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Dr Piotr Zieliński

I'm an evolutionary biologist. I am interested in the process of divergence of species and populations. In my research, I use genetic information.I usually study genetic variation in natural populations. I use DNA sequencing and bioinformatics methods to obtain and analyze data. I am particularly interested in the process of gene flow between species. Understanding it will help to identify the mechanisms responsible for maintaining divergence despite gene flow, and, on the other hand, detect areas of the genome that retain the ability to flow longer than the rest of the genome. I also use the collected data to reconstruct the demographic history of the species studied, which is important and interesting to know!

Organisms with which I work or have worked: newts, bark beetles, bank voles, humans


My most important achievements include the reconstruction of the divergence history of the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) and the Carpathian newt (L. montandoni) as well as the characterization of gene flow in their hybrid zones. The obtained results confirmed that gene flow can occur with different intensity in different parts of the genome and can differ between different parts of the contact zone, and that species can still exchange genes despite long-term evolution in isolation.

Most important publications: Differential introgression across newt hybrid zones: Evidence from replicated transects. Divergence history of the Carpathian and smooth newts modelled in space and time. No evidence for nuclear introgression despite complete mtDNA replacement in the Carpathian newt (Lissotriton montandoni). You can find all my publications on Google Scholar

What am I doing now?

I’m working on the reconstruction the demographic history of the spruce bark beetle.

Teaching in English:

Molecular Ecology

Molecular Ecology for PhD students

Conservation genetics

Practical Computing for Biologists - a gentle introduction List of all courses with links is available at USOS


I warmly invite everyone interested in cooperation to contact me and to attend my courses!




tel.: 0048 12 664 5141

Institute of Environmental Sciences

Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University

ul. Gronostajowa 7

30-387 Kraków

room: 2.2.7