Excellence Initiative - Research University

University Centre of Excellence IMSErt - Interacting Minds, Societies, Environments

Contactul. Fosa Staromiejska 3, 87-100 Toruń
tel.: +48 56 611 37 15
+48 516 638 621
e-mail: imsert@umk.pl

EVO Team

EVO – Evolution of Communication Systems

The IMSErt: EVO team was formed basing on the Center for Language Evolution Studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University (CLES NCU) and comprises the members of CLES and its collaborating researchers. The IMSErt: EVO team conducts qualitative and quantitative research on language evolution and linguistic phenomena such as politeness, CMC, sound symbolism, gesture, and sign language. Our research aims to contribute to answering questions such as: How did language emerge? How does language evolve? What was the relation between the original systems of human visual and vocal (proto)communication? Do the new media change the way we communicate? What is the relation between language and cooperation?

We are currently working on several projects funded by the Polish National Science Centre (NCN) and the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA), which include a project on the universality of pantomime and its potential to scaffold the evolution of verbal communication, and a project aiming to describe the position of the Science of Language Evolution (SLE) in contemporary science and to structure our knowledge of this area. Our foreign research partners notably include Lund University, the University of Vienna, Roma Tre University, West Australia University, and the University of Lisbon.

The laboratory of the IMSErt: EVO team is located in Collegium Maius in the beautiful Old Town of Toruń. It houses equipment and software including an EyeLink 1000 Plus eye tracker, a biofeedback set, Rokoko Smartsuit Pro motion capture set, a fully equipped sound and video studio, and a range of software including E-Prime with Chronos, LabVanced, nVivoand SPSS. We are part of the Excellence Initiative – Research University Programme at the host institution in Toruń, Poland.

For more info, go to: https://imsert.umk.pl/en/ or https://cles.umk.pl/

Team Leaderdr hab. Sławomir Wacewicz, prof. UMK (read: Team Leaders)


1. Michael Pleyer, PhD (pleyer@umk.pl)

ORCID, Google Scholar, Research Gate

Research interests:

Scientific achievements:

Hobby: listening to music, going to concerts, watching movies and tv series, social media outreach

2. mgr Marek Placiński (marpla@doktorant.umk.pl)

ORCID, Research Gate, Google Scholar

Research interests:

Scientific achievements:

Hobby: home barista, sci-fi literature

3. dr Marta Sibierska (sibier@umk.pl)


Research interests:

Scientific achievements:

Hobby: cooking, yoga, design

4. dr Agnieszka Sowińska

5. prof. dr hab. Przemysław Żywiczyński (przemek@umk.pl)

ORCID, Google Scholar

Leader of the Unit for International Collaboration which implements the Strategy “Excellence InitiativeResearch University” 

Research interests:

Scientific achievements:

Przemysław Żywiczyński has authored over 70 research works, including 4 books and articles in IF journal, e.g. Biosemiotics, Interaction Studies, Frontiers in Psychology, Gesture. He co-founded and headed for many years NCU’s Center for Language Evolution Studies (cles.umk.pl). He initiated the PROTOLANG conference series (www.protolang.org) and was the main co-organiser of the 12thEVOLANG congress (Toruń 2018). He is a member of the EVOLANG Permanent Committee, has been a PI of 3 research grants financed by the National Science Center (NCN) and 1 financed by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities (NPRH), has completed a research stay at Lund University financed by the National Programme for Academic Mobility (NAWA) under the Bekker programme, was a member of NCU’s Senate (2012-2016).  

Hobby: squash, boxing, history of polar expeditions

Doctoral Candidates:

Monika Boruta-Żywiczyńska
Julia Trzeciakowska

Visiting Scholars:

Prof. Jordan Zlatev (04.01.2019 – 31.12.2020)
Lund University
Google Scholar, Research Gate

Johan Blomberg, PhD (September 2020)
Lund University