Department of Marine Ecology of IO PAN
Head: Prof. Maria Włodarska-Kowalczuk
Marine ecologists at IO PAS specialise in field research, specifically - comparative field ecology. The biodiversity and its relation to the ecosystem function and the climate change are in the focus of our interests. We treat the taxonomy as an indispensable tool in our research, and each of us is trained as an identifier of different taxonomic group.
There are two main directions of our activity.
The first direction are coastal studies on the permeable sediments (mostly sandy beaches). Our studies take place on sandy littoral ecosystem along Baltic Sea coasts. We study meio- and macrobenthos, its abundance, production and metabolic rates. We are interested how the organic matter is processed in the beach, what is role of particular organisms in the matter and energy turnover, what are the links to shallow sublittoral and local fish populations. These studies are being performed in close cooperation with other Polish and international research institutes, earlier in the frame of projects like: ELOISE, COSA, LITUS and at present in research networks such as EN CORA or MARBEF.
- The second direction are the studies on the Arctic marine ecosystem. We are interested in the intertidal zone, fjords and ice cover. Here the international collaboration is essential as well, and all our projects are performed in the frames of international programs like MariClim, CABANERA, NOGAP, MARBEF and ArCod. Working on Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Greenland, Canadian Arctic permitted us to built up experience in working on large research vessels and in the difficult field conditions, performed mostly from small boats or ice camps.
The department consists of:
- Plankton Ecology Laboratory
- Benthos Ecology Laboratory
- Laboratory Functioning of the Pelagic Biocenosis
- Laboratory of Ecosystem Functioning
- Marine Protists Laboratory
- Meiofauna Laboratory