MEIOSIS: Museum spEcImens shed light in biOdiverSIty Shrinkage




Host Institute

University of Ioannina (Biodiversity Conservation Lab - BCL)

Principal Investigator

Dina Zografou

Advisory Board & Collaborating Institutes

Prof. Vassiliki Kati -University of Ioannina, Greece

Dr. Eva Knop -University of Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Consuelo De Moraes -Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH), Switzerland

Dr. Oliver Schweiger -Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Germany

Assoc. Prof. Brent Sewall -Temple University, USA

Dr. Maria Dimaki -Goulandris Natural History Museum, Greece

Other collaborators: Dr. Melissa Whitaker Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH), Switzerland


Predict the ecological traits that make butterflies adaptable to climate change

  • Model the decreasing body size of butterflies as a response to climate change across different environments.
  1. Test the relative importance of climate change in body size across different environments: time will serve as a proxy for the increasing temperature, and the location of specimens will serve as a proxy for a variety of geographical elements (e.g., elevation, latitude) and will define the type of the environment the specimen was collected from such as urban areas, agriculture areas, forests and grasslands.

  2. Address directional shifts in community structure: MEIOSIS expects that larger or cold-affinity species will “fly out” and smaller or warm-affinity species will “fly in” altering community structure and average community body size.

  • Map species’ traits that predict the ability of an organism to shrink/ adapt to climate change in relation to its environment.
  1. Test the relative importance of species traits (i.e., diet, distribution, voltinism) on shrinking body size and across different environments.


Digitization & Body size measurements


Data analysis


Scientific paper writing


Dissemination & Communication

In this section, we will upload gradually the project outputs, including open access databases, conferences talks or posters, popular science texts and briefs as well as media material




Science for Society

Open lectures

Policy brief


News on the MEIOSIS project, including notifications of new material published, articles in the press and other media, relevant policy impact posted in the BCL facebook page. and/or twitter @k_zografou.  Selected news is posted here