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Dr. Dirk J. Mikolajewski

Dirk J. Mikolajewski

Rolff Group - Evolutionary Biology

Institute of Biology

Freie Universität Berlin

Senior Scientist

Königin-Luise-Straße 1-3
14195 Berlin
+49 30 838-461356
d.mikolajewski [at] fu-berlin [dot] de
2012 Senior Scientist, Freie Universität Berlin
2011-2012 Teaching Associate, University of Sheffield, UK
2009-2011 Marie Curie Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK
2007-2009 Postdoctoral research fellowship (DFG), University of Sheffield, UK
2004-2007 Postdoctoral research fellowship (Leopoldina), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
2004 Dr. rer. nat., Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany
2001 Doctoral research fellowship (DAAD), Umeå Universitet, Sweden
2001 Diploma in Biology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany

The enormous diversity of organisms in the natural world provides ample motivation for biologists to study the mechanisms producing and shaping such variety. My research revolves around embodied variation in selection by environmental heterogeneity shaping phenotypes in a macro- and microevolutionary context. I focus on the evolution and ecology of phenotypic diversification studying the interaction of individuals with their environment. My work examines multiple trait divergence and phenotypic plasticity in behaviour, morphology, physiology and life-history using larval dragonflies and daphnids as model organisms. I specifically ask how phenotypes alter and become adapted to modifications in predator composition, food availability and time constraints as well as how multivariate trait responses effectively function as an integrated response to environmental challenges and to increase fitness.

Published, peer reviewed

Yildirim, Y., D. Kristensson, D. Outomuro, D.J. Mikolajewski, P. Rödin Mörch, S. Sniegula. & F. Johansson (2024). Phylogeography and phenotypic wing shape variation in a damselfly across populations in Europe. BMC Ecology and Evolution, 24: 19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-024-02207-4

Jiang, B.*, Y. Yao, R. Mauersberger & D.J. Mikolajewski (2023). Allometry of defense: predator shift alters ontogenetic growth patterns in an antipredator trait. Insects, 14, 712. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14080712

Jiang, B.*, J. Zhang, X. Bai, Y. Zhang, Y. Yao, J. Li, G. Yu, S. He, Y. Sun & D.J. Mikolajewski (2023). Genetic variation and population structure of a widely distributed damselfly (Ischnura senegalensis). Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, e22015. https://doi.org/10.1002/arch.22015

Jiang, B.*, Y. Zhang, R. Mauerseberger, F.-J. Schiel & D.J. Mikolajewski (2022). Predation promotes diversification in mean and variance of antipredator traits. Ecolological Entomology, 47, 679-688. https://doi.org/10.1111/een.13152

Mühlenhaupt, M.*, B. Jiang, O. Brauner & D.J. Mikolajewski (2022). Inter- and intraspecific trait compensation of behavioural and morphological defences in a damselfly genus. Frontier in Ecology and Evolution, 10, 874276. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.874276

Jiang, B.*, J. Li, Y. Zhang, Y. Sun, S. He, G. He, G. Lv & D.J. Mikolajewski (2021). Complete mitochondrial genomes of two damselfly species in coenagrionidae and phylogenetic implications. Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 6, 2445-2448. https://doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2021.1955635

Jiang, B.*, F. Johansson, R. Stoks, R. Mauersberger & D.J. Mikolajewski (2019). Predator species related adaptive changes in larval growth and digestive physiology. Journal of Insect Physiology, 114, 23-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2019.01.006

Jiang, B.* & D.J. Mikolajewski (2018). Shift in predation regime mediates diversification of foraging behaviour in a dragonfly genus. Ecolological Entomology, 43, 525-533. https://doi.org/10.1111/een.12530

Johansson, F., P. Halvarsson, D.J. Mikolajewski & J. Höglund (2017). Genetic differentiation in the boreal dragonfly Leucorrhinia dubiain the Palearctic region. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 121, 294–304. https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blw033

Johansson, F.*, P. Halvarsson, D.J. Mikolajewski & J. Höglund (2017). Phylogeography and larval spine length of the dragonfly Leucorhinia dubiain Europe. Plos One, 12, e0184596. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184596

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, K. Scharnweber, B. Jiang, S. Leicht, R. Mauersberger & F. Johansson (2016). Changing the habitat: the evolution of intercorrelated traits to escape from predators. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 29, 1394-1405. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12879

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, L. Rüsen, R. Mauersberger, F. Johansson & J. Rolff (2015). Relaxed predation results in reduced phenotypic integration in a suite of dragonflies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28, 1354-1363. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12658

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, M. DeBlock & R. Stoks (2015). The interplay of adult and larval time constraints shape species differences in larval life history. Ecology, 96, 1128-1138. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/14-0262.1

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, A. Conrad & G. Joop (2015). Behaviour and body size: plasticity and genotypic diversity in larval Ischnura elegans as a response to predators (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). International Journal of Odonatology, 18, 31-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13887890.2015.1012653

Johnston, P.R.*, D.J. Mikolajewski & J. Rolff (2015). Identification of viruses associated with larvae of the dragonfly Leucorrhinia dubia, and damselfly Coenagrion puellafrom RNA sequencing data. International Journal of Odonatology, 18, 81-88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13887890.2015.1018345

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, B. Wohlfahrt, G. Joop & A.P. Beckerman (2013). Sexual size dimorphism and the integration of phenotypically plastic traits. Ecological Entomology, 38, 418-428.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/een.12034/abstract

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, M. De Block, J. Rolff, F. Johansson, A.P. Beckerman & R. Stoks (2010). Predator-driven trait diversification in an odonate genus: covariation in behavioral, morphological and physiological antipredator defense. Evolution, 64, 3327-3335. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01078.x/abstract

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, R. Stoks, J. Rolff & G. Joop (2008). Predators and cannibals modulate sex-specific plasticity in life history and immune traits. Functional Ecology, 22, 114-120. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2435.2007.01357.x/abstract

Wohlfahrt, B.*, D.J. Mikolajewski, G. Joop & S.M. Vamosi (2007). Ontogenetic changes in the association between antipredator responses and growth variables. Ecological Entomology, 32, 567-574.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2311.2007.00902.x/abstract

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, G. Joop & B. Wohlfahrt (2007). Coping with predators and food limitation: testing life history theory for sex-specific larval development. Oikos, 116, 642-649. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2007.15139.x/abstract

Joop, G.*, A. Gillen & D.J. Mikolajewski (2007). Colour polymorphism in female Coenagrion puella: differences in egg shape (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). International Journal of Odonatology, 10, 71-80. https://doi.org/10.1080/13887890.2007.9748290

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, F. Johansson, B. Wohlfahrt & R. Stoks (2006). Invertebrate predation selects for the loss of a morphological antipredator trait. Evolution, 60, 1305-1310. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0014-3820.2006.tb01208.x

Wohlfahrt, B., D.J. Mikolajewski*, G. Joop & F. Suhling (2006). Are behavioural traits in prey sensitive to the risk imposed by predatory fish? Freshwater Biology, 51, 76-84. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2005.01475.x

Brodin, T.*, D.J. Mikolajewski & F. Johansson (2006). Behavioural and life history effects of predator diet cues during ontogeny in damselfly larvae. Oecologia, 148, 162-169.https://www.jstor.org/stable/20445895

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, T. Brodin, F. Johansson & G. Joop (2005). Phenotypic plasticity in gender specific life-history: effects of food availability and predation. Oikos, 110, 91-100. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2005.13766.x

Mikolajewski, D.J.* & J. Rolff (2004). Benefits of morphological defence demonstrated by direct manipulation in larval dragonflies. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 6, 619-626. pdf

Mikolajewski, D.J.* & F. Johansson (2004). Morphological and behavioral defenses in dragonfly larvae: trait compensation and cospezialization. Behavioral Ecology, 15, 614-620. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arh061

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, F. Johansson & T. Brodin (2004). Condition-dependent behaviour among damselfly populations. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 82, 653-659. https://doi.org/10.1139/z04-036

Book Chapters

Johansson, F. & D.J. Mikolajewski (2008). Evolution of morphological defences. In Dragonflies & Damselflies: Model Organisms for Ecological and Evolutionary Research (ed.) A. Córdoba- Aguilar. Pp. 127-137, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K. pdf  

Other Publications

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, A. Weißflog & O. Brauner (2016). Vergleichende Morphologie der Imagines von
Coenagrion lunulatum, C. pulchellum und C. puella in einem syntopen Vorkommen (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Libellula, 35, 153-165.

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, A. Conrad, K. L. Leipelt & R. Mauersberger (2016). Larvale Aktivität und Feindvermeidungsverhalten
bei vier Leucorrhinia-Arten (Odonata: Libellulidae). Libellula, 35, 195-206.

Rüsen, L., A. Conrad & D.J. Mikolajewski* (2015). Evolution: Prädationsschutz bei Libellen. PdN Biologie, 64, 25-31.

Schütte, C.*, G. Joop, D.J. Mikolajewski, E.C. Mosch, K. Schenk & B. Wohlfahrt (2005). Die FFH-Art Coenagrion mercuriale (Charpentier, 1840) (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) im Niedermoorgebiet “Großes Bruch” in Niedersachsen. Braunschweiger Naturkundliche Schriften, 7,345-354. pdf

Mikolajewski D.J.*, K.G. Leipelt, A. Conrad, S. Giere & J. Weyer (2004). Schneller als gedacht: einjährige Larvalentwicklung und slow life style bei Leucorrhinia caudalis (Odonata: Libellulidae). Libellula, 23, 161-171. pdf

Mikolajewski D.J.* (2001). Dornenausbildung bei Larven der Gattung Sympetrum (Odonata: Anisoptera): Induzierbarer Schutz gegen Fischprädation. Abhandlungen und Berichte des Naturkundemuseums Görlitz, 73, 57-58.

Mikolajewski D.J.*, D. Miksche, K.G. Leipelt & F. Suhling (2000). Weibchenpolymorphismus, Geschlechterverhältnis und Größenunterschied in französischen Populationen von Boyeria irene (Odonata: Anisoptera). Libellula, 19, 1-15.

(*corresponding author)