Barbara Pietrzak, PhD


Assistant Professor

Department of Hydrobiology
Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw
at Biological and Chemical Research Centre
Żwirki i Wigury 101, 02-089 Warszawa
Tel.: +48 22 55 26568

google scholar profile

publons profile


Research interests

I am an ecologist and evolutionary biologist. My research focuses on phenotypic plasticity of animal behaviour and life history: how behavioural individualities emerge and how aging patterns are shaped in the face of perceived threats, and how dormancy aids dispersal. The main model organisms in my research are Daphnia, but other water fleas, rotifers, insects and frogs are included, too.



Animal ethology
Behavioral ecology
Civilization threats in the contemporary world. Homo sapiens and the planet
Competition and predation
Ecology (for bioinformatics)
Ecology of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (in English)
Field ecology
Functioning of nature and ecosystem services (in English)
General ecology
Global environmental changes
The world at the crossroads (in English)


Grants awarded

"Mechanisms of animal behavioural individuality emergence", (2017-2020), PI, National Science Centre Poland

"Ecology of ageing – Daphnia model”, (2010-2011), PI, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland

"Ecological and molecular aspects of ageing - Daphnia model", (2007-2009), PI, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland

Other projects

"The effect of temperature on species composition and size structure of the lake zooplankton communities" (2011-2014), investigator

"Cyanobacteria – herbivorous zooplankton interaction under forecasted global warming conditions" (2009-2012), investigator

"The mechanisms of dispersion of planktonic cladocerans" (2004-2008), investigator


Selected publications

Parysek M., Pietrzak B. 2020. Weak swimming response of a bdelloid rotifer to chemical cues of a native copepod predator. Journal of Ethology (in press) DOI: 10.1007/s10164-020-00676-w

Pietrzak B., Rabus M., Religa M., Laforsch C., Danko M.J. Phenotypic plasticity of senescence in Daphnia under predation impact: No ageing acceleration when the perceived risk decreases with age. Royal Society Open Science 7: 191382

Ślusarczyk M., Pinel-Alloul B., Pietrzak B. 2019. Mechanisms facilitating dispersal of dormant eggs in a planktonic crustacean. In: Alekseev V., Pinel-Alloul B. (eds.) 2019. Dormancy in aquatic invertebrates. Theory, human use and modelling. Monographiae Biologicae (Springer) 92: 137-161

Kaczmarek Ł., Roszkowska M., Fontaneto D., Jezierska M., Pietrzak B., Wieczorek R., Poprawa I., Kosicki J.Z., Karachitos A., Kmita H. 2019. Staying young and fit? Ontogenetic and phylogenetic consequences of animal anhydrobiosis. Journal of Zoology 309: 1-11

Pietrzak B., Grzesiuk M., Dorosz J., Mikulski A. 2018. When males outlive females: sex-specific effects of temperature on lifespan in a cyclic parthenogen. Ecology and Evolution 8:9880-9888. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4473

Pietrzak B., Sharma V., Wasalathanthri D., Ellwanger J.H., Sanganyado E., Buschke F., Beardsley F.R., Agarwal D., Jensen M.M., Easun T.L., Lin H., Zhou K., Jordan E.J., Oda F.S., MacKay H., Coffey E., Yoho R., Winter M. 2018. Nurturing connections to the environment. Science 362: 886-888

Pietrzak B., Ward A., Cheung M.K., Schwendimann B.A., Mollaoglu G., Duong M.T., Ulltveit-Moe N., Allareddy V., Dutton-Regester K., Zhang J. i in. 2018. Education for the future. Science 360: 1409-1412

Pietrzak B., Pijanowska J., Dawidowicz P. 2017. The effect of temperature and kairomone on Daphnia escape ability: a simple bioassay. Hydrobiologia 798: 15–23

Ślusarczyk M., Grabowski T., Pietrzak B. 2017. Quantification of floating ephippia in lakes: A step to better understanding high dispersal propensity of freshwater plankters. Hydrobiologia 798: 61-72

Pietrzak B., Dawidowicz P., Prędki P., Dańko M.J. 2015. How perceived predation risk shapes patterns of aging in water fleas. Experimental Gerontology 69: 1–8

Bednarska A., Pietrzak B., Pijanowska J. 2014. Effect of poor manageability and low nutritional value of cyanobacteria on Daphnia magna life history performance. Journal of Plankton Research, 36: 838-847

Pietrzak B., Bednarska A., Markowska M., Rojek M., Szymanska E., Slusarczyk M. 2013. Behavioural and physiological mechanisms behind extreme longevity in Daphnia. Hydrobiologia 715: 125-134

Dawidowicz P., Predki P., Pietrzak B. 2013. Depth-selection behavior and longevity in Daphnia: an evolutionary test for the predation-avoidance hypothesis. Hydrobiologia 715: 87–91

Pietrzak B. 2011. Interclonal differences in age-specific performance in Daphnia magna. Journal of Limnology 70: 345-352 PDF

Pietrzak B., Bednarska A., Grzesiuk M. 2010. Longevity of Daphnia magna males and females. Hydrobiologia 364: 71-75

Pietrzak B., Grzesiuk M., Bednarska A. 2010. Food quantity shapes life history and survival strategies in Daphnia magna (Cladocera). Hydrobiologia 364: 51-54

Dawidowicz P., Prędki P., Pietrzak B., 2010. Shortened lifespan: another cost of fish-predator avoidance in cladocerans? Hydrobiologia 643: 27–32

Ślusarczyk M., Pietrzak B., 2008. To sink or float: The fate of dormant offspring is determined by maternal behaviour in Daphnia. Freshwater Biology 53: 569-576 PDF

Pietrzak B., Ślusarczyk M., 2006. The fate of the ephippia: Daphnia dispersal in time and space. Polish Journal of Ecology 54: 709-714 PDF

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