Department of Evolutionary Biology was founded in 1991. in order to enhance the conceptual unification of the various research programs concerned with evolution, and using new biochemical, molecular, quantitative-genetic, morphological, ecological, as well as statistical methods, to provide innovative insights into different aspects of the adaptation, evolution and speciation processes. Project "Population biology aspects of speciation processes" (lead by prof. dr Nikola Tucić) unified research groups from IBISS and from Faculty of Biology, mainly population genetics and population ecology group from former IBISS Department of Genetics and group for taxonomy and biogeography from IBISS Department for Taxonomy, Biogeography and Organic Evolution which existed in Institute since its founding (lead by dr Sergej Matvejev and dr Boris Petrov). Thus Department inherited traditions of both institutes that were integrated in IBISS: Institute for Ecology and Biogeography and Institute for Physiology, Development, Genetics and Selection. New department was spatially expanded in early nineties by the new laboratories, cabinets and spaces adapted for animal and plant propagation. Department was lead by prof. dr Nikola Tucić, Full Professor and member of Serbian Academy for Arts and Sciences (1991 -1993), dr Georg Džukić, Full Research Professor (1993-2008), prof. dr Miloš Kalezić, Full Professor (2008-2016) and dr Aleksej Tarasjev, Full Research Professor (2016-present).

Research on Department of Evolutionary Biology (which until 2001. were conducted on one project, and since then by three project groups) was concentrated on several scientific problems of importance to contemporary evolutionary biology and related disciplines. Researchers from the Department are also taking care of rich IBISS herpetological collection (over 25 000 specimens) of significant importance for faunistic studies of southeastern Europe. Department collaborate with colleagues from other IBISS departments, collaboration being most intense with colleagues from Department of Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Plant Physiology and Department of Hydroecology and Water Protection. They also collaborate with several other research centers in country and abroad.

During the last 25 years researchers from the Department of Evolutionary Biology published their results in leading scientific journals, such as Evolution; Heredity; American Naturalist; Molecular Ecology; Journal of Evolutionary Biology; Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution; Conservation Biology; Ecography; Biological Conservation; Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research; BMC Evolutionary Biology; Evolution and Development; Biological Journal of the Linnean Society; Journal of Zoology; Zoomorphology; Journal of Biogeography; Journal of Ecology; Environmental Science and Pollution Research; Plant Systematics and Evolution; Plant Ecology; Journal of Plant Ecology; Journal of Experimental Zoology; Behavioral Ecology; Plant Cell and Environment; Plant Physiology and Biochemistry; Journal of Mammology; Acta Oecologica; Plant Species Biology; Genetics, Selection, Evolution and many others.

Department of Evolutionary Biology is actively involved in continuous education of young researchers and in creating successful model of science-education interaction in Serbia. Large number of bachelor, master and PhD theses are completed in the Department - from 1991. more than 25 PhD theses were completed within the framework of Department research and tutored by researchers from the Department. Department associates are actively involved in teaching on bachelor, master and PhD studies on University of Belgrade, especially on study groups within Chair for Genetics and Evolution and Chair for Animal Morphology, Systematics and Phylogeny of Faculty of Biology. Department associates are also actively involved in teaching on other universities in Serbia, especially in Department for Biology of Faculty for Natural Sciences and Mathematics of University of Niš.

Department associates are involved in various national and international bodies, committees and working groups primarily related to issues of evolutionary biology, conservation of biodiversity, environmental protection, sustainable management of natural resources, and biosafety. Since evolutionary biology gives theoretical framework for biological phenomena from genes to ecosystems, continuous involvement of department associates in various forms of popularization and promotion of science significantly contributes to advancing knowledge levels of general public in biology and related disciplines. Those activities contribute to well informed and science-based decision making on various levels.

Research on Department of Evolutionary Biology primarily investigates influence of abiotic and biotic environmental heterogeneity on:
• molecular, cytological, and morphological variability
• variability of life history (especially ageing and ontogeny) and behavioral traits (including habitat selection)
• population structure and evolutionary processes (adaptations, genetic specialization, phenotypic plasticity, speciation)
• evolutionary potential, maintenance of genetic polymorphism and biodiversity

Beside contributions to current theoretical issues in modern evolutionary biology, research encompasses following additional topics:
• estimation of adequacy of proposed environmental disturbance indicators
• estimation of influence of introduced and invasive species
• estimation of population viability
• phylogeographic analyses and evaluation of ecosystem statuses in region and in Europe
• determination of evolutionary and conservation units important for preservation strategies of autohtonous populations and species and sustainable management of natural resources.

Special emphasis is put on abiotic and biotic stress, effects of historical and contemporary climate change, and anthropogenic influence (e.g. pollution and habitat fragmentation). Research is conducted in natural vertebrate, invertebrate and plant populations, as well as on samples from those populations raised in native, anthropogenic and experimental conditions. It utilizes various experimental approaches, methods and techniques, including geometric morphometrics and laboratory evolution.


Bulevar despota Stefana 142
11108 Belgrade


Telefon: +381 11 20 78 300
Fax: +381 11 27 61 433

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