The Department of Palaeobotany conducts research into the history of vegetation during the last 120,000 years of the Quaternary (Warta Glaciation, Eemian Interglacial, Vistula Glaciation, Holocene), with a particular focus on natural and anthropogenic changes in vegetation in northeastern Poland. Palaeobotanical studies are conducted in close cooperation with specialists in other disciplines of palaeoecology (palaeozoology, palaeoalgology, geochemistry, geophysics), as well as archaeologists and historians from many research institutions.
- vegetation and climate of the Eemian interglacial, with a particular focus on interglacial climate oscillations
- changes in vegetation and climate during the last glaciation
- response of vegetation to climate oscillations during the Holocene
- postglacial history of peat bogs and lakes in northeastern Poland
- anthropogenic transformations of vegetation in the younger Holocene
- seasonal changes in airborne pollen fall in the cities of northeastern Poland
- botanical composition of bee products (pollen, bee bread, honey)
- palynological analysis (analysis of pollen + analysis of non-pollen palynomorphs)
- radiocarbon dating
- analysis of plant macrofossils (vegetative and generative)
- analysis of peat decomposition
Research projects completed at the Department of Palaeobotany
- 2016 – Effects of late glacial and early Holocene climate oscillations on the development of vegetation in northeastern Poland.
BMN. Project manager: mgr Magdalena Fiłoc
- 2015 - Anthropogenic changes in vegetation caused by early medieval settlement in the Poganowo region in the context of regional changes in the natural environment of the Mrągowo Lake District.
BMN. Project manager: mgr Marta Szal
- 2012 – Reconstruction of changes in vegetation in the Suwałki region during the early Holocene, and their correlation with cold climate oscillations called Bond cycles.
BMN. Project manager: mgr Magdalena Fiłoc
- 2011-2014 - Natural and anthropogenic changes in the vegetation around Lake Salęt (Mrągowo Lake District) during the middle and younger Holocene.
MNiSW no. N N304 280540. Project manager: mgr Marta Szal
- 2010-2014 – Eemian history of vegetation in Poland based on isopollen maps.
MNiSW no. N N303 352238. Project manager: dr hab. Mirosława Kupryjanowicz, prof. UwB.
- 2008-2011 - The history of dystrophic lakes in Wigry National Park in the light of the Holocene succession of local vegetation.
MNiSW no. N305 085135. Project manager: dr hab. Danuta Drzymulska.
- 2003-2006 - Changes in the natural environment of the Białystok Upland from the early Eemian interglacial to the end of the Plenivistulian.
KBN no. 3 P04C 025 25. Project manager: dr hab. Mirosława Kupryjanowicz, prof. UwB.
- 2003-2005 - Succession of vegetation on peat bogs in Knyszyńska Forest (northeastern Poland) characterised by different hydrological conditions.
KBN no. 3 P04C 066 24. Project manager: dr hab. Danuta Drzymulska.
Participation of staff from the Department of Palaeobotany in research projects carried out by other institutions
- 2014-2016 - Polish-Norwegian Modern Archaeological Conservation Initiative “Yotvingian Archaeology”
Project no. 36238/13 financed by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014. Coordinator: National Archaeological Museum in Warsaw.
- 2013-2016 - Periglacial transformations of the landscape and sediments in northern Podlasie during the younger Pleistocene
NCN no. 2013/09/B/ST10/02118. Project manager: dr hab. Barbara Woronko, Faculty of Geology, University of Warsaw.
- 2015 - Ritual features of Bell Beakers in Supraśl, Podlaskie province. The offering - taking possession of the land or cultural integration?
Project financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage – “Cultural Heritage” programme, priority “Protection of archaeological heritage”. Project manager: mgr Adam Wawrusiewicz, Podlaskie Museum in Białystok.
- 2011-2014 - Landscape of an early medieval settlement in Prussia. Ecology of the settlement complex in Poganowo, site IV.
NCN no. DEC-2011/01/B/HS3/04167. Project manager: mgr Mariusz Antoni Wyczółkowski, Wojciech Kętrzyński Museum in Kętrzyn.
- 2010-2014 - Natural history of Białowieza Forest in the light of palaeoecological research
MNiSW no. N N305 167839. Project Manager: prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Latałowa, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk.
- 2010-2013 - A palaeoecological study of the development of plant cover on alkaline soligenic peatlands in Pomerania.
MNiSW no. N N304 396638. Project manager: dr hab. inż. Zbigniew Osadowski, prof. AP, Institute of Biology and Environmental Protection, Pomeranian University in Słupsk.
- 2008-2011 - Climatic and environmental changes recorded in annually laminated sediments of northern Poland (TRANSECT-PL).
MNiSW no. N N306 275635. Project manager: dr Wojciech Tylmann, Institute of Geography, University of Gdańsk.
- 2007-2011 - Late glacial and Holocene changes in the natural environment in the area of Skaliska palaeolake (Mazury Lake District).
MNiSW no. N307 062 32/3359. Project manager: dr hab. Renata Stachowicz-Rybka, W. Szafer Institute of Botany, PAS, Kraków.
- 2007-2010 - Biodiversity protection of Red Bog (Czerwone Bagno) – a relic of raised bogs in Central Europe
Project no. 0082 financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. Coordinator: Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Environmental Sciences.
- 2006-2009 - Ecological study of the development and transformation of vegetation in spring-fed ecosystems and the strategy for their protection – examples of selected sites in central Pomerania.
MNiSW no. 2PO4G 03530. Project manager: dr hab. inż. Zbigniew Osadowski, prof. AP, Institute of Biology and Environmental Protection, Pomeranian University in Słupsk.
- 2005-2008 - Environmental conditions of the Galindai tribe settlement discovered in Paprotki Kolonia, site 41, Suwałki district.
MNiSW no. 1 H01G 045 13. Project manager: dr hab. Maciej Karczewski, Institute of History, University of Białystok.
- 2000-2003 - History of vegetation in Poland during the late Vistulian and Holocene in the light of isopollen maps for selected taxa of trees and herbaceous plants.
KBN no. 6 P04F 028 18. Project Manager: prof. dr hab. Magdalena Ralska-Jasiewiczowa, W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS, Kraków.
- 1996-1999 - Environmental conditions of the Galindai tribe settlement discovered in Paprotki Kolonia, site 41, Suwałki district.
KBN no. 1 H01G 045 13. Project manager: dr hab. Maciej Karczewski, Institute of History, University of Białystok.
Head of Department
Dr hab. Mirosława Kupryjanowicz, Prof. UwB
Vegetation and climate of the Eemian Interglacial, Vistulian and Holocene (palaeoecological studies - mainly pollen analysis)
- interglacial migration of plants,
- interglacial evolution of lakes and peat bogs,
- impact of human activity on the environment during the middle and younger Holocene,
- changes in vegetation and climate of north-eastern Poland during the two youngest interglacials.
Pollen concentration in the atmosphere (aeropalynological analyses).
Botanical composition of bee products (melisopalynological analyses).
- member of the Faculty Committee for Research Projects of Young Scientists (from 2014)
- member of the Polish Botanical Society (from 1998); in 2011-2013 chairperson of the Audit Commission of the Białystok Branch
- member of the International Federation of Palynological Societies (from 2000)
- founding member of the Association for Environmental Archaeology (from 2005); in 2005-2007 member of the Peer Disciplinary Board
- member of the Polish Limnology Society (2006); founding member of the PTL Palaeolimnology Section
- member of the Quaternary Research Committee, PAS (from 2007)
- member of the Botany Committee, PAS (from 2011)
- member of the Palaeogeographic Commission of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (from 2012)
- member of the Scientific Council of the W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków (2011-2014)
- member of the Council for the Prof. Witold Sławiński Knyszyńska Forest Landscape Park (from 2009)
- subject editor for Cainozoic–Quaternary in Acta Palaeobotanica journal (from 2012)
- co-editor at Studia Quaternaria journal (from 2012)
- Consultations on the development of palaeoecological research strategies and methods for sampling and securing material for this type of analyses performed for the purposes of archaeological, geological, and geographic studies.
- Expert reports and detailed palynological analyses (including analyses of Quaternary sediments from lakes, peat bogs and fossil soils to establish, e.g. their stratigraphy or to reconstruct environmental changes during the period when sediments were formed; analyses of sediments from archaeological sites, e.g. to carry out reconstruction of the environment in the area of the investigated site, help determine the purpose of pottery found on the site, etc.).
- Identification and description of Quaternary biogenic sediments (from peat bogs, lakes and fossil soils).
- Analyses of macroscopic plant remains found in:
- Quaternary biogenic sediments accumulated in peat bogs and lakes (both contemporary and fossilized),
- cultural layers in archaeological sites.
- Determination of the botanical composition of peats.
- Geological drillings in unconsolidated biogenic sediments with an Instorf sampler.
- Wildlife surveys of marshy habitats.
- Didactic services in the field of palaeoecology.
- Protection plans for peat bog nature reserves.
- Measuring airborne levels of pollen and spores from plants and selected fungi in air (with any resolution, e.g. per hour, day, week).
- Determination of the type and quality of honey based on the content and concentration of pollen grains.
- Identification of imported honeys and determination of their place of origin.
Dr hab. Danuta Drzymulska
- deputy director of the Institute of Biology
- secretary of the Faculty Recruitment Board for Doctoral Studies in Biology
- member of the Programme Board for the Study Curriculum at the Institute of Biology
- member of the Examination Board for Bachelor's Degree in Biology
- coordinator of the IntroMed programme at the Institute of Biology
- member of the Polish Botanical Society
- vice-chairperson of the Palaeobotanical Section of the Polish Botanical Society (term of office 2013-2016)
- member of the Polish Limnology Society
- member of the International Peat Society
- member of the editorial board for the Journal of Life Coastal Medicine
- Late-glacial and Holocene history of peat bogs in northeastern Poland, with a particular focus on the succession of peat-forming vegetation.
- Evolution and trophic changes in humic lakes in northeastern Poland during the last 12,000 years.
- Peat and lake sediments as a source of palaeoecological information.
- Expert reports in the area of peat science and palaeoecology based on the analysis of plant macrofossils.
Dr Marta Szal
- I am a palynologist. My research interests focus on late-glacial and Holocene changes in the natural environment in the Masurian Lake District. In recent years I have mainly investigated the impact of long-term anthropogenic pressure on the vegetation of the Mrągowo Lake District. I work with archaeologists on the reconstruction of the environmental conditions of the historic settlements in this region.
University of Bialystok
Faculty of Biology
Ciołkowskiego 1J Street
Dean's Office (room 1010)
phone (085) 738 8383
phone (085) 738 8414 (pok. 1014)
phone (085) 738 8415 (pok. 1012)
phone (085) 738 8416 (pok. 1015)
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