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Museum and Institute of Zoology, PAS


Name: Museum and Institute of Zoology, PAS

Address: ul. Wilcza 64, 00-629 Warsaw, Poland

Website: undefined


Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS is a research institution with a 200-year tradition. The Institute is mostly focused on scientific research, with ornithology, entomology and mammalogy being the most intensely studied areas. Besides classical studies on systematics, zoogeography, behaviour and evolution of animals, the Institute also develops research using the cutting-edge methods in life sciences. Molecular genetics is used to expand knowledge in phylogenetics, phylogeography and population genetics, and results of these studies are being applied in active conservation programmes for endangered species. Genetic analyses are carried out based on a wide range of biological materials, including extinct species and ancient DNA. 3D visualisation techniques using computed microtomography are used in research on developmental biology and comparative morphology. The Institute hosts a nematode research group, focused on basic and applied studies on plant-parasitic nematodes. For many years, the Institute has also carried out research projects on urban ecology.

The MiIZ PAS has also a large collection of zoological museum specimens. The museum collections of the MiIZ PAS are among the most valuable natural history collections in Europe and in the world.  Information about specimens, including electronic data , are available online via portals of international consortia grouping research institutes and natural history museums. The Institute is leading the Polish Ringing Scheme, which organises and coordinates bird ringing in Poland. Data collected by the Polish Ringing Scheme are used in studies on bird ecology. The MiIZ PAS publishes four journals listed in databases of the Institute for Scientific Information.   

Disciplines: zoology, ecology, taxonomy, genetics, natural history collections 

Fields of activity

  • behavioural ecology – eco-ethology, co-evolutionary arms race, island biogeography, mate-choice, paternity;
  • conservation – genetic monitoring, breeding and reintroduction, genetic diversity, inbreeding, conservation units, invasive species, endemic species, human impact on the environment;
  • evolutionary genomics - inference of evolutionary histories of populations, gene-environment interactions, evolution in urban environment ;
  • nematology – biology, biodiversity, morphological and molecular characteristics, classification and phylogenesis of plant parasitic and free-living nematodes;
  • natural history collections – curation and preservation of zoological collections, museomics, history of zoology, public programming, education;
  • sociobiology - social structure and organisation, interspecific competition, social parasitism and communication systems in ants; myrmecophiles, cooperative breeding systems, spatial interactions;
  • systematic and evolutionary biology – taxonomy, classical and molecular phylogenesis, comparative morphology, developmental biology, paleobiology, barcoding.

Latest achievements:

At Museum and Institute of Zoology (MIZ), we have patented several diagnostic kits for genetic identification of nematodes – economically important plant pests.  Only last year, our researchers published nearly 90 scientific articles in internationally renowned journals. These publications were devoted to such issues as brood parasitism in birds and butterflies, behaviour of birds, role of avian vectors in spread of plant diseases, mitogenomics of Pleistocene fauna, global phylogeography of grey wolves, evolution of mammals inferred from dentition,  and molecular phylogeny of insects. Next Generation Sequencing facility allowed for genetic markers development and genomic analyses in several species, including birds, reptiles and insects. Our zoological collection is visited by dozens of researchers every year. Large part of the collection has been recently digitalized and as such, was visited more than hundred thousand times in 2019 only. Currently, 37 scientific projects, financed from external funds, are being carried out at the Institute.

Research facilities:

molecular genetics laboratory /two field stations: Carpathian and the Baltic Sea/zoological collection/laboratory of scanning electron microscopy/ bird ringing data

Contact person:

Professor Robert Rutkowsk
Research Director
(+48 22) 629 32 21