Environmental Change Reconstruction Laboratory

...all that happens today is the product of what happened yesterday.


New research presenting environmental changes in western Poland has just been published in Catena. Investigations done by Ala Bonk and co-authors show the limnological responses to increasing human impact in the region during the last 3,000 years. Varved sediments of Lake Lubińskie provided a reliable multiproxy records including changes in sediment lithology, geochemistry, pollen, and diatoms. Happy reading!

Bonk A., Piotrowska N., Żarczyński M., Enters D., Makohonienko M., Rzodkiewicz M., Tylmann W. 2023 Limnological responses to environmental changes during the last 3,000 years revealed from a varved sequence of Lake Lubińskie (western Poland). Catena, 226: 107053. DOI 10.1016/j.catena.2023.107053. LINK


Another paper presenting the results of our monitoring of Masurian lakes has just been published in Ecological Indicators. Research done by Agnieszka Szczerba explores the relationships between seasonal changes in meteorological conditions and diatom communities. Monitoring was carried out using sediment traps, limnological and hydrochemical measurements, and meteorological data were also used. The work was done in cooperation with Monika Rzodkiewicz (UAM, Poznań). Happy reading!

Szczerba A., Rzodkiewicz M., Tylmann W. 2023. Modern diatom assemblages and their association with meteorological conditions in two lakes in northeastern Poland. Ecological Indicators, 147: 110028. DOI 10.1016/j.ecolind.2023.110028. LINK


Prof. Claire Belcher from wildFire lab at the University of Exeter, UK visited our lab between January 24 and February 7. During her stay, she delivered a lecture on “Why we need to understand palaeofire behavior and how we can estimate it”. The talk was followed by a practical training component where we learned the basics of using simple computer modelling software to estimate fire behavior using existing data.
On Thursday, February 2, Prof. Belcher delivered a talk “Wildfires, Present, Past and into the Future”. Claire showed the research done by her team presenting the past records of wildfires.
Despite intensive scientific work and a busy schedule, Prof. Belcher found time to give a short interview when she explains wildfire influence on the environment. Read more here: Interview
Claire was invited by Alicja Bonk thanks to the “Visiting Professors” program at our university.


On Thursday January 26th, Dr. Krzysztof Pleskot from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań delivered a talk “The resilience of coastal lakes to extreme marine influences: an estimate based on paleoecological studies from the Burin Peninsula (Newfoundland, Canada)”. This research is carried out thanks to support from the National Science Centre.


We are happy to announce that Ala Bonk received NCN SONATA 17 grant “Types and intensities of vegetation fires and their impact on lakes’ ecosystems across European transect (FLAMES)”.
With this project we aim to answer the following questions i) how coupled climate and anthropogenic interactions have influenced fire behavior?, ii) what were the effects of fire episodes on limnological processes, nutrient cycles and coupled ecosystem feedbacks?, and iii) how these processes have affected ecosystem resilience and ecosystem services?
To achieve these goals, we will apply a set of different analyses, including the novel technology of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) and charcoal reflectance. Moreover, we will use geochronological methods such as varve counting and radioisotope dating (Cs-137, Pb-210, and C-14). Along with them, geochemical (XRF and CNS) and biological (pollen and diatoms) proxies will be reconstructed. This approach will be applied on annually laminated lake sediments from Finland, Poland, Germany, and Spain.
This project will be implemented in cooperation with AMU Poznań, University of Bremen, University of Turku, University of Exeter, and Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre (Barcelona).


The IAL-IPA 2022 joint meeting took place in Bariloche, Argentina between November 27th and December 2nd. The goal of the conference was to celebrate research on Lakes as Memories of Landscape („Lagos Memorias del Territorio”). Alicja Bonk and Wojciech Tylmann participated in this event and presented one oral and one poster presentation about wildfire reconstruction in Lake Lubińskie vicinity and decade-long observations of modern processes in Lake Żabińskie. Additionally, Wojciech presented a poster by Maurycy Żarczyński about the preliminary results of the Lake Kelitsadi (Georgia) sediment record.

Oral presentation:
Tylmann W., Żarczyński M., Zander P. D., Grosjean M., Decade-long observations of relationships between meteorological conditions and varve formation processes in Lake Żabińskie (Poland)

Bonk A., Tylmann W., Makohonienko M., Human-induced vegetation fires derived from Lake Lubińskie sedimentary record

Żarczyński M., Tsitelashvili N., Trapaidze V., Tylmann W., A preliminary perspective on the last millennium in the High Caucasus: an example of Lake Kelitsadi (Georgia)


On September 14-16, a scientific conference “Natural and anthropogenic transformations of lakes and reservoirs” was held in Ruciane-Nida, Poland. Also at this meeting, the 20th anniversary of the funding of the Polish Limnological Society was celebrated. Wojciech Tylmann took part in this conference and delivered a talk about our long-term monitoring of Lake Żabińskie.

Wojciech Tylmann, Maurycy Żarczyński, Alicja Bonk, Dariusz Borowiak, Paulina Głowacka, Martin Grosjean, Kamil Nowiński, Agnieszka Szczerba, Paul Zander – Influence of meteorological conditions on formation of varved sediments in northern Poland: a decade of limnological observations at Lake Żabińskie.


On August 7-10, the 36th Congress of the International Society of Limnology was held in Berlin. Also at this meeting, the 100th birthday of SIL was celebrated! Agnieszka Szczerba and Guillermo de Mendoza had the opportunity to participate in this special event. Agnieszka presented two posters about our ongoing research:

Agnieszka Szczerba, Sergi Pla-Rabes, Maurycy Żarczyński, Wojciech Tylmann – Do chrysophyte cysts reflect the changes in meteorological conditions? A case study from northeastern Poland.

Agnieszka Szczerba, Monika Rzodkiewicz, Wojciech Tylmann – Effects of changes in meteorological/environmental conditions on diatom deposition and taxonomic structure in lakes Łazduny and Rzęśniki, northeast Poland.

There was also some time to explore Berlin and try the famous currywurst!


On Monday, August 29th Dr Ladislav Hamerlík from Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia) presented paleolimnological investigations based on the non-biting midges (chironomids) from Slovakian sites. His talk “From chironomids to (not only) alpine lakes” focused on paleoenvironmental reconstructions spanning Holocene and the Anhropocene as well as modern monitoring studies of Carpathian lakes.


On our youtube channel we have just posted a short video showing our trip to Georgia, which took place in the late summer of 2021. Enjoy!

Expedition Georgia 2021. Coring Lake Kelitsadi


During the weekend, we celebrated the 6th anniversary of our lab! This time we turned into a cohort of pirates and enjoyed the beautiful weather in the Kashubian countryside, having a barbecue and tasting a smoked trout. We tried to listen to the shanties but rock ‘n’ roll won again.


A new paper summarizing our decade-long (2012–2019) observations of modern processes in Lake Żabińskie has just been published in STOTEN. The major goal was to understand varve formation processes in this lake, in particular to find the records of meteorological signals in varves. We compared meteorological data, physicochemical water parameters, and modern sedimentation measurements with a high-resolution biogeochemical proxy dataset based on μXRF and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) of a varved sediment core spanning the same period. We found interesting relationships between air temperature and calcite laminae formation, lake mixing intensity and calcite grain size, and between holomixis events and the deposition of manganese (Mn) in the anoxic sediments. Happy reading!

Żarczyński M., Zander P., Grosjean M., Tylmann W. 2022. Linking the formation of varves in a eutrophic temperate lake to meteorological conditions and water column dynamics. Science of the Total Environment, 842, 156787. DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156787. LINK


On May 23-27 The EGU General Assembly 2022 was held in Vienna. Among more than 7,000 participants onsite, ECRLab was represented by Alicja Bonk, Agnieszka Szczerba and Wojciech Tylmann. We delivered two presentations related to our ongoing research:

Alicja Bonk, Claire Belcher, Wojciech Tylmann – Is charcoal reflectance a palaeofire intensity proxy?

Agnieszka Szczerba, Sergi Pla-Rabes, Maurycy Żarczyński, and Wojciech Tylmann – Chrysophyte cysts reflect seasonal meteorological and limnological conditions: Evidence from sediment trap study in northeast Poland.

Besides, we had a good time in beautiful Vienna!


On May 16-20 an online conference PAGES 6th Open Science Meeting was held in Agadir. The main topic of the meeting was „Learning from the past for a sustainable future”. Ala Bonk from our lab presented ePoster about her ongoing research entitled: “Ecological responses to environmental changes revealed from a varved sequence of Lake Lubińskie (western Poland)”. Additionally, Paul Zander (University of Bern) provided a talk “Holocene spring and summer temperature variability inferred from Ca/Ti ratios, Lake Żabińskie, Poland” presenting our joint research results from northern Poland.


In the frame of the National Science Centre project „Eutrophication, mixing regime changes and anoxia: tracking the responses of varved Lake Gorzyńskie (NW Poland) to climate variability and human impact during the Holocene” we visited the Geopolar Lab at the University of Bremen (28-30.03.2020). The goal of our visit was to open and correlate sediment cores from Lake Gorzyńskie. The sediment cores were also scanned with XRF Itrax Core Scanner to get the information about chemical composition of the sediments.