Biotechnological Hub of the NIB (BTH-NIB)

The purpose of the investment project BTH-NIB is the assurance of the appropriate infrastructural conditions for the use of research and developmental opportunities in the fields of operation of the NIB.

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Dr. Jernej Polajnar

Working place: Scientific Associate

Telephone number: +386 (0)59 23 27 80
Department: Department of Organisms and Ecosystems Research


  • 1999–2006: Masters study program: Biology. Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • 2009–2013: Graduate program (PhD): Biosciences. Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana

Employment and titles:

  • 2007–2010, 2012–2013: Department of Entomology, National Institute of Biology, Ljubljana. Junior Developer, 2010-05-11 elected Assistant.
  • 2013–2015: Centro Ricerca e Innovazione, Fondazione Edmund Mach, San Michele all'Adige (TN), Italy. Post-doc researcher.
  • from 2015: Department of Organisms and Ecosystems Research, National Institute of Biology, Ljubljana. Research Assistant, 2017-01-25 elected Research Associate.

Research activity:

During undergraduate and graduate studies at the then Department of Entomology (NIB), I worked on vibrational communication of insects, with focus on the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on courtship behaviour in the southern green stink-bug (Nezara viridula).

After obtaining my doctorate, I was working at the Fondazione Edmund Mach (Italy) between 2013 and 2015, developing a method for mating disruption of the American grapevine leafhopper (Scaphoideus titanus) by playback of vibrational noise, and later researching vibrational communication of the invasive brown marmorated stink-bug (Halyomorpha halys).

My current work focuses on the topic of behavioural ecology of Aphrodes leafhoppers, but I continue to be involved in research on the use of vibrations in biorational pest control. Another research interest is the problem of transmission of vibrational signals along insect host plants, while I'm also involved in research on vibroscape in the field, where biotremology and ecology meet.

Selected publications:

  • Polajnar J., Kvinikadze E., Harley A.W., Malenovský I (2024): Wing buzzing as a mechanism for generating vibrational signals in psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea). Insect Science (in press). DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.13322
  • Polajnar J., Kuhelj A., Janža R., Žnidaršič N., Simčič T., Virant-Doberlet M. (2023): Leafhopper males compensate for unclear directional cues in vibration-mediated mate localization. Scientific Reports 13: 8879. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-35057-z
  • Virant-Doberlet M., Stritih Peljhan N., Žunič Kosi A., Polajnar J. (2022): Functional diversity of vibrational signaling systems in insects. Annual Review of Entomology 68: 191–210. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120220-095459
  • Šturm R., Rexhepi B., López Díez J.J., Blejec A., Polajnar J., Sueur J., Virant-Doberlet M. (2021): Hay-meadow vibroscape and interactions within insect vibrational community. iScience 24(9): 103070. DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103070.
  • Velilla E., Polajnar J., Virant-Doberlet M., Commandeur D., Simon R., Cornelissen J.H.C., Ellers J., Halfwerk W. (2020) Variation in plant leaf traits affects transmission and detectability of herbivore vibrational cues. Ecology and Evolution 10(21): 12277–12289.
    DOI: 10.1002/ece3.6857.
  • Prešern J., Polajnar J., De Groot M., Zorović M., Virant-Doberlet M. (2018). On the spot: utilization of directional cues in vibrational communication of a stink bug. Scientific Reports 8: 5418. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-23710-x.
  • Mazzoni V., Polajnar J., Baldini M., Rossi Stacconi M.V., Anfora G., Guidetti R., Maistrello L. (2017). Use of substrate-borne vibrational signals to attract the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys. Journal of Pest Science 90: 1219–1229. DOI: 10.1007/s10340-017-0862-z.
  • Polajnar J., Maistrello L., Bertarella A., Mazzoni V. (2016). Vibrational communication of the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). Physiological Entomology 41(3): 249–259. DOI: 10.1111/phen.12150.
  • Polajnar J., Eriksson A., Virant-Doberlet M., Mazzoni V. (2016). Mating disruption of a grapevine pest using mechanical vibrations: from laboratory to the field. Journal of Pest Science 89: 909–921. DOI: 10.1007/s10340-015-0726-3.
  • Polajnar J., Eriksson A., Lucchi A., Anfora G., Virant-Doberlet M., Mazzoni V. (2015). Manipulating behaviour with substrate-borne vibrations – potential for insect pest control. Pest Management Science 71(1): 15–23. DOI: 10.1002/ps.3848.
  • Polajnar J., Eriksson A., Rossi Staconi M.V., Lucchi A., Anfora G., Virant-Doberlet M., Mazzoni V. (2014). The process of pair formation mediated by substrate-borne vibrations in a small insect. Behavioural Processes 107: 68–78. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.07.013.
  • Polajnar J., Svenšek D., Čokl A. (2012). Resonance in herbaceous plant stems as a factor in vibrational communication of pentatomid bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of the Royal Society Interface 9(73): 1898–1907. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2011.0770.
  • Virant-Doberlet M., King R.A., Polajnar J., Symondson W.O.C. (2011). Molecular diagnostics reveal spiders that exploit prey vibrational signals used in sexual communication. Molecular Ecology 20(10): 2204–2216, DOI 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05038.x.
  • Polajnar J., Čokl A. (2008). The effect of vibratory disturbance on sexual behaviour of the southern green stink bug Nezara viridula (Heteroptera, Pentatomidae). Central European Journal of Biology 3(2): 189-197. DOI: 10.2478/s11535-008-0008-7 (PDF)


  • (2023) »Excellent in Science 2023«. Slovenian Research and Innovation Agency; for the review paper biotremology, published in Annual Review of Entomology.
  • (2016) »Excellent in Science 2016«. Slovenian Research Agency; for the review paper on the use of vibrations in pest control, published in Pest Management Science (2015).
  • (2013) »Exceptional Scientific Achievement 2012«. Slovenian Research Agency; for the paper on resonant properties of plants, published in J R Soc Interface.


Profiles on scholarly portals: SICRIS (SLO), Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Web of Science, ORCID.

Other: Wikimedia, iNaturalist

Personal bibliography (COBISS)