previous work can be found in Previous projects.

Piotr Zieliński (postdoc)

I am an evolutionary biologist. Until now, my research focused on species and populations divergence. I used both genome wide data and computer simulations to provide information about the patterns of historical and contemporary gene flow between diverging species of newts. In the Population genomics of outbreaks project I will use computer simulations to investigate how variable endemic population sizes, selection pressures and demographic events affect the probability of detection of soft and hard sweeps. Most importantly, I will test whether outbreaking populations are more prone to evolve via soft sweeps than non-outbreaking populations.


Anastasiia Mykhailenko (PhD student)

I am a Master of Biology and aspire to become a full-grown evolutionary biologist. My first steps as a scientist were made in studying the fauna of Antarctica and emergent infections. I have studied histology of Antarctic sponges and enteric bacteria of penguins. I also have experience in studying the phylogeny of sponges, small vipers and highly contagious zoonotic agents. In this project, I will use genome-wide data to obtain insights on the neutral evolution of an outbreaking species. I will study genetic variation within and between outbreaking and non-outbreaking populations and look at the genetic structure and genome wide variation across species range. I will also reconstruct genetic map and estimate recombination and mutation rate of the species.

Julia Morales (PhD student)

I am a Master of Biology and I am working on becoming a evolutionary biologist focused on Coleoptera. My research has always tried to address questions about coleopteran ecology. My last steps in this topic served to study activity patterns in a population of neotropical beetles, as well as to reveal the first record of that species in Costa Rica. This previous insect research along with my experience in data analysis and genetics, will allow me to compare outbreaking and non-outbreaking populations of spruce bark beetle and look for signatures of natural selection along genome, and test how extreme fluctuations in population size of outbreaking species affect the dynamics of adaptive genetic variation. I will also look into within species variation in microbiota.

Former Lab Members

Aleksandra Bednarz (lab technician)

Ola was responsible for sample management, DNA extractions and coordination of experiments during the first year of the project .