Projects

Immunity in Ecology and Evolution: ‘Hidden’ costs of disease, immune function and their consequences for Darwinian fitness (EcoImmuneCosts) 

Leader of subcontract: prof. Gediminas Valkiūnas

Funded by: European Council grant (ERC Advanced Grants), subcontract with Lund University. 
Project No. ERC panel LS8
Terms of project: 2018 - 2021

Project budget: 229 925 Eur

The main research objective: Applying experimental infections with avian malarial parasites, this project will investigate how infectious diseases and elicited immune reactions may induce long-term costs, affecting the organism’s physiological conditions, reproduction and lifespan.

Virulence of avian malaria: untangling genetic players for infection severity 

Project leader: dr. Vaidas Palinauskas

Funded by: EU Structural Funds "Development of competences of scientists through world class level scientific research" 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-. Lithuanian Research Council
Project No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0016
Terms of project: 2017 - 2021

Project budget: 599 996 Eur

The main research objective: To determine the impact of virulent avian malaria parasite on avian hosts and to define gene expression of parasites and hosts during primary infection in different individuals of the same species.

 

Development of vector-borne mixed blood infections and their effect on host fitness 

Project leader: Vaidas Palinauskas 

Project No. MIP-038/2015
Terms of project: 2015 - 2018
Project budget: 99 746,00 Eur
 

Mechanisms of virulence in protozoan parasites

Project leader: Gediminas Valkiūnas 

Project No. MIP-045/2015
Terms of project: 2015 - 2018 
Project budget: 119 997,00 Eur

 

Specificity of parasitic platyhelmintes and their speciation in relation to the host spectrum  

Project leader: Virmantas Stunžėnas

Project No. MIP-043/2015
Terms of project: 2015 - 2018
Project budget: 99 987,00 Eur
 
 

Funding of research visits (Nr. KEL-011/2015), 2015

Project leader: Rasa Binkienė

 

Funding of research visits (Nr. KEL-010/2015), 2015

Project leader: Vaidas Palinauskas

Post Doc

Insights into pathogenicity of leucocytozoonoses

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

Postdoc researcher: dr. Carolina R. F. Chagas

Postdoc duration: 2021.06.15 – 2023.06.14

Postdoc No.: 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-23-0010

 

Biodiversity assessment of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest coastal waters: Species richness and genetic variation of marine parasites and their fish hosts

Projects leader: Dr Olena Kudlai

Postdoc researcher: dr. Camila Pantoja de Oliveira

Postdoc duration: 2020 – 2022

Postdoc No.: 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-19-0182

Changes in global biodiversity have become one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, facilitated by changes in climate, human activities, pollution and habitat destruction. Brazil supports a considerable portion of the world's biological diversity and its ecosystems play a crucial role in regional and global climate stability. However, our knowledge on the true biodiversity within the country is limited. Thus, the main ideas of the proposed project are to (i) comprehensively assess the diversity of marine parasites, their abundance and community structure in selected fishes occurring within the waters off the coastline of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and (ii) generate data for future research in the fields of fish parasitology and aquatic veterinary sciences by applying advanced morphological and molecular techniques. Together with baselines of trematode diversity, molecular data of their economically important fish hosts (families Carangidae, Sciaenidae and Scombridae) will be generated. The project will result in (i) much needed reliable data on species diversity and genetic variation of marine parasites and their fish hosts in Brazil and (ii) the professional development of an early-career researcher through obtaining novel skills, broadening the current knowledge base and establishing a professional network. Furthermore, the data obtained during the project will be used for future global biodiversity conservation programs and in risk assessments of the zoonotic potential of the detected fish parasites.

Mechanisms of the pathogenesis due to internal organ damage during avian haemosporidiosis

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

Postdoc researcher: dr. Carolina Hernández-Lara (arriving from Mexica).

Project duration: 2020-08-05 – 2022-08-04.

Project code: 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-19-0005.

The project aims to get new knowledge and to train a young researcher on topics related to mechanisms of pathologies caused by exo-erythrocytic stages (EES) of avian haemosporidian parasites.

Molecular characterization of avian haemosporidian parasites and determination of their vectors

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

Postdoc researcher: dr. Carolina Romeiro Fernandes Chagas

Postdoc duration: 2017–2020

The project addresses diagnostics and transmission of cosmopolitan avian haemosporidian infections. These blood parasites cause health problems both in birds and dipteran insects, but remain insufficiently investigated. Importantly, some haemosporidian species (for example, malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum pGRW4) are actively transmitted in tropical countries including Brazil, but also emerging to Europe. That indicats global significance of avian haemosporidian research. Postdoc researcher is experienced in PCR-based diagnostics of haemosporidians using cytochrome b (cytb) partial sequences, but not in application of other genes in molecular characterization of the parasites as well as in taxonomy and vector research. Qualification of the researcher would be markedly improved on these topics. The new knowledge will also contribute to development of avian parasitology in Lithuania and Europe. The project is a unique opportunity to bring a Brazilian young researcher to the Lithuanian laboratory, which is well-recognizable in studies of wildlife haemosporidians.

Scientific team projects

Mechanisms of transmission of avian haemoproteosis (METAH)

Projects leader: dr. Carolina Romeiro Fernandes Chagas

Terms of the project: 2011–2024

Development of vector-borne mixed blood infections and their effect on host fitness

Projects leader: dr. Vaidas Palinauskas

Terms of the project: 2015–2018

Specificity of parasitic platyhelminthes and their speciation in relation to the host spectrum

Projects leader: dr. Virmantas Stunžėnas

Terms of the project: 2015–2018

Molecular identification and life cycles of flukes associated with bivalve mollusks and fishes

Projects leader: dr. Virmantas Stunžėnas

Terms of the project: 2010–2011

Studies on evolution of life-cycles and phylogeny of flukes based on molecular and karyological data

Projects leader: dr. Romualda Petkevičiūtė

Terms of the Project: 2013–2015

Agreements with state institutions

Subcontract. Further insights into the pathogenesis of avian malaria

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

Party to agreement: Institute of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna

Terms of the project: 2021-2021 

COST

CA18239 Conservation of freshwater mussels: a pan-European approach

Projects leader: dr. Virmantas Stunžėnas

Project duration: 2019-2023

Lithuanian-Ukrainian Projects

Species diversity and host specificity of bucephalid flukes: life cycle analysis and phylogeny revealed by morphological, karyological and molecular methods

Projects leader: dr. Virmantas Stunžėnas

Project duration: 2012–2013

Funding of researchers

Post-doctoral scholarship "Molecular and morphological approach torevealling diversity, taxonomy and life-cycles oflarval flukes parasitizing in water molluscs"

Projects leader: dr. Romualda Petkevičiūtė

PostDoc: dr. Olena Kudlai
Terms of the project: 2013 - 2015 m.

Post-doctoral scholarship "Molecular and morphological characterization of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites"

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

PostDoc: dr. Vladimirov Dimitar Dimitrov
Terms of the project: 2013 - 2015 m.

Post-doctoral scholarship "Specificity studies on avian malaria and other haemosporidian (Sporozoa, Haemosporida) parasites" (LMT PSTDOC-1)

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

PostDoc: dr. A. Križanauskienė
Terms of the project: 2009 - 2011 m.

Funding of research visits (Parama išvykai- 21)

Projects leader: dr. Vaidas Palinauskas

Funding of research visits (Išvykos-13), 2011 m.

Projects leader: dr. Romualda Petkevičiūtė

Funding of research visits (Išvykos-14), 2011 m.

Projects leader: dr. Vaidas Palinauskas

Funding of research visits for PhD student

Projects leader: dr. Rita Žiegytė

General subsidy

Mechanisms of speciation in malaria parasites and related haemosporidians

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

Project No. VP1-3.1-ŠMM-07-K-01-047.
Terms of the project: 2011–2015
Budget of the project: 1 528 220,00 Lt
 

IIMTEPP

Molecular fundamentals of wildlife biodiversity and ecology

Projects leader: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas

Complex interdisciplinary research into wildlife biodiversity and ecology applying a wide range of advanced molecular methods and technologies to generate new fundamental knowledge about biodiversity; assessment of discrepancies and similarities between the data obtained by different (up-to-date and traditional) methods and evaluation of genetic, phenotypic and ecological mechanisms underlying biodiversity in conditions of climate and environment change.

- Development of the latest scientific knowledge-based recommendations for biodiversity preservation and its ecological state improvement.

Scientific cooperation

The cooperation agreement with Ukraine

Projects leader: dr. Virmantas Stunžėnas

Terms of the agreement: 2012 – 2015 m.

The cooperation agreement between the Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology (Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch) and the Nature Research Center

Projects leader: dr. Rasa Binkienė

Terms of the project: 2013 - 2015 m.
 

National scientific research programs

Studies of invasive freshwater mollusks and associated flukes communities using genetic markers

Projects leader: dr. Gražina Stanevičiūtė

Terms of the project: 2010–2011

Laboratories