Dr Piotr Lukasik

DPhil Student

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Research interests

Although secondary endosymbionts have been found to affect several important life history traits of pea aphid – a model species, little is known about how universal these effects are, or about the symbionts’ roles in other species. I aim to fill this gap: I study fitness consequences of infection with secondary symbionts in English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, one of the world’s most serious pests of cereals. I am particularly interested in large-scale dynamics of symbionts within aphid species and multi-species aphid communities: I ask questions such as whether aphids adapt to symbiosis, which factors determine the costs and benefits of infection with novel symbionts, and whether the effects of novel infection with a given symbiont strain are the same across clones and species.

Before coming to Oxford in April 2008, I studied for M.Sc. in Biology (Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences) at Jagiellonian University, Poland. My thesis focused on evolution of adaptation to heavy metal contamination in flour beetles, but I also completed other projects in the fields of invertebrate ecology and evolution, at my home institute and at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Wageningen University (The Netherlands), Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama) and during the Tropical Biology Association field course in Madagascar. Besides entomology and evolutionary ecology, my interests include marine and aquatic biology, scuba diving, hill walking and travelling.

I currently work with Jacob Russell in Drexel University, Philadelphia.

 Selected publications

  • Lukasik, P. (in press) Trophic dimorphism in alternative male reproductive morphs of the acarid mite Sancassania berlesei. Behavioral Ecology.
  • Lukasik, P. & Laskowski, R. 2007 Increased respiration rate as a result of adaptation to copper in confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du ValBulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 79(3): 311-314.
  • Lukasik, P. & Johnson, T. 2007 Arthropod communities and succession in baobab, Adansonia rubrostipa, fruits in a dry deciduous forest in Kirindy Forest Reserve, Madagascar. African Entomology 15(1): 214-220.
  • Lukasik, P., Radwan, J. & Tomkins, J.L. 2006 Structural complexity of the environment affects the survival of alternative male reproductive tactics. Evolution 60(2): 399-403.
  • Lukasik, P. 2004 Aphally in the land snail Chondrina clienta (Gastropoda: Chondrinidae) from Kraków-Czestochowa Upland, Poland. Malakologische Abhandlungen 22: 67-76.