CIEŚLAK Elżbieta

Dr [PhD] of Biological Sciences
in the field of biology; specialization: botany

(update: 12.2016)

Work adress:
  Laboratory of Molecular Analyze, W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences,
  Lubicz 46, PL 31-512 Cracow, Poland
  tel. (+48 12) 42-41-801; fax (+48 12) 4219790
Education:   1993 – MSc., Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland,
  2001 – Dr [PhD], Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, Cracow, Poland.

Field of interest:

  • taxonomy of genus Caltha in Europe,
  • phylogeography of xerothermic species in Central Europe (Carlina onopordifolia, Cirsium pannonicum, Inula ensifolia, Linum flavum, L. hirsutum),
  • phylogeography of Cochlearia pyrenaica complex in Europe,
  • analysis of genetic structure of endemic species: G. cracoviense, G. oelandicum, Cochlearia polonica, C. tatrae,
  • analysis of the genetic structure of rare and threatened species e. g. Galium sudeticum, Viola uliginosa, Serratula lycopypholia,
  • phylogeography of arctic species e. g. Saxifraga hirculus L.,
  • phylogeography of alpine species (especially in Carpathian Mt.).

  • 2005 – Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Université Joseph-Fourier, Grenoble, France
  • 2004 – Ivan Franko National University, Lviv, Ukraine
  • 2001 – Herbarium of Komarov Institute of Botany RAN, Sankt Petersburg, Russia
  • 2000 – Herbarium of Hungarian Natural History Museum, Department of Botany, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2005 – Fundation for Polish Science – Conference Grant, supported participation in XVII International Botanical Congress, Austria, Vienna, 17-23 July 2005;
    2002 – Fundation for Polish Science – SCHOLARSHIP Outgoing national scholarship, 2002.
Scientific expeditions:
  • Carpathian Mts. (The Southern and Western Carpathians: Romania 2003, 2005)
  • Eastern Alps (Germany, Switzerland 2005)
  • Scandinavian Peninsula (Finland, Sweden 2005)
  • Balkan Peninsula (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia)
  • Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal)
  • Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia 2005)
  • Central and south-eastern Europe (the Czech Republic 2009, Hungary 2009, Slovakia 2004, 2009, Ukraine 2000, 2009)

  Projects granted by Europe Union

  • Grant EU nr FP6-036866: ECOCHANGE – Challenges in assessing and forecasting biodiversity and ecosystem changes in Europe. (01.01.2007–31.12.2011)
  • Grant EU nr GOCE-CT-2004-505376: INTRABIODIV – Tracking surrogates for intraspecific biodiversity: towards efficient selection strategies for the con­­servation of natural genetic resources using comparative mapping and modelling approaches. (01.01.2004–31.12.2006)
  Projects granted by Ministry of Science and Higher Education
  • Genetic diversity of Carlina onopordifolia Besser in relation to the evolution and biogeographical history of Carlina acanthifolia All. complex (Compositae) in Europe. (In progress), Project manager dr E. Cieślak, N N304 3000940, 2011-2014.
  • Spatial patherns of genetical diversity of chosen xerotherm species of extrazonal character in Poland, within colonization history context. Project manager dr E. Cieślak, N 304 15 46 33, 2007-2010.
  • Molecular patterns within a group of Lecanora dispersa in Poland against the background of morphological-anatomical and hemotaksonomcal variability the particular species. Project manager doc. dr hab. L. Śliwa, N 304 050 32/2318, 2007-2010.
  • Endemism in the flora of Poland – analysis of patterns of variation and biological diversity. Project manager prof. dr hab. Halina Piękoś-Mirkowa, 2 P04G 06028, 2005-2009.
  • Phylogeography and the origin of the tall-herb communities flora in the Carpathians.] Project manager dr. A. Stachurska-Swakoń, 2P04G 09528, 2005-2008.
  • Intra- and interpopulational genetical variability of Viola uliginosa Besser from the territory of Poland, against the background of the adjacent countries, in the perspective of the protection of the species. Project manager dr W. Paul, 2 P04G 031 27, 2004-2007.
  • Intra-and inter-population genetical variability of Saxifraga hirculus L. (Saxifragaceae) in Poland against the background of the adjacent countries considering theoretical-practical and methodological aspects of its protection. Project manager dr M. Kędra, 2 P04G 082 26, 2004-2007.
  • Patterns of genetic diversity of rare and widely distributed species of genus Melica L. Project manager dr M. Szczepaniak, 3P04G 04025, 2003-2006.
  • Phylogeny and spatial patterns of molecular diversity of selected species of the genus Cochlearia L. from Central and Eastern Europe as the basis for the protection of their genetic diversity. Project manager dr E. Cieślak, 3 P04G 007 24, 2003-2006.
  • Taksonomy and chorology of Caltha palustris L. complex in Poland. Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Mirek, 6P04C051131, 998-2001.
  • member of the council of W. Szafer Fundation for Polish Botany, Cracow (secretary)
  • member of Polish Botanical Society – PTB


Scientific studies in journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports (JCR)
  • Paul W., Cieślak E., Ronikier M., Migdałek G., Słomka A., Żabicka J. 2016. Low genetic diversity of declining Viola uliginosa (Violaceae) at its southern range limits in Poland. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia Series Botanica 58: 41–52.
  • Szczepaniak M., Kamiński R., Kuta E., Słomka A., Heise W., Cieślak E. 2016. Natural hybridization between Gladiolus palustris and G. imbricatus inferred from morphological, molecular and reproductive evidence. Preslia 88: 137–161.
  • Kajtoch Ł., Cieślak E., Varga Z., Paul W., Mazur M.A., Sramkó G., Kubisz D. 2016. Phylogeographic patterns of steppe species in Eastern Central Europe: a review and the implications for conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 10.1007/s10531-016-1065-2.
  • Wacnik A., Nalepka D., Granoszewski W., Walanus A., Madeyska E., Cywa K., Szczepanek K., Cieślak E. 2015. Development of modern forest zones in the Beskid Niski Mts. and adjacent area (Western Carpathians) in the late Holocene: a palaeobotanical perspective. Quaternary International. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.09.
  • Cieślak E., Cieślak J., Szeląg Z., Roniker M. 2015. Genetic structure of Galium cracoviense (Rubiaceae): a naturally rare species with an extremely small distribution range. Conservation genetic. 10.1007/s10592-015-0711-7 <PDF>
  • Kuta E., Jędrzejczyk-Korycińska M., Cieślak E., Rostański A., Szczepaniak M., Migdałek G., Wąsowicz P., Suda J., Combik M., Słomka A. 2014. Morphological versus genetic diversity of Viola reichenbachiana and V. riviniana (sect. Viola, Violaceae) from soils differing in heavy metal content. Plant Biology 16(5): 924-934.
  • Cieślak E. 2013. Variation and genetic structure of Serratula lycopifolia populations (Vill.) Kern. (Asteraceae) in Poland and adjacent regions. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 82(1) 67-75. <PDF>
  • Stachurska-Swakoń A., Cieślak E., Ronikier M. 2013. Phylogeography of a subalpine tall-herb Ranunculus platanifolius (Ranunculaceae) reveals two main genetic lineages in the European mountains. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 171: 413–428.
  • Stachurska-Swakoń A., Cieślak E., Ronikier M. 2012. Phylogeography of subalpine tall-herb species in Central Europe: the case of Cicerbita alpina. Preslia 84: 121–140.
  • Taberlet P., Zimmermann N. E.,  Englisch T.,  Tribsch A., Holderegger R., Alvarez N., Niklfeld H., Coldea G., Mirek Z., Moilanen A., Ahlmer W., Marsan P.A., Bona E., Bovio M., Choler P., Cieślak  E., Colli L., Vasile Cristea V., Dalmas  J.P., Frajman B., Garraud L., Gaudeul M., Gielly L., Gutermann W.,  Jogan N., Kagalo A. A.,  Korbecka G., Küpfer P., Lequette B., Letz D.R., Manel S., Mansion G., Marhold K., Martini F., Negrini R., Niño F., Paun O., Pellecchia M., Perico G., Piękoś-Mirkowa H., Prosser F., Puşcaş M., Ronikier M., Scheuerer M., Schneeweiss G. M., Schönswetter P., Schratt-Ehrendorfer L., Schüpfer F., Selvaggi A., Steinmann K., Thiel-Egenter C., van Loo M.,Winkler M., Wohlgemuth T., Wraber T., Gugerli F., IntraBioDiv Consortium. 2012. Genetic diversity in widespread species is not congruent with species richness in alpine plant communities. Ecology Letters 15(12): 1439–1448.
  • Stachurska-Swakoń A., Cieslak E., Ronikier M. 2011. Genetic variability of small isolated populations of Cicerbita alpina (L.) Wallr. (Asteraceae) in the Beskid Maly Mts (southern Poland). Polish Journal of Ecology 59(2): 279–288.
  • Szczepaniak M., Cieślak E. 2011. Genetic and morphological differentiation between Melica ciliata L. and M. transsilvanica Schur (Poaceae) in Europe reveals the non-presence of M. ciliata in the Polish flora. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 80(4): 301–313.
  •  Cieślak E., Szeląg Z. 2010. Genetic diversity of Galium cracoviense, G. oelandicum and G. sudeticum (Rubiaceae) – narrow endemic species of Galium sect. Leptogalium in northeastern Europe. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 79(4): 269–275.
  • Cieślak E., Kaźmierczakowa R., Ronikier M. 2010. Cochlearia polonica Fröhl. (Brassicaceae), a narrow endemic species of southern Poland: history of conservation efforts, overview of current population resources and genetic structure of populations. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 79(3): 255–261.
  • Cieślak E., Szeląg Z. 2009. Genetic diversity of Galium cracoviense (Rubiaceae) – the Polish endemic plant. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 78(2): 123–129.
  •  Szczepaniak M., Cieślak E. 2009. Genetic diversity of Melica transsilvanica Schur (Poaceae) at its northern range limit. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia, Series Botanica  51(1): 71–82.
  • Thiel-Egenter C., Gugerli F., Alvarez N., Brodbeck S., Cieślak E., Colli L., Englisch T., Gaudeul M., Gielly L., Korbecka G., Negrini R., Paun O., Pellecchia M., Rioux D., Ronikier M., Schönswetter P., Schüpfer F., Taberlet P., Tribsch A., van Loo M., Winkler M., Holderegger and IntrBioDiv Consortium. 2009. Effects of species traits on the genetic diversity of high-mountain plants: a multi-species study  across the Alps and the Carpathians. Global Ecology and Biogeography 18: 78–87.
  • Ronikier M., Cieślak E., Korbecka G. 2008. High genetic differentiation in the alpine plant Campanula alpina Jacq. (Campanulaceae): evidence for glacial survival in several Carpathian regions and long–term isolation between the Carpathians and the Alps. Molecular Ecology 17(7): 1763–1775.
  • Cieślak E., Ronikier M., Koch M. A. 2007. Western Ukrainian Cochlearia (Brassicaceae) – the identity of an isolated edge population. Taxon 56(1): 112–118.
  • Cieślak E., Korbecka G., Ronikier M. 2007. Genetic structure of the critically endangered endemic Cochlearia polonica (Brassicaceae): efficiency of the last–chance transplantation. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 155(4): 527–532.
  • Szczepaniak M., Cieślak E. 2007. Low level of genetic variation within Melica transsilvanica populations from the Kraków–Częstochowa Upland and the Pieniny Mts revealed by AFLPs analysis. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 76(4): 321–331.
  •  Szczepaniak M., Cieślak E., Bednarek P. T. 2007. Natural hybridization between Elymus repens and Elymus hispidus assessed by AFLP analysis. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 76(3): 225–234.
  • Cieślak E., Paul W., Ronikier M. 2006. Low genetic diversity in the endangered population of Viola uliginosa in its locus classicus at Rząska near Cracow (Southern Poland) as revealed by AFLP markers. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 75(3): 245–251.
  • Cieślak E. 2004. Morphological variability of the Caltha palustris L. complex (Ranunculaceae) in Poland. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 73(3): 193–201.
  • Cieślak E., Florjan S. 2002. Stomata size in the Caltha palustris complex (Ranunculaceae) from Poland. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia, Series Botanica 44: 91–97.
  • Szczepaniak M., Cieślak E., Bednarek P. T. 2002. Morphological and AFLP variation of Elymus repens (L.) Gould (Poaceae). Cellular Molecular Biology Letters 7(2A): 547–558.
  • Cieślak E., Ilnicki T., Flis M. 2000. Cytotaxonomical studies on the Caltha palustris complex (Ranunculaceae) in Poland. Preliminary report. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia, Series Botanica 42(1): 121–129.
  • Cieślak E., Cieślak J. 2000. Program komputerowy do pomiarów biometrycznych. Computer programme for biometrical measurements. Wiadomości Botaniczne 44(1/2): 80–81.
  • Cieślak E., Mirek Z. 1996. Representatives of Veronica hederifolia group (Scrophulariaceae) in Poland. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 41(2): 935–952.
  Scientific studies in other international journals
  • Puchalski W., Cieślak E., Nowak J. & Żukowski W. 2016. Czy zabieg introdukcji Groenlandia densa (Potamogetonaceae) w Polsce ma szanse powodzenia? Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 23(2): 289–304.
  • Cieślak E. 2015. Historia migracji roślinności kserotermicznej na teren Polski południowej w świetle badań molekularnych. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 22(1): 3–13. <PDF>
  • Cieślak E., Szczepaniak M., Kamiński R., Heise W. 2014. Stan zachowania krytycznie zagrożonego gatunku Gladiolus paluster (Iridaceae) w Polsce – analiza zmienności genetycznej osobników w uprawie Ogrodu Botanicznego Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego w kontekście prowadzonych działań ochronnych. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 21(1): 49–66.
  • Cieślak E., Szczepaniak M. 2012. Porównanie struktury genetycznej naturalnych i introdukowanych populacji Carlina onopordifolia (Asteraceae) w Polsce. Comparison of the genetic structure of natural and introduced populations of Carlina onopordifolia (Asteraceae) in Poland. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 19(2):459-474.
  • Cieślak E., Paul W. 2011. Typification of Carlina acanthifolia var. spathulata (Asteraceae) and new authorship for C. onopordifolia. Polish Botanical Journal 56(1): 55–60.
  • Cieślak E., Paul W. 2011. Carlina onopordifolia (Asteraceae) – zarys historii taksonomicznej. Carlina onopordifolia (Asteraceae) – an outline of taxonomical history. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 18(2): 301–320.
  • Cieślak E., Cieślak J., Paul W. 2009. Nowe stanowisko Carlina onopordifolia (Asteraceae) na Wyżynie Lubelskiej – New locality of Carlina onopordifolia (Asteraceae) in the Lublin Upland. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 16(2): 433–438.
  • Cieślak E., Ronikier M. 2006. Zastosowanie analiz DNA w ustaleniu endemicznego statusu Cochlearia polonica i C. tatrae (Brassicaceae) – Application of DNA studies for elucidation of the endemic status of Cochlearia polonica and C. tatrae (Brassicaceae). Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 13(2): 317–325.
  • Szczepaniak M., Cieślak E. 2006. Genetic variation and structure in natural populations of Melica ciliata and M. transsilvanica (Poaceae) as indicated by AFLP markers. Biodiversity: Research and Conservation 3/4: 235–239.
  • Cieślak E., Paul W., Cieślak J. 2004. Bogate stanowisko Viola uliginosa Bess. (Violaceae) w Kotlinie Sandomierskiej. Specimen-rich station of Viola uliginosa (Violaceae) in the Kotlina Sandomierska basin. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 11(1) 206–209.
  • Cieślak E. 2002. Rozmieszczenie rodzaju Caltha (Ranunculaceae) w Polsce [Distribution of the genus Caltha (Ranunculaceae) in Poland. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Polonica 9: 89–114.
  • Cieślak E. 2014. "Phylogeography of Pontic-Pannonian species in Central Europe." Polish Botanical Studies 30: 1–53.
  Chapters in books
  • Paul. W., Cieślak E., Ronikier M. 2009. Viola uliginosa (Violaceae): the need for genetic diversity assessment of an endangered limited-range species. [W]: Mirek Z., Nikiel A. (red.). Rare, relict and dangered plants and fungi in Poland. W. Szafer Institute of  Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, s. 405–407.
  • SZczepaniak M., Cieślak E. 2003. Assessment of genetic variation in Elymus repens and E. hispidus using AFLP markers and its implications for intraspecific taxonomy. [W]: L. Frey (ed.), Problems of grass biology. W. Szafer Institute of Botany Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, s. 271–286.
  Co-author and co-redaktor
  • Mirek Z., Piękoś-Mirkowa H., Zając A., Zając M., Paul W., Ronikier M., Bernacki L., Cieślak E., Głowacki Z., Leda M., Mitka J., Paśnik A., Rostański K., Szeląg Z., Wójcicki J. J., Zalewska-Gałosz J., Zieliński J., Żukowski W. 2002. Flowering plants and pteridophytes of Poland. A checklist. Biodiversity of Poland 1. W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, ss. 442.
  • Cieślak E., Mirek Z., Paul W.1995. Flora Polski. Rośliny naczyniowe. Historia i Indeksy. [Flora Polish. Vascular plants. History and Index] T. 15. W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, ss. 262.


  • International Symposium on Evolution of Balkan Biodiversity. BalkBioDiv Consortium and Croatian Botanical Society, Croatia, Zagreb, 28–30.06.2012.
  • "A European Perspective on the Future of Biodiversity and Ecosystems. Final Conference of the Ecochange Project", Zürich, Szwajcaria, 21–22.03.2012.
  • 7th International Conference of Young Naturalists "From Biotechnology to Environmental Protection", The Interdisciplinary Meeting of Young Naturalists, Zielona Góra, 8–10.11.2012.
  • 4th Conference of Polish Society of Experimental Plant Biology "Experimental Plant Biology. Why not?!", Krakow, 21–25.09, 2009.
  • 5th Balkan Botanical Congress. The 80th anniversary of the publication of Turrill’s "Plant life of the Balkan Peninsula", Serbia, Belgrade, 7–11.09.2009.
  • Xth Symposium of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematics, Slovakia, Vysoké Tatry, 2–4.07.2008.
  • Biodiversity Conservation – From Genes To Habitats, Switzerland, Davos, 23–24.11.2006.
  • "Badania Naukowe w Pieninach 2005", Czerwony Klasztor – Slovakia, 02.06.2005.
  • XVII International Botanical Congress, Austria, Vienna, 17–23.07.2005.
  • Application of Molecular Markers in Studies on Plants, International Workshop, Poland, Warsaw, 25–29.09.2002.
  • "Molecular methods in evolution and ecology" Poland, Warsaw, 23.10.1999.
  • "Podolia 2000 – Xerothermic vegetation - steppes of southern Poland and western Ukraine - ecology, conservation and management of steppe-like communities" 3–9.06.2000, Krakow – Lviv, Poland-Ukraine
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