Image via The News Herald
Image via Libertayo

Joanna Bagniewska


University of Reading




University of Reading










What makes Joanna Bagniewska a Global Shaker?

In her twitter bio, Joanna Bagniewska describes herself as a “restless Polish zoologist.” She is currently a Teaching Fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, UK.

Born in Poland, raised in Italy, Thailand and China, Bagniewska received her first degree in Germany, from Jacobs University Bremen.

Her dissertation, completed during a semester abroad at Rice University in Houston, examined eusociality in Damaraland mole-rats. She graduated with a BSc in Biology in 2006, and in the same year moved to Oxford in the UK to pursue an MSc in Biology where she completed two intriguing research projects. The first involved creating ontologies of animal behaviour and animal welfare to form a basis for analytical software. The second, supervised by WildCRU’s Jan Kamler, evaluated scent-station surveys as a method of monitoring populations of South African canids (dog-like carnivores.)

Her doctorate at WildCRU focused on describing the diving behaviour and activity patterns of the invasive American mink using miniaturised time-depth recorders. The non-native animals have been terrorising Europe and negatively impacting biodiversity since mink fur farms were opened in the region in the 1920’s. Bagniewska humorously presented this enthralling at TEDxWarsaw in March 2013.

Making people laugh seems to come as naturally to her as being a badass scientist and she made her stand-up debut at BrightClub Oxford where she joked at length about the joys of animal poop as a zoologist. 

The dedicated animal lover recently explained a fascinating “mutual relationship” between a badger and a coyote caught on camera and clearly in cahoots for the BBC.

When asked by Women In Research Blog what was the coolest project she has worked on, Bagniewska harked to the time she was working at Inscentinel Ltd – “we trained honeybees to detect illegal substances such as explosives and drugs. Their sense of smell is better than that of dogs, and they learn very fast! Plus they themselves smell beautifully – of honey and wings.”

Tags: animals, biology, conservation, Women in Science

Last updated: February 11, 2020