Personal information

 CURRICULUM VITAE – Gediminas Valkiūnas



Institute of Ecology

Nature Research Centre

Akademijos str. 2

LT-08412 Vilnius, Lithuania

Tel: + 370 5 2729269 (office)

Fax: + 370 5 272 93 52


Academic degrees: 

  • Ph.D. Parasitology, 1984.
  • D.Sc. Parasitology, 1996.

Current appointment:

  • Chief researcher; Head, P.B. Šivickis’ Laboratory of Parasitology, Institute of Ecology, Nature Research Centre, Lithuania.

Membership of Academies of Sciences

  • Member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (from 2001).

Research areas:

  • Parasite taxonomy, life history strategies, virulence and ecology.
  • During 15 last years, I explored many questions in taxonomy, molecular ecology and virulence of wildlife malaria parasites and other related haematozoa, particularly the questions on the microscopic and PCR-based diagnosis of blood parasites, their evolutionary biology and pathogenic effects of hosts. I am employing a broad multidisciplinary approach that takes advantage of my expertise in traditional parasitology and molecular biology, instrumentation, and fieldwork, as well as scientific collaborations which I have already established at the Nature Research Centre.

PhD supervision:

  • Tatjana Iezhova, Gediminas Liutkevičius, Asta Križanauskienė, Vaidas Palinauskas, Rita Kazlauskienė, Olga Smagina, Leonas Kontrimavičius. 

Journal editorial and advisory boards:

  • Ekologija, Vilnius (from 1999)
  • Acta Zoologica Lituanica (2001-2011).

Main invited lectures at international scientific conferences:

  • Iceland: International Symposium on Parasites and Ecology of Marine and Coastal Birds. Stykkishólmur, June 1996.
  • Lithuania: International Symposium on Bird-Parasite interactions. Vilnius, June 1998.
  • Denmark: Annual Meeting of the Danish Society for Parasitology, April 1998.
  • Belarus: Conference on Biodiversity of Wildlife. Minsk, March 2000.
  • Russia: International Symposium Ecological Parasitology on the Turn of Millennium. St. Petersburg, July, 2000. 
  • Russia: Conference. 100 Years of Ornithological Research on the Courish Spit. Rybachy, June 2001.
  • Germany: Germany Ornithology Conference, Kiel, September 2004.
  • France: 5th Conference of the European Ornithological Union, Strasbourg, August 2005.
  • Sweden: Avian malaria symposium, Lund, March 2006.
  • USA: Northern California Parasitologists Spring Conference, California, 2008.
  • USA: The American Society of Parasitologists Annual Meeting, Knoxville, 2009.
  • Sweden: 1st Nordic Malaria Conference Lund, September 2010.
  • Australia: 12th International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA XII), Melbourne, August 2010.
  • USA: International meeting on Malaria and Related Haemosporidian Parasites of Wildlife, Shepherdstown, 2011.
  • Lithuania: International conference on Malaria and Related Haemosporidian Parasites of Wildlife, Vilnius August 2013

Conference organization:

  • Chairman, International Symposium on Ecology of Bird-Parasite Interactions, Lithuania, 1998. 
  • Chairman, 1st Symposium of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology, Lithuania, 2005.
  • Member of the Organizing Committee, International Symposium on Ecological Parasitology on the Turn of Millennium. St. Petersburg, Russia, 2000.
  • Chairman, International Conference on Malaria and Related Haemosporidian Parasites of Wildlife, Vilnius, Lithuania, August 7-11, 2013.

Main research grants:

  • Gordon Getty Foundation, Avian malaria parasites and other haemosporidian (book translation award), US. 45,000 LT. 1997. Principle investigator.
  • Sitematics Association, the Linnean Society of London. Keys for identification of species of bird haemosporidian parasites (Protista: Haemosporida), UK. 45,000 LT. 1998. Principle investigator.
  • Collaborative Linkage Grant, Epidemiology of avian hematozoa: linking genetic and traditional parasitology data, NATO. 70,000 LT. 2002-2004.
  • NSF-NIH (USA) Ecology of Infectious Diseases Program. Effects of deforestation on the prevalence of blood-borne pathogens in African rainforest birds. Award EF-0430146. 380,000 LT. 2004-2009.
  • Lithuanian State Science and Studies foundation. Trends in ecosystems development, and studies on the molecular phylogeography of populations in the Baltic region. Award C-07002. 1,090,000 LT. 2007-2010. Principle investigator.
  • Global Grant. Mechanisms of speciation in malaria parasites and related haemosporidians. Award VPI-3.1.-ŠMM-07-K-01-047. 1,517,000 Lt. (2011-2015). Principle investigator.

Scholarships, awards and recognitions:

  • Honorary Research Fellow of Queensland Museum, Australia (1995).
  • Highest State Fellowship of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania (1998).
  • Lithuanian State Award in Science (1999).
  • Baltic Assembly Award in Science (2006).
  • The R. Barclay McGhee Award, the American Society of Parasitologists (2009).

Other important activities:

  • Member of the Steering Committee, Malaria Research Coordination Network, National Science Foundation, USA


Over 100 papers in refereed journals, 2 books, 1 book chapter.


I. Books and book chapters

Valkiūnas, G. 2005. Avian malaria parasites and other haemosporidia. Boca Raton, USA, 946 pp.

Valkiūnas, G. Haemosporidians, p. 256-330 // 2007. In: Protista: Handbook on Zoology, vol. 2. St. Petersburg: Nuka Press, 1144 pp. [In Russian]. 


II. Selected articles published in international journals, 2011-2014

Valkiūnas, G., Kazlauskienė, R., Bernotienė, R., Bukauskaitė, D., Palinauskas, V., Iezhova, T.A. 2014. Haemoproteus infections (Haemosporida, Haemoproteidae) kill bird-biting mosquitoes. Parasitology Research, 113, 1011-1018.

Bensch, S., Coltman, D. W., Davis, C. S., Hellgren, O., Johansson, T., Malenfant, R.M., Moore, S. S., Palinauskas, V., Valkiunas, G. 2014. Genomic resources development consortium, Genomic Resources Notes. Molecular Ecology Resources, 14, 218.

Valkiūnas, G., Iezhova, T.A., Evans, E., Carlson, J.S., Martínez-Gómez, J.E., Sehgal, R.N. 2013. Two new Haemoproteus species (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) from columbiform birds. Journal of Parasitology, 99, 513-521. 

Valkiūnas, G., Palinauskas, V., Križanauskienė, A., Bernotienė, R., Kazlauskienė, R., Iezhova, T.A. 2013. Further observations on in vitro hybridization of hemosporidian parasites: patterns of ookinete development in Haemoproteus spp. Journal of Parasitology, 99, 124-136.

Valkiūnas, G., Kazlauskienė, R., Bernotienė, R., Palinauskas, V., Iezhova, T.A. 2013. Abortive long-lasting sporogony of two Haemoproteus species (Haemosporida, Haemoproteidae) in the mosquito Ochlerotatus cantans, with perspectives on haemosporidian vector research. Parasitology Research, 112, 2159-2169. 

Kazlauskienė, R., Bernotienė, R., Palinauskas, V., Iezhova, T.A., Valkiūnas, G. 2013. Plasmodium relictum (lineages pSGS1 and pGRW11): complete synchronous sporogony in mosquitoes Culex pipiens pipiens. Experimental Parasitology, 133, 454-461. 

Palinauskas, V., Križanauskienė, A., Iezhova, T.A., Bolshakov, C.V,, Jönsson, J., Bensch, S., Valkiūnas, G. 2013. A new method for isolation of purified genomic DNA from haemosporidian parasites inhabiting nucleated red blood cells. Experimental Parasitology, 133, 275-280. 

Hellgren, O, Kutzer, ., Bensch, S., Valkiūnas, G, Palinauskas, V.. 2013 Identification and characterization of the merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1) gene in a host-generalist avian malaria parasite, Plasmodium relictum (lineages SGS1 and GRW4) with the use of bloodtranscriptome. Malaria Journal, 12, 381.

Palinauskas, V., Križanauskienė, A., Iezhova, T.A., Bolshakov, C.V., Jönsson, J., Bensch, S., Valkiūnas, G. 2012. A new method for isolation of purified genomic DNA from haemosporidian parasites inhabiting nucleated red blood cells. Experimental Parasitology, 133, 275-280.

Zehtindjiev, P., Križanauskienė, A., Bensch, S., Palinauskas, V., Asghar, M., Dimitrov, D., Scebba, S., Valkiūnas, G. 2012. A new morphologically distinct avian malaria parasite that fails detection by established PCR-based protocols for amplification of the cytochrome b gene. Journal of Parasitology, 98, 657-665.

Valkiūnas, G. 2011. Haemosporidian vector research: marriage of molecular and microscopical approaches is essential. Molecular Ecology, 20, 3084-3086.

Valkiunas, G., Iezhova, T. A, Carlson, J. S., Sehgal, R. 2011. Two new Trypanosoma species from African birds, with notes on taxonomy of avian trypanosomes. Journal of Parasitology, 97, 924-930.

Valkiūnas G., Ashford R.W., Bensch S., Killick-Kendrick R., Perkins S. 2011. A cautionary note concerning Plasmodium in apes. Trends in Parasitology, 27, 231-232.

Braga EM, Silveira P, Belo NO, Valkiūnas G. 2011. Recent advances in the study of avian malariae: An overview with an emphasis on the distribution of Plasmodium spp. in Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, 06 Suppl 1: 3-11.

Iezhova, T.A., Dodge, M., Sehgal, R.N., Smith, T.B., Valkiūnas, G. 2011. New avian Haemoproteus species (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) from African birds, with a critique of the use of host taxonomic information in hemoproteid classification. Journal of Parasitology, 97, 682-694.