General Information

Research carried out in our group is covering various aspects of ecology:

  • life-strategies and division of labour in social insects
  • biology of solitary bees
  • population ecology of butterflies
  • host-parasite interaction in social insects
  • environmental factors effecting pollinators
  • sound communication and behaviour
These studies cover a wide range of species like:
  • butterflies (mainly Maculinea spp.), 
  • insects (honey bees, bumblebees, red mason bee, ants and recently also wasps), 
  • birds (mainly gulls and sparrows) 
and last, but not least 
  • plants (buckwheat, walnut, goldenrod, Japanese  knotweed)
HERE you can find pictures of our work.




The beginnings...

The Group of Behavioural Ecology is the successor of the Department of Behavioural Ecology, which was founded on 9th May 2002 by His Magnificence Prof. Franciszek Ziejka, Rector of the Jagiellonian University.

At first, the Department was located in the freshly built Centre of Biology on the 3rd Campus of the Jagiellonian University, at 3Gronostajowa str. The head of the Department was Prof. Michał Woyciechowski, who has just joined the Institute of Environmental Sciences (2001), coming from the Agricultural Academy in Kraków, where he was the Head of the Apicultural Department. When being established, the following people were employed: Piotr Nowicki, Ph.D., (post-doc from the Department of Game Management Studies, UJ), Piotr Skórka M.Sc., (former student of the Dept. of Zoopsychology  and Animal Ethology, UJ) and Magda Witek M.Sc., (former student of the  Dept. of Population Ecology, UJ). All workers except the Head of the Dept. were employed from project MacMan financed by the 5th FP EU. 
        Thanks to additional funding received from the Polish Ministry of Education two more people were employed in 2002: Ewa Śliwińska M.Sc., (former student of biotechnology of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań) and Anna Amirowicz M.Sc., (biologist, UJ), the latter taking all the administrative and organisational matters of the group in her hands. Receiving a new grant financed by the 6th FP EU, project ALARM, two more people have joined the Department: Dawid Moroń M.Sc., (former M.Sc. of the Department) in 2003 and Hajnalka Szentgyörgyi Ph.D., (post-doc from the Dept. of Mammalian Reproduction, UJ) in 2004. 
        The following years a number of PhD students have also become members of the research group: El
żbieta Rożej M.Sc. (Mikołaj Kopernik University in Toruń), Marta Wantuch M.Sc. (former student of the Department) both in 2005, Karolina Kuszewska  M.Sc. (former student of the Department) and Zahra Ayoub Naeef M.Sc. (Iraqis PhD student) in 2006, Magdalena Lenda  M.Sc. (former student of the Department) in 2007 and Joanna Kajzer  M.Sc. (former student of the Department) in 2008. 

        After some rearrangement among the Departments of the Institute of Environmental Sciences one more technical assistant has joined us in 2006: Paweł Mielczarek M.Sc. (biologist, UJ).

In 2008 the Institute of Environmental Sciences has reorganised its structure, dissolving the  stiffly organised Departments and allowing the establishment of more flexible informal research groups. Thus the Department of Behavioural Ecology has changed its name and status to theGroup of Behavioural Ecology, keeping all its employees and students.

Our Group has an ever growing list of new EU projects. In 2005 together with the Dept. of Conservation Biology and Ecological Education have started the realisation of project EUMON, financed by the 6th FP EU). This cooperation developed further and in 2009 the two research teams joined their potential and started the realisation of project SCALES, financed by the 7th FP EU). The same year in December also one more FP7EU project has started called CLIMIT.

Not only the research team/department as a whole, but also its workers/PhD students are successful in increasing the Group's and their own  budget. Besides the EU projects mentioned above the following smaller grants/stipends were realised in our Group: Grant of the European Social Fund and Integrated Operational Program for Regional Development for Magdalena Witek 2006 – 2007 and for a different project, but the same source for Piotr Skórka (2006-2007), both of them have received earlier the stipend of the Foundation for Polish Science: Piotr Skórka in both 2006 and 2007, and Magdalena Witek in 2007.
        In 2008 three of the Group’s PhD students had received funding for their projects from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, namely Magdalena Lenda, Dawid Moroń, and Ewa Śliwińska.

        Whilst in 2009 Joanna Kajzer, Elżbieta Rożej  and Marta Wantuch have received  the Małopolska PhD Stipend, from the hands of the Voivod of Małopolska.


For more information see our   "Latest news" section.