Rafał Kowalczyk
Academic title:
PhD
Position:
Head of the Institute
Education and scientific degrees
  • Habilitation: 2013, Institute and Museum of Zoology Polish Academy of Sciences
  • PhD: 2001, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Forestry Faculty
  • MSc: 1993, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Forestry Faculty PhD: 2001
Research profile

Main research interest of R. Kowalczyk are the ecology and conservation management of carnivores and ungulates. He is conducting studies on population biology, behavioural ecology and foraging strategies of large (lynx, wolves) and medium-sized carnivores (badger, raccoon dog, red fox) and large ungulates (European bison, moose). He has gained wide experience in live trapping and radio-tracking of mammals. R. Kowalczyk is the author and co-author of over 60 scientific papers. He has been active in nature protection campaigns. Current study focuses on foraging ecology, conservation management and paleoecology of large herbivores.

International experience
  • Russia, Russian Research Institute of Game Management and Fur Farming, 1 month, 2011;
  • South Africa, Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, 2 weeks, 2009;
  • Switzerland, KORA (Coordinated Research Projects for the Conservation and Management of Carnivores in Switzerland), 1 week, 2004;
  • Norway, Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (NINA), 2 weeks, 2003;
  • UK, Central Science Laboratory MAFF, Woodchester Park and Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford, 2 weeks, 1999.
Research projects
  • 2017-2020: Genetic diversity and factors influencing the level of infection and spread of sparganosis (Spirometra erinaceieuropaei) in wild animal populations
  • 2014-2017: The history of Bison in Europe after the last glaciations. Project finance by the National Science Centre, Poland;
  • 2013-2015, Factors affecting host-parasite relationship - the case of blood-sucking nematode Ashworthius sidemi invasion in wild-living European bison (Bison bonasus) in the Białowieża Primeval Forest; Project financed by the National Science Centre;
  • 2013-2016: Phylogeography and population genomics of the red fox Vulpes vulpes: Project executor. Project financed by the National Science Centre, Poland;
  • 2011-2014: Historical and contemporary analysis of habitat use and diet of European bison Bison bonasus: project leader. Project financed by Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education;
  • 2011-2014: Space use and diet of moose in Biebrza River Valley - a model of large herbivore impact on forest habitats of Poland: Project executor. Project financed by Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education;
  • 2009-2011: The influence of evolutionary history and anthropogenic factors on the genetic structure of Eurasian lynx at the western edge of its range in Europe: project executor. Project financed by Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education;
  • 2008-2010: Genetic (DNA barcoding) i microhistological analysis of European bison diet and its impact on tree stands of Białowieża Forest: project leader. Project financed by Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education;
  • 2007-2010: Polymorphism of MHC genes in European bison Bison bonasus: project executor. Project financed by Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education;
  • 2006-2010: European bison conservation in the Białowieża Forest: Bison land: project executor. Project financed by EU LIFE Nature program.
  • 2006-2009: Pattern of space use and synurbization of red fox Vulpes vulpes in Kraków city: project executor. Project financed by Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education;
  • 2004-2007: Space use and reproductive strategies of European bison in Białowieża and Knyszyn Forests: project leader. Project financed by Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education;
  • 2003-2006: Genetic diversity and relatedness in the lynx population in Białowieża Primeval Forest - environmental and social circumstances: project executor. Project financed by State Committee for Scientific Research.
  • 2003- 2006: Large carnivores in northern landscapes: an interdisciplinary approach to their regional conservation: project executor - an international project financed by Norwegian Research Council.
  • 2000-2002: Ecology of riparian mustelids in Białowieża Primeval Forest: project executor. Project financed by State Committee for Scientific Research.
  • 1997-1999: Influence of introduced raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides on two native species: red fox Vulpes vulpes and badger Meles meles in Białowieża Primeval: project leader. Project financed by State Committee for Scientific Research.
Membership and Awards
  • Member of the Council of the Directors of the Research Institutes PAS
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Mammal Research Institute PAS, Institute of Parasitology PAS and the Białowieża National Park
  • Member of the WWF Poland Council
  • Member of the Regional Council of Nature Conservation in Białystok
  • Associate Editor of Mammal Research
  • Member of the European Bison Pedigree Book Council and the Bison Management Committee