Kazik Więski

Photo: Solidarity with the Polish people!

Photo: Solidarity with Daphnia, some of which have inducible defenses against fish predators!

Photo: Solidarity with the Pennings lab at the 2006 ESA meetings!

Photo: Solidarity with Paria beetle eating Iva frutescens (and inducing defenses?)!



Academic History:

2005-present: Postdoc in Pennings Lab, Dept. of Biology and Biochemistry, UH

2004: FPS Fellow at the Department of Hydrobiology, University of Warsaw, Poland (3 months)

2003: visiting researcher at the Environmental Group, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Scotland (3 months)

2000-present: Assist. Professor at the Dept. of Fish Biology, Agric.University of Szczecin

PhD in Fisheries, 1999, Agric.University of Szczecin, Poland

M.Sc. in Fisheries, 1994, Agric.University of Szczecin, Poland


Research Interests:

I am interested in the ecology of induced defenses in exploitative systems. In contrast to constitutive defenses, induced defenses are triggered in organisms only in the presence of a cue associated with risk, thus minimizing the overall cost of defense and releasing resources for other purposes (e.g., growth or reproduction). Studying predator-prey interactions, I focused on behavioural and demographical reactions of predation-risk induced prey using as models systems of freshwater zooplankton and their fish predators. Here in Houston I have a double challenging opportunity to work on new (to me) ideas related to geographical consequences of induced defenses in herbivore-plant systems.


Although I have moved to a different field of research, I haven’t completely lost my initial interest in fisheries biology, and am currently working on morphometrics of fish parasites.



Guo, H., K. Więski, Z. Lan and S. C. Pennings. 2014. Relative influence of deterministic processes on structuring marsh plant communities varies across an abiotic gradient. Oikos 123:173-178. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.00425.x.

Więski, K. and S. C. Pennings. 2013. Climate drivers of Spartina alterniflora saltmarsh production in Georgia, USA. Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-013-9732-6.

Marczak, L. B., K. Więski, R. F. Denno and S. C. Pennings. 2013. Importance of local versus geographical variation in saltmarsh plant quality for arthropod herbivore communities. Journal of Ecology 101:1169-1182.

Jimenez J., Więski K., Ho C.K., Marczak L., Pennings S. 2012. Effects of an omnivorous katydid, salinity and nutrients on a planthopper-Spartina food web. Estuaries and Coasts. (35) 475-485

Ewers, C., A. Beiersdorf, K. Wieski, S. C. Pennings, and M. Zimmer. 2012. Predator/prey-interactions promote decomposition of low-quality detritus. Wetlands 32: 931-938. DOI 10.1007/s13157-012-0326-4.

Marczak L., Ho C.K., Więski K., Vu H., Denno R., Pennings S. 2011. Latitudinal variation in top-down and bottom-up control of a salt marsh food web. Ecology. 92(2). 276-281.

Więski K., Guo H., Pennings S., Craft C. 2010. Ecosystem functions of Georgia tidal marshes. Estuaries and Coasts. 33 (1). 161-169

Pennings, S. C., C. K. Ho, C. Salgado, K. Więski, N. Dave, A. Kunza, and E. Wason. 2009. Latitudinal variation in herbivore pressure in Atlantic Coast salt marshes. Ecology 90. 183-195

Omoregie E., Ajima M., R. Keke, Więski K., 2009: Effect of single superphosphate fertilizer on survival and respiratory dynamics of nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Cichlidae). Acta Ichth. Piscat. 39 (2). 103-110

Hughes Z. J., D.M FitzGerald, C.A Wilson, S.C.Pennings, K.Więski, Mahadevan A. 2009. Rapid headward erosion of marsh creeks in response to relative sea level rise. Geoph. Res Let. L03602. 1-5

Beckerman A.., Więski K., Baird D. 2007. Behavioural versus physiological mediation of life history under predation risk. Oecologia (152). 335-343

Kempter J., Piasecki W., Więski K., Krawczyk B. 2006: Systematic position of copepods of the genus Achtheres (Crustacea: Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida) parasitizing perch, Perca fluviatilis L., and zander, Sander lucioperca (L.). Journal of Fish Diseases 2006, 29, 1–11

Franiel I., Więski K., 2005: Leaf features of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth). Variability within and between two populations (uncontaminated vs Pb-contaminated and Zn-contaminated site). Trees - Structure and Function 19(1). 81-88

Więski K. 2002. Chemical body composition of roach from the Odra river estuary. Bulletin of the Sea Fisheries Institute 3(157). 33-46
Więski K. 2002. Feeding of vendace in Lake Miedwie (NW Poland). EJPAU 5(1), ser: Fish. http://www.ejpau.media.pl/series/ volume5/issue1/ fisheries/art-02.html

Więski K., Zalachowski, W. 2000. Nutritional status of roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.)) in the River Odra estuary. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 30(1). 19-38

Szypuła, J, Więski K., Rybczyk A., 2001: Practice in Fish Biology with MS Excel (in Polish). 150 p. Agric. Univ. Szcz. Press.




2012 LTER synthesis grant $37,000 (sponsor S.Pennings)

2006 GEAR (PI: Steven Pennings)

2004 In-country Outgoing Fellowship (2004 edition) awarded by the Foundation for Polish Science

2003-4 Agric.University of Szczecin Internal Grant

2003 European Commision IHP Grant, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Scotland


Updated 1/2014