Welcome Jakub Szymkowiak - NEW SESubmitted by editor on 1 February 2023.
The OIKOS Editorial board is happy to welcome Jakub Szymkowiak as a new subject editor!
Keywords: behavioral ecology, bird ecology, ecology of information, forest ecology, habitat selection, mast seeding
Personal website: https://jakubszymkowiak.wordpress.com/
1. What's your main research focus at the moment?
My current research interests revolve around two main themes. First, my research program is centered on the ecology of information - the study of how organisms produce, acquire, and use information to manage their lives. My current research projects focus on the spread of risk-related information in natural communities and informed breeding habitat selection decisions, with forest birds being my primary model system. I’m broadly interested in the mechanisms underlying information use & flow, as well as its impacts on population and community dynamics. My second research area is related to plant reproduction, as I also investigate proximate and ultimate drivers of mast seeding (i.e., intermittent, synchronized production of large seed crops). Currently, I focus mainly on the mechanisms linking weather variation with temporal dynamics of seed production and its spatial synchrony, as well as the ecological consequences of masting for forest ecosystems functioning.
2. Can you describe your research career? Where, what, when?
I did my M.Sc. in biology in 2012 at AMU (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), studying habitat preferences of farmland birds and environmental factors affecting their co-occurrence. In 2012-2016 I did my Ph.D. at AMU, working on behavioral mechanisms of breeding habitat selection in songbirds. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Biology, AMU.
3. How come you became a scientist in ecology?
I have been passionately curious about how natural systems work since I can remember. I grew up in a small town surrounded by nature, which I have always loved exploring. I have spent countless hours on wandering through the forests, farmland, or a river valley near my hometown and simply experiencing the natural world and admiring its wonders. At that time, anything related to nature appeared fascinating to me and I have never got bored by learning new things about biological organisms, so the decision to do B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology was pretty obvious to me. At the university, I rather quickly realized that lab work is not really my thing and that it is ecology what fascinates me the most. At some point it became clear to me that spending long hours in the field, asking questions about how natural systems work, and then trying to find the answers is what gives me a true joy, so I ultimately decided to do a Ph.D. and pursuit a career as a scientist.
4. What do you do when you're not working?
I enjoy spending time with my family, particularly during hiking or biking. Also, nature and street photography are my great passions, so I take my camera and go outdoors to photographwhenever I can.