The scientific activity of systematists includes:
- identification, description and naming of taxa (species, genera, etc.), revisions of earlier descriptions, clarification of synonymies, etc.;
- reconstruction of evolutionary relationships among taxa (phylogeny) and establishing the natural (of maximum information content) classifications based on these relationships;
- analysis of evolutionary, adaptational and other processes which might have influenced the development of the present structure and geographical distribution of studied groups;
- finding (e.g. with new technologies like SEM) new character complexes helpful in identification;
- elaboration of tools (keys, revisions, monographs), and their application in the identification of taxa and compilation of check-lists of the fauna of particular geographical areas or ecosystems.
The resulting scientific publications – monographs, revisions, check-lists, catalogues – are necessary for further systematical, phylogenetical, evolutionary, zoogeographical etc. studies; they may also be used in applied biological disciplines like agriculture, forensic investigations, forestry, quarantine, medicine, nature protection and environmental studies.
Scope of the activities of the Department and ongoing research
- Scientific activity – realization of the research projects:
- in frame of statutory project of Museum and Institute of Zoology – “Phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of animals”; as well as in frame of non-statutory projects and international research programmes (projects sponsored by Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and international organizations and foundations etc.);
- Cooperation with the Collection Department.
- Enlargement of the collection with material brought from expeditions, received in exchange between scientists and institutions, acquired by revisionary and descriptive work. Curatory tasks: identification, cataloguing, arrangement of the collection, incorporation of new acquisitions, revisionary works (within the scope of one’s interests);
- Cooperation with the Popularisation and Promotion Department.
- Participation and partnership in the framework programmes sponsored by European Community, e.g. SYNTHESYS and EDIT;
The main ongoing research projects
- Trends in the latitudinal distribution of the freshwater copepod family Cyclopidae.
- Phylogenetic utility of combined molecules and morphology in the freshwater copepod Mesocyclops (Crustacea: Cyclopidae);
- Classification of SE-Asian beetles of the subfamily Megalodacninae (Coleoptera: Erotylidae);
- Taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of the Australian ladybirds of the subfamily Coccidulinae (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) [Australian Biological Resources Study grant];
- Taxonomic revision of beetles of the genus Rhyzobius Stephens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) [National Science Foundation grant];
- Reconstruction of the evolutionary history of Carnivora (Mammalia);
- Taxonomic revisions complementing Monograph of the Salticidae (Aranae) of the World. (grant of Ministry of Science and Higher Education);
- Updating the computer database "Monograph of the Salticidae (Araneae) of the World" http://www.miiz.waw.pl/salticid/main.htm