Taxonomy and systematics of Neotropical Paederinae

We are currently working on the following subprojects:

Next-generation sequencing as a tool to assess the quality of endosymbiotic DNA in museum beetle specimens

The project's goal is to check whether it is possible to obtain the DNA of bacterial endosymbiont from museum beetle specimens. The research object is the host-endosymbiont system: Paederus - Pseudomonas. The first component represents the family Staphylinidae, with about 650 described species and the second element of this system is an endosymbiotic bacterium living in its hemolymph and known to produce highly toxic pederin causing painful skin irritation in humans, the so-called dermatitis linearis.

Funded by: National Science Centre (NCN)

Grant: Miniatura 6, 2022/06/X/NZ8/00753

PI: Katarzyna Koszela

Coordinated by: Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Start-End: 2022/ongoing

Genomic, morphological, and paleontological data in reconstructing the taxonomic structure and evolutionary history of the hyperdiverse Staphylinidae genus Lathrobium Gravenhorst, 1802

The research questions comprise the test of the monophyly of Lathrobium species complex, the inference of species trees to observe the generic boundaries of Lathrobium s. str., and the biogeographic analysis to estimate the space and time context of the genus dispersion. It will be done using molecular data from NGS-based COI barcoding and RADSeq together with morphological characters matrix with fossil taxa included.

Funded by: National Science Centre (NCN)


PI: Alexandra Tokareva

Coordinated by: Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Start-End: 2023/ongoing

Impact of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum on diversification dynamics in Paederinae rove beetles [PaETM]

The main goal of this project is to investigate the evolutionary response of predatory beetles from the subfamily Paederinae to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum event, the most rapid and influential climatic warming of the last 65 million years. We intend to achieve this by applying innovative methods of machine-learning species identification, high-throughput sequencing, and statistical phylogenetics. 

Funded by: National Science Centre (NCN)

Grant: OPUS-18 2019/35/B/NZ8/03431

PI: Dagmara Żyła

Coordinated by: Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Start-End: 2020/ongoing

Dating fossils with molecules – innovative approach to determine the age of Baltic AMBER

The core idea of this project was to apply an innovative and highly promising approach of precise dating for this very important fossil deposit by using DNA, the morphology of extinct and extant species, and powerful statistics. Together with my collaborators, we developed an approach to estimating the age of fossil specimens using Bayesian total-evidence phylogenetic analyses under the fossilized birth-death model. 

Funded by: European Commission (EC)

Grant: MSCA-IF-GF - Global Fellowships 797823

PI: Dagmara Żyła

Coordinated by: University of Gdańsk, Poland, partner: Iowa State University, United States of America

Start/End: 2018-2020

The impact of prairie habitat changes on rove beetle species richness and composition

The objectives of this project were to collect and identify rove beetles from different prairie sites across the state of Iowa (USA). Then compare the current biodiversity with the data housed in the Iowa State Insect Collection (ISIC), collected more than 50 years ago. Specifically, the species richness (number of species) and composition (number of species typical for natural vs. anthropogenic habitats) were compared in order to assess the impact of habitat changes on rove beetles.

Funded by: Prairie Biotic Research, Inc.

PI: Dagmara Żyła (PI)

Start/End: 2019