Wild Urban Evolution and Ecology Lab

Welcome to the Wild Urban Evolution & Ecology Lab!

We are based at the Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw in Poland. Our research focuses on the evolution and ecology of wild vertebrates in the Anthropocene – a human-dominated time period with a significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems. In particular, we aim to infer patterns and processes related to natural variation in wild organisms living in a gradient of environments – this ideally includes primeval and secondary forests as much as sub-urban green areas and highly urbanised space such as cities.

Until recently, virtually all long-term studies of vertebrates investigated in the wild and used as cornerstone in evolutionary ecology research were started in natural environments with little or no human interference. Currently, urban areas cover c. 0.5% of the planet’s land area, and are predicted to expand several-fold between 2000 and 2050. As urban space is an environment with conspicuously altered ecological dynamics relative to original natural habitat, more insight into the evolutionary ecology of free-living animals in urban environments is needed. Urbanisation should also be viewed as a fascinating opportunity to study patterns of selection and rates of adaptation to novel environments.

To understand the footprint of cities on the phenotype and genotype of wild passerine birds, the Wild Urban Evolution & Ecology Lab is starting a new, long-term study of great tits Parus major and blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus in a gradient of urbanisation.

Prof. Marta Szulkin
email: m.szulkin@cent.uw.edu.pl
phone: +48 2255 43706

Sex-specific effects of parasites on telomere dynamics in a short-lived passerine – the blue tit.
Sudyka, J., Podmokła, E., Drobniak, S. M., Dubiec, A., Arct, A., Gustafsson, L., & Cichoń, M. (2019).
The Science of Nature, 106(1-2), 6.
Birds with high lifetime reproductive success experience increased telomere loss.
Sudyka, J., Arct, A., Drobniak, S. M., Gustafsson, L., & Cichoń, M. (2019).
Biology Letters, 15(1), 20180637.
Pigeon odor varies with experimental exposure to trace metal pollution
Leclaire, S. Chatelain, M. Pessato, A. Buatois, B. Frantz, A. Gasparini, J. (2019).
Ecotoxicology, 28(1), 76-85
Great tits and the city: Distribution of genomic diversity and gene–environment associations along an urbanization gradient
Perrier, C., Lozano del Campo, A., Szulkin, M., Demeyrier, V., Gregoire, A., & Charmantier, A.
Evolutionary Applications. 2018
Long term effects of superoxide and DNA repair on lizard telomeres
Olsson, M., Friesen, C. R., Rollings, N., Sudyka, J., Lindsay, W., Whittingtion, C. M., & Wilson, M. (2018).
Molecular ecology, 27 (24), 5154-5164.
Patterns of Midichloria infection in avian-borne African ticks and their trans-Saharan migratory hosts
Di Lecce, I., Bazzocchi, Ch., Cecere, J. G., Epis, S. (2018)
Parasites & Vectors, 11(1)
Humans and tits in the city: quantifying the effects of human presence on great tit and blue tit reproduction.
Corsini, M., Dubiec, A., Marrot, P., & Szulkin, M. (2017).
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 5, 82.
Population genomic footprints of fine-scale differentiation between habitats in Mediterranean blue tits.
Szulkin M., Gagnaire P.-A., Bierne N. & Charmantier A. (2016)
Molecular Ecology 25:542-558.
Mediterranean blue tits as a case study of local adaptation.
Charmantier, A., Doutrelant, C., Dubuc‐Messier, G., Fargevieille, A., & Szulkin, M. (2016).
Evolutionary Applications 9:135-152.
Predicting bird phenology from space: satellite-derived vegetation green-up signal uncovers spatial variation in phenological synchrony between birds and their environment.
Cole, E. F., Long, P. R., Zelazowski, P., Szulkin, M., & Sheldon, B. C. (2015).
Ecology and evolution, 5(21), 5057-5074
Application of high resolution satellite imagery to characterize individual-based environmental heterogeneity in a wild blue tit population.
Szulkin, M., Zelazowski, P., Marrot, P., & Charmantier, A. (2015).
Remote Sensing 7: 13319-13336.
Title Deadline for applications
Post-doctoral position in Urban Ecological Genomics 30/11/2018