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Diana Marciulyniene

As a forest pathologist I integrate quantitative and qualitative data to learn more about ecological, economic, and sociocultural factors that sustains the structure, composition, processes, function, productivity, and resilience of forest ecosystems. My research focuses on native and invasive forest pest and pathogens which are among the greatest threats on forest health and ecosystem services.


Postdoctoral researcher in Forest pathology


Guest lecturer in the MSc course “Diagnosis, prevention and management of forest damage” (2021)


I am working with microorganisms as one of the principal components of forest biodiversity responsible for tree diseases and their biocontrol. Microbial community studies cover different forest tree species. Research includes interactions among individual components of forest biodiversity and host trees, and how and to what extent closely‐related and threat‐tolerant, but non‐native tree species can constitute alternative hosts to different components of indigenous forest biodiversity, which otherwise can be lost due to rapid decline of disease‐devastated native tree species.

I am interested in innovative methods of forest pathology, including advanced analytical chemistry techniques and chemometric modelling, modeling of pathogen impact and spread, pipelines for high-throughput molecular species identification, artificial intelligence in smart sensors for detection of invasive organisms, all of which can greatly improve the long-term health of forests.

As a postdoctoral student, I started a new project to assess the current and future potential of larch in Sweden, the project is an initiative funded by Trees for the future (T4F) program. The project will study the damage caused by pests and pathogens of Siberian, European and hybrid larch growing in southern Sweden, the resistance biology to the pathogen Lachnellula willkommii, and the selection of the most resistant genotypes using portable spectroscopy-based phenotyping tools. Work will be done in cooperation with Mateusz Liziniewicz from Skogforsk.


Assoc. Prof. Michelle Cleary, SLU (ash dieback, citizen science, Phytophthora diseases, foliar diseases of conifers)

Dr. Mateusz Liziniewicz, The Forest Research Institute – Skogforsk (ash dieback, tree resistance)

Dr. Audrius Menkis, SLU (microbiome studies in forest ecosystems, tree nurseries, ash dieback, foliar diseases of conifers and broadleaves, climate change)

Assoc. Prof. Johanna Witzell, SLU (new invasive forest pathogens)

Assoc. Prof. Jonas Rönnberg, SLU (Heterobasidion root rot)

Prof. Enrico Bonello, Ohio State University (tree-pathogen and tree-insect interactions, metabolomic approaches)

Dr. Simone Prospero, WSL (ash dieback)

Dr. Iryna Matsiakh, Ukrainian National Forestry University (invasive forest pathogens, forest protection)

Dr. Maarten de Groot, Department of Forest protection, Slovenian Forestry Institute (citizen science, species interactions in forest ecosystems)

Dr. Quentin Groom, Meise Botanic Garden, Meise, Belgium (citizen science, species interactions in forest ecosystems)


In 2015 I completed my PhD and defended a thesis entitled “Characterization of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus populations of different origin and susceptibility of common ash to the dieback pathogen”. The thesis was nominated as one of the best students works and awarded by Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. 

During the last several years, I have been coordinating 4 research projects related to invasive forest pathogens. I have an active national (6 projects) and international (5 projects) collaboration on several research projects including collaborators from Ohio State University and several researchers at various academic institutes in SE, DK, CH, UK, and UA. Research presented at 12 international conferences. I have participated in 4 training courses and 12 international internships. Co-organizer of 5 scientific meetings/seminars. 

Main scientific achievements:

  • Laureate of World Federation of Scientists scholarship (2020 – 2021)
  • Co-founder of Citizen Science Association in Lithuania (from 2020)
  • Laureate of forest scholarship from NordGen Forest – SNS (2019 and 2021)
  • Special diploma L’Oréal Baltic Fellowship Programme ‘For Women in Science’ (2019)
  • Member of the Young Academy of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (from 2018)
  • Laureate of young scientist scholarship at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (2018 – 2019)


Currently I am main supervisor for PhD students Vytautas Čėsna (start 2020) and Valeriia Mishcherikova (start 2019) at the Forest Protection and Game Management Department, Institute of Forestry, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry. I have also supervised one MSc project at the Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy (2019-2020).

Selected publications

See Google Schoolar 

  1. Groom, Q., Pernat, N., Adriaens, T., de Groot, M., Jelaska, S.D., Marčiulynienė, D., Martinou, A.F., Skuhrovec, J., Tricarico, E., Wit, E.C. and Roy, H.E. (2021), Species interactions: next-level citizen science. Ecography.
  2. Marčiulynienė D., Marčiulynas A., Lynikienė J., Vaičiukynė M., Gedminas A., Menkis A. DNA-Metabarcoding of Belowground Fungal Communities in Bare-Root Forest Nurseries: Focus on Different Tree Species. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(1):150. 
  3. Marčiulynas A., Marčiulynienė D., Lynikienė J., Gedminas A., Vaičiukynė M., Menkis A. Fungi and Oomycetes in the Irrigation Water of Forest Nurseries. Forests 2020, 11, 459. 
  4. Lynikienė J., Marčiulynienė D., Marčiulynas A., Gedminas A., Vaičiukynė M., Menkis A. Managed and Unmanaged Pinus sylvestris Forest Stands Harbour Similar Diversity and Composition of the Phyllosphere and Soil Fungi. Microorganisms. 2020; 8(2):259. doi:10.3390/microorganisms8020259 
  5. Menkis A., Povilaitienė A., Marčiulynas A., Lynikienė J., Gedminas A., Marčiulynienė D. 2019. Occurrence of common phyllosphere fungi of horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is unrelated to degree of damage by leafminer (Cameraria ohridella). Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 34:1, 26-32. – DOI: 10.1080/02827581.2018.1541191 
  6. Villari C., Dowkiw A., Enderle R., Ghasemkhani M., Kirisits T., Kjaer E., Marčiulynienė D., McKinney L., Metzler B., Rostgaard Nielsen L., Pliūra A., Stener L-G., Suchockas V., Rodriguez-Saona L., Bonello P., and Cleary M. 2018. Advanced spectroscopy-based phenotyping offers solutions to the ash dieback epidemic. Scientific Reports, 8: 17448. – DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35770-0 
  7. Marčiulynienė D., Davydenko K., Stenlid J., Shabunin D., Cleary M. 2018. Fraxinus excelsior seed is not a probable introduction pathway for Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. Forest Pathology, 48: e12392. – DOI: 
  8. Pliūra A., Bakys R., Suchockas V., Marčiulynienė D., Gustienė A., Verbyla V., Lygis V. 2017. Ash dieback in Lithuania: disease history, research on impact and genetic variation in disease resistance, tree breeding and options for forest management. In: R. Vasaitis & R. Enderle (eds) Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp.): Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Service/Repro, Uppsala, Sweden, p.150 – 165.
  9. Marciulyniene D., Davydenkob K., Stenlid J., Cleary M. 2017. Can pruning help maintain vitality of ash trees affected by ash dieback in urban landscapes? // Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 27: 69–75. – DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2017.06.017
  10. Lygis V., Prospero S., Burokiene D., Schoebel C. N., Marciulyniene D., Norkute G., Rigling D. 2017. Virulence of the invasive ash pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus in old and recently established populations. Plant Pathology, 66: 783-791. – DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12635. 
  11. Cleary M., Nguyen D., Marčiulynienė D., Berlin A., Vasaitis R., Stenlid J. 2016. Friend or foe? Biological and ecological traits of the European ash dieback pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus in its native environment. Scientific reports, 6: 21895. – DOI: 10.1038/srep21895 
  12. Pliūra A., Lygis V., Marčiulynienė D., Suchockas V., Bakys R. 2015. Genetic variation of Fraxinus excelsior half-sib families in response to ash dieback disease following simulated spring frost and summer drought treatments. iForest, 9: 12-22. – DOI: 10.3832/ifor1514-008
  13. Burokiene D., Prospero S., Jung E., Marčiulynienė D., Moosbrugger K., Norkutė G., Rigling D., Lygis V., Schoebel C.N. 2015. Genetic population structure of the invasive ash dieback pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus in its expanding range. Biological Invasions, 17: 2743. – DOI: 
  14. Pliūra A., Marčiulynienė D., Bakys R., Suchockas V. 2014. Dynamics of genetic resistance to Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus in juvenile Fraxinus excelsior clones. Baltic Forestry, 20(1): 10-27.