Shortly after the establishment of the Institute (then the Department) of Botany the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1953 the scope of its activities was expanded on phycological research. Within the Polish Flora Laboratory led by Prof. Bogumil Pawłowski on March 1st, 1954 the Algology Section began its activities. The Departament organization was entrusted by Professor Szafer to Professor (then assistant professor) Karol Starmach. Two years later the Algology Section was renamed to Algological Laboratory, then the Algology Department in 2000 and ultimately to the Phycology Department.

According to the plan drawn up by K. Starmach the Department was supposed to be, and is until now, a national center for the development of individual systematic groups of floras forming diverse algae communities. Phycology covers many taxonomic groups, including the prokaryotic cyanobacteria and prochlorophytes and eukaryotic glaukophytes, red algae, xanthophytes (including golden algae, diatoms and brown algae), haptophytes, dinophytes, euglenoids, chloromonadophytes and green algae (according to C. Van den Hoek, DG Mann and HM Jahns 1995).

At the beginning the Algological Section was located at Sławkowska 17 Street, in two rooms taken over by the Herbarium of the Institute of Botany after Physiographic Committee of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. This facilitated the contact with the head of the Section Asst. K. Starmach, who also directed the work of recently formed and located there, the Department of Biology of Waters. In 1966 the Algology Section was moved to the newly constructed annex at the university building at Lubicz 46 Street

Apart from Starmach (employed on the commissioned work) also: Dr. Jadwiga Siemińska (from 1st March to 1st July 1954 on commissioned work, then part-time and later full-time), MSc Cecylia Szklarczyk-Gazdowa (initially part-time) and Dr. Bolesława Kawecka-Starmachowa (commissioned work) started to work there. Already in the first year of the research: MSc Jozefa Sosnowska from Olsztyn and MSc Ryszard Bohr (who later became a rector of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń) stayed there doing an internship. At the same time, Teresa Mrozińska and Kazimierz Wasylik, who were students at the Jagiellonian University, started their work on master’s thesis.

The main task of the Laboratory of Polish Flora and therefore, the Algological Section’s, was supposed to be, and is until now, the preparation for developing the monographic volumes in the series “Polish Flora”. That's why, for over 60 years in the Department are carried out the basic topics helping to develop different groups of algae.


1 III 1954 – the establishment of the Algology Unit in the Section of Polish Flora (the organiser and the head of the Unit: Karol Starmach)

5 IV 1956 – changing the name Algology Unit into Algology Section in the Cryptogams Department

1 XI 1958 – Jadwiga Siemińska becomes the head of the Algology Section after the retirement of K. Starmach (he continued to cooperate with the Section until he passed away in 2 III 1988)

7 X 1960 – changing the name into Algology Department

1 IV 1992 – after the retirement of J. Siemińska, K. Wołowski functions the duties of the head of the Department

1 VII 2000 – Konrad Wołowski becomes the head of the Algology Department

22 XI 2000 – changing the name into Phycology Department