Doktorantka rekonstruuje zmiany środowiska dzięki projektom badawczym UŁ

How much do we know about the history of places we live in? What if we could reconstruct the development of our region over the last 2,000 years – the story of geographical and biological changes shaping the place we live in? A young researcher from the University of Lodz, Marta Rudna, devoted her studies to such research. She continues her research project as part of her doctoral studies thanks to the fact that she has won the University of Lodz IDUB Doctoral Research Grants competition.

Student beginnings
Marta Rudna analysed the Lubuskie region’s environment during her studies. As a researcher she, herself, noted that this region is relatively poorly recognised in terms of palaeogeography. She wanted to complete knowledge on the palaeoecological changes of the area by analysing the surrounding peatlands. They are characterised by high content of the remains of numerous organisms including paddlefish (Cladocera), which are of particular research interest. Paddlefish are microscopic crustaceans that live at the bottoms of freshwater reservoirs. Marta Rudna collected their remains from wetlands near Jany and Klenica in the Oder Valley and analysed them.  

The conducted research made it possible to distinguish 3 phases of paddlefish development on the basis of variations in species composition and the frequency of individuals. The researcher observed habitat and climatic changes within the study basin during the Neo-Holocene, mainly during the Sub-Atlantic period. The second sediment profile (Klenica) represented sediments from the subboreal and sub-Atlantic periods. 

The project constituted a significant part of her master's thesis. The research was carried out and financed thanks to the Student Research Grants 2018 of the University of Lodz fund, the second edition of the event which is addressed to the youngest researchers from the University of Lodz.

Continuation of the research during the doctoral studies
Marta Rudna is continuing her research, which was initiated at the turn of 2018 and 2019, during her doctoral studies at the University of Lodz. This time, she will focus on reconstructing rapid climatic changes in central Poland at the turn of the Pleistocene and Holocene. To do so, she will analyse the remains of paddlefish, collected from selected sites, using radiocarbon dating methods and a palynological analysis. The second method will also help to specify palaeoecological data concerning episodes of transitions from cold to warm conditions and the other way around. The research will also contribute to expanding the state of knowledge regarding conditions in the Polish Lowlands at the turn of the last glacial period and the Holocene, and will make it possible to trace the response of paddlefish to environmental changes in detail.


Student Research Grants is a competition addressed to the youngest researchers from the University of Lodz. Over the past five years, more than PLN 1 million has already been allocated to fund innovative student research projects. The competition winners often continue their research during their doctoral studies. Doctoral Research Grants of the University of Lodz, funded thanks to the Excellence Initiative – Research University project, have been organised with them in mind. The funds enable doctoral students to carry out advanced research projects that constitute the basis of their doctoral dissertations and can be further developed in national and international grant competitions.

Source: Marta Rudna, University of Lodz Doctoral School of Exact and Natural Sciences
Edit: Mateusz Grabowski, Service Centre for Students and PhD Candidates, Promotion Centre, University of Lodz