Dr. Katarzyna Piwosz, Professor of NMFRI

Dr. Katarzyna Piwosz, Professor of NMFRI

Department of Fisheries Oceanography and Marine Ecology
tel: +48 587 356 146, p. 923,
twitter: @KasiaPiwosz

Scientific interests

My main area of scientific interest is the ecology of microorganisms in the aquatic environment. In my research I use modern molecular methods. The detailed directions of my research include:

  • Biodiversity of bacteria and protozoa,
  • Distribution and seasonal variation of bacteria and protozoa,
  • Role of bacteria and protozoa in the carbon cycle,
  • Trophic relationships among microorganisms
  • Effects of environmental factors on the above.

Selected projects

2022NCN-funded project „How complex are aquatic microbial food webs? Unveiling the trophic role of middle-sized heterotrophic flagellates in freshwater and brackish habitats”.
Project leader
2021The importance of bacteriovorous and omnivorous nanoplanktonic flagellates of the Cercozoa phylum in microbial trophic networks in the Baltic Sea. Statutory project of NMFRI.
Project leader
20212021: International project "INNPP: Effect of decreasing inorganic N:P ratio on the plankton community”. AQUACOSM Transnational Access project within the European network AQUACOSM – H2020-INFRIA-Project No. 731065. Collaboration with the University of Helsinki (Dr. Kristian Spilling), Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde (Prof. Matthias Lorenz), Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Stechlin (Prof. Hans-Peter Grossart). Project leader
20212021: Integration and mobilisation of Eukaryot's biotic diversity data in the resources of Polish scientific institutions (IMBIO) Project No. POPC.02.03.01-IP.01-00-011/19 Operational Programme Digital Poland 2014-2020, Contractor
2020-2022Project for young researchers "Single-cell orchestration of nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis in Trichodesmium”. Project No. 20-02827Y. Funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR). Expert consultancy
2018-2021Project for young researchers "AAPs rule! Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs: their role in carbon utilization under light in freshwater ecosystems”. Project No. 18-14095Y. Funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR). Project leader
2015-2017Project "Factors regulating the phototrophic activity of freshwater community of Betaproteobacteria”. Grant No. 15-12197S. Funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR). Collaboration with the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Dr Vojtěch Kasalický). Co-contractor of the project.
2015-2017Project "How fast is microbial loop?” Grant No. 13-11281S. Funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR). Contractor.
2015-2019"ALGATECH plus” Project No. LO1416 funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. Contractor.
2012-2015International project "DEMONA: Diversity and ecology of mixotrophic nanoflagellates in the Gulf of Gdańsk”. Grant No. PSPB-036/2010, co-financed by Switzerland within the framework of the Polish-Swiss Research Programme 2009-2017. Collaboration with the University of Zurich, Switzerland (Prof. Jakob Pernthaler). Project leader.
2010-2014International project "CBOL: Seasonal variations in the biodiversity of nano- and picoplankton bacteria and protozoa from three zones of the Vistula estuary”. Grant No. 795/N-CBOL/2010/0 funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Collaboration with Bangor University in the UK (Prof. Simon Creer) and Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Dr. Marcin Gołębiewski). Project leader
2010-2011International project "ARCTICNET: Mesoscale distribution of sympagic and pelagic protists in the sea ice cover of the Canadian archipelago”. Grant No. 695/N-ARCTICNET/2010/0 funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Dr. Christine Michel, Dr. Andrea Niemi). Contractor.
2010International project "KONGHAU: The Kongsfjord-Hausgarten transect case study: Impact of climate on Arctic marine community structures and food webs”. Grant No. 658/W-HAUSGARTEN/2010/0 funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Contractor.

Selected conferences

11-12.11.2020Piwosz K, Villena-Alemany C. Contribution of photoheterotrophy by aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria to freshwater community metabolisms. ISME Virtual Microbial Ecology Summit #UnityInDiversity.
1-6.09.2019Piwosz K, Shabarova T, Pernthaler J, Posch T, Šimek K, Porcal P, Salcher MM. How much sense do amplicon data make? Are bacterial and eukaryotic SSU amplicon data reliable in context of their ecological interpretations? SAME16: 16th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology, Potsdam, Germany.
5-7.04.2019Piwosz K. Ecology vs environmental protection (closing plenary lecture). Interdisciplinary Academic Conference on Environmental Protection, Gdańsk, Poland.
12-17.08.2018Piwosz K, Shabarova T, Tomasch, Simek K, Kopejtka K, Kahl S, Pieper DH, Koblizek M. Determining lineage-specific bacterial growth curves with a novel approach based on amplicon reads normalization using internal standard (ARNIS). ISME17: 17th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, Leipzig, Germany.
22-25.05.2018Piwosz K. Getting insight into the invisible: Application of molecular methods to study the ecology of pico- and nanophytoplankton (Opening lecture). 37th International Conference of the Polish Phycological Society, Kraków, Poland.
3-8.09.2017Piwosz K, Shabarova T, Tomasch J, Šimek K, Kopejtka K, Grujić V, Salcher MM, Koblížek M. Throughout insight into bacterial growth rates: getting high resolution data. SAME15: 15th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology, Zagreb, Croatia
26-29.01.2016Piwosz, K, Villiger J, Pernthaler J. Diversity and dynamics of nanophytoplankton in the Gulf of Gdańsk. EMBO|EMBL Symposium: A New Age of Discovery for Aquatic Microeukaryotes. Heidelberg, Germany.
23-28.08.2015Piwosz K. Who was the last aplastidic cryptophyte? EPC6: 6th European Phycological Congress (EPC6), London, United Kingdom
18-21.11.2014Piwosz, K, Villiger J, Pernthaler J. Dynamics of main nanophytoplankton groups in brackish, coastal waters of the Gulf of Gdansk (Baltic Sea). International workshop Microbes in the Baltic: Small things, small sea, big questions, Gdynia, Poland
24-29.08.2014Piwosz, K, Villiger J, Pernthaler J. Dynamics and diversity of cryptophyte algae in the brackich waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk. ISME15: 15th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, Seoul, South Korea
8-13.09.2013Piwosz K, Całkiewicz J, Gołębiewski M, Creer S. Impact of the Vistula River on nanophytoplankton communities in the brackish waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk (southern Baltic Sea). SAME13: the first EMBO Conference on Aquatic Microbial Ecology (13th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology), Stresa, Italy.
28.07-2.08.2013Piwosz K, Villiger J, Pernthaler J. Seasonal dynamics of mixotrophic nanoflagellates in brackish, coastal waters of the Gulf of Gdansk (Baltic Sea). ICOP XIV: The International Congress of Protistology, Vancouver, Canada.
8-12.04.2013Piwosz K. Application of molecular methods, with emphasis on fluorescence in situ hybridization, for identification of nano- and picoplanktonic organisms (Wykład plenarny). HELCOM Workshop and Training Course on Phytoplankton, Gdynia, Poland.

Awards / Diplomas

2021Second level award from the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute for obtaining the post-doctoral degree.
2021Individual award from the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute for outstanding publication output in 2020.
2020International Society for Microbial Ecology's Best Ambassador Award for 2019-2020.
2017-2019Individual award from the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute for outstanding publication output in 2016-2018.
2015-2016Scholarship within the framework of the partnership programme EMBL Advanced Training Centre Corporate Partnership Programme Fellowship
2015Award for young scientists from FEMS (Federation of European Microbiological Societies) for attending the 6th European Phycological Congress
2014Scholarship of the Director of the Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde, Germany, for a research internship
2013-2014Individual award from the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute for outstanding publication output in 2012-2013
2007-2008Three research scholarships from the Swiss Hydrobiological and Limnological Foundation to stay at the Limnological Station of the University of Zurich
2008Research scholarship at the University of Zurich
2004Award from the Gordon Research Conferences to attend Gordon Research Conference on Marine Microbes

Memberships in scientific organisations and associations

  • Founding member and treasurer (2007-2010) of the Sopot Scientific Society.
  • Polish Society of Microbiologists. Head of the Section of Environmental Microbiology.
  • Ambassador of the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME).


2022      Piwosz, K., Villena-Alemany, C., and Mujakić, I. (in press) Photoheterotrophy by aerobic anoxygenic bacteria modulates carbon fluxes in a freshwater lake. The ISME Journal. DOI: 10.1038/s41396-021-01142-2

2022      Mujakić, I., Piwosz, K., and Koblížek, M. (2022) Phylum Gemmatimonadota and Its Role in the Environment. Microorganisms 10: 151.

2021      Fecskeová, L.K., Piwosz, K., Šantić, D., Vrdoljak Tomaš, A., Šestanović, S., Hanusová, M. et al. (2021) Lineage-specific growth curves document large differences in response of individual groups of marine bacteria to the top-down and bottom-up controls. mSystems 6: e00934-00921.

2021      Kornijów, R., K. Pawlikowski, L. A. Błędzki, A. Drgas, K. Piwosz, A. Ameryk and J. Całkiewicz (2021). “Co-occurrence and potential resource partitioning between oligochaetes and chironomid larvae in a sediment depth gradient.” Aquatic Sciences 83(3): 51.

2021      Šantić, D., K. Piwosz, F. Matić, A. Vrdoljak Tomaš, J. Arapov, J. L. Dean, M. Šolić, M. Koblížek, G. Kušpilić and S. Šestanović (2021) Artificial neural network analysis of microbial diversity in the central and southern Adriatic Sea Scientific Reports 11: 11186

2021      Piwosz K, Mukherjee I, Salcher MM, Grujčić V, Šimek K (2021) CARD-FISH in the Sequencing Era: Opening a New Universe of Protistan Ecology. Front Microbiol 12:640066

2021      Mujakić I, Andrei A-S, Shabarova T, Kolesár Fecskeová L, Salcher MM, Piwosz K, Ghai R, Koblizek M (2021) Common presence of phototrophic Gemmatimonadota in temperate freshwater lakes. mSystems 6:e01241-20

2021      Ameryk A, Kownacka J, Zalewski M, Piwosz K. (2021) Typical freshwater and marine bacterial lineages dynamics at salinity between 0 and 4 in the Vistula Lagoon. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 250:107100

2020      Koblížek M, Dachev M, Bína D, Nupur, Piwosz K, Kaftan D (2020) Utilization of light energy in phototrophic Gemmatimonadetes. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 23:112085

2020      Kopejtka K, Tomasch J, Zeng Y, Selyanin V, Dachev M, Piwosz K, Tichý M, Bína D, Gardian Z, Bunk B, Brinkmann H, Geffers R, Sommaruga R, Koblížek M (2020) Simultaneous presence of bacteriochlorophyll and xanthorhodopsin genes in a freshwater bacterium. mSystems 5:e01044-20

2020      Piwosz K, Vrdoljak A, Frenken T, González-Olalla JM, Šantić D, McKay RM, Spilling K, Guttman L, Znachor P, Mujakić I, Fecskeová LK, Zoccarato L, Hanusová M, Pessina A, Reich T, Grossart H-P, Koblížek M (2020) Light and primary production shape bacterial activity and community composition of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in a microcosm experiment. mSphere 5:e00354-20

2020      Piwosz K, Shabarova T, Pernthaler J, Posch T, Šimek K, Porcal P, Salcher MM (2020) Bacterial and Eukaryotic Small-Subunit Amplicon Data Do Not Provide a Quantitative Picture of Microbial Communities, but They Are Reliable in the Context of Ecological Interpretations. mSphere 5 e00052-20

2019      Kolesár Fecskeová L, Piwosz K, Hanusová M, Nedoma J, Znachor P, Koblížek M (2019) Diel changes and diversity of pufM expression in freshwater communities of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria. Scientific Reports 9, 18766.

2019      Piwosz K (2019) Weekly dynamics of abundance and size structure of specific nanophytoplankton lineages in coastal waters (Baltic Sea). Limnology and Oceanography 64(5), 2172-2186

2019      Kolářová E, Medová H, Piwosz K, Koblížek M (2019) Seasonal dynamics of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs in freshwater lake Vlkov. Folia Microbiologica 64, 705-710

2018      Piwosz K, Shabarova T, Tomasch, Simek K, Kopejtka K, Kahl S, Pieper DH, Koblizek M (2018) Determining lineage-specific bacterial growth curves with a novel approach based on amplicon reads normalization using internal standard (ARNIS). ISME J 12(11): 2640

2018      Piwosz K, Całkiewicz J, Gołębiewski M, Creer S (2018) Diversity and community composition of pico- and nanoplanktonic protists in the Vistula River estuary (Gulf of Gdansk, Baltic Sea). Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 207: 242

2018      Piwosz K, Kaftan D, Dean J, Šetlík J, Koblížek M (2018) Non-linear effect of irradiance on photoheterotrophic activity and growth of the aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium Dinoroseobacter shibae. Envir Microbiol 20: 724

2018      Kasalický V, Zeng Y, Piwosz K, Šimek K, Kratochvilová H, Koblížek M (2018) Common presence of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis within the genus Limnohabitans. Appl Envir Microbiol 84: UNSP e02116-17

2017      Gołębiewski M, Całkiewicz J, Creer S, Piwosz K (2017) Tideless estuaries in brackish seas as a possible freshwater- marine transition zones for bacteria – the case study of the Vistula river estuary. Envir Microbiol Rep 9:129

2017      Medlin LK, Piwosz K, Metfies K (2017) Uncovering hidden biodiversity in the Cryptophyta: New picoplanktonic diversity from clone library studies at the Helgoland time series site in the southern German Bight. Vie et Milieu – Life & Environment 67:27

2016      Piwosz K, Kownacka J, Ameryk A, Zalewski M, Pernthaler J (2016). Phenology of cryptomonads and the CRY1 lineage in a coastal brackish lagoon (Vistula Lagoon, Baltic Sea). J Phycol 52: 626

2015      Piwosz K, Spich K, Całkiewicz J, Weydmann A, Kubiszyn A, Wiktor J. (2015) Distribution of small phytoflagellates along an Arctic fjord transect. Environ. Microbiol 17: 2393

2015      Kędra M, Moritz C, Choy ES, Górska B, David C, Degen R, Duerksen S, Ellingsen I, Grebmeier JM, Kirievskaya D, van Oevelen D, Piwosz K, Samuelsen A, Węsławski JM. (2015) Status and trends in the ecoefficiency of Arctic food webs. Polar Res. 34: 23775

2015      Piwosz K, Villiger J, Pernthaler J (2015) Numbers vs. reads: comparison of patterns in algal dynamics revealed by high throughput sequencing and microscopic counts. Eur. J. Phycol. 50(S1):134

2015      Piwosz K, (2015) Who was the last aplastidic cryptophyte. Eur. J. Phycol. 50(S1):53

2014      Kubiszyn A, Piwosz K, Wiktor, J Jr, Wiktor J. (2014) The effect of inter-annual Atlantic water inflow variability on the planktonic protist community structure in the West Spitsbergen waters during the summer. J Plan Res 36: 1190

2013      Piwosz K, Wiktor JM, Niemi A, Tatarek A, Michel C (2013) Mesoscale distribution and functional diversity of picoeukaryotes in the first-year sea ice of the Canadian Arctic. ISME J 7:1461

2013      Kuklinski P, Berge J, McFadden L, Dmoch K, Zajaczkowski M, Nygård H, Piwosz K, Tatarek A (2013) Seasonality of occurrence and recruitment of Arctic marine benthic invertebrate larvae in relation to environmental variables. Polar Biol 36:549

2013      Piwosz K, Salcher MM, Zeder M, Ameryk A, Pernthaler J (2013) Seasonal dynamics and activity of typical freshwater bacteria in brackish waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk, Limnol Oceanogr 58:817

2013      Kownacka J, Edler L, Gromisz S, Łotocka M, Olenina I, Ostrowska M, Piwosz K (2013) Non-indigenous species Chaetoceros cf. lorenzianus Grunow 1863 – A new, predominant component of autumn phytoplankton in the southern Baltic Sea. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 119:101

2011      Piwosz K, Pernthaler J (2011) Enrichment of Omnivorous Cercozoan Nanoflagellates from Coastal Baltic Sea Waters. PLoS ONE 6:e24415

2010      Piwosz K, Pernthaler J (2010) Seasonal population dynamics and trophic role of planktonic nanoflagellates in coastal surface waters of the Southern Baltic Sea. Environ. Microbiol 12:364

2009      Piwosz K, Walkusz W, Hapter R, Wieczorek P, Haakon H, Wiktor J (2009) Comparison of productivity and phytoplankton in a warm (Kongsfjorden) and a cold (Hornsund) Spitsbergen fjord in mid-summer 2002. Polar Biol 32:549

2005      Wiktor J, Wojciechowska K (birth name) (2005) Differences in taxonomic composition of summer phytoplankton in two fjords of West Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Polish Polar Research 26: 59

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