György Kriska (30 July 1964, Vác, Hungary) is a senior researcher at Danube Research Institute, Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and assistant professor at Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. He has taught methodology in biology teaching and freshwater invertebrate identification for more than 20 years. He received his Ph.D. in biology from the Eötvös University, Budapest, in 2000. He has published numerous research papers in visual ecology, in addition to authoring a Springer monograph: Freshwater Invertebrates in Central Europe. His research interest is polarised light pollution and polarisation ecological traps.
2011 - Univ. Habil., Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest); No.: 719/2011, Reg.No.: F180798;
2000 – PhD (Biology), Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), No.: P299/2000;
1983 - 1988 secondary school teacher of biology and chemistry, Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), No.: 1037/1988, Reg.No.: IV-29/1983-84;
1978 - 1982 Madách Imre High School (Budapest), final examination;
2011 - senior researcher, Danube Research Institute, Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Vácrátót);
1991 - assistant professor, Group for Methodology in Biology Teaching, Biological Institute, Loránd Eötvös University (Budapest);
1988 - 1991 teacher, Babits Mihály High School (Budapest);
 Polarized light pollution and polarization ecological traps
Ecological photopollution (EPP) has been defined as the degradation of the photic habitat by artificial light. We introduced a new term, the polarized light pollution (PLP), meaning all adverse effects on polarotactic aquatic insects attracted by horizontally polarized light reflected from artificial surfaces. PLP is a new kind of EPP, it is global and novel in an evolutionary sense. In numerous choice experiments with polarotactic insects and using imaging polarimetry we gave experimental evidence of PLP, such as (1) trapping of aquatic insects by dark oil surfaces; (2) dehydration of polarotactic insects attracted to black plastic sheets used in agriculture; (3) egg-laying of polarotactic mayflies onto dry asphalt roads; (4) attraction of aquatic insects to black, red or dark-coloured car paintwork; (5) deception of polarotactic dragonflies by shiny black gravestones; (6) attraction of mass-swarming polarotactic caddis flies to glass surfaces. All such highly and horizontally polarizing artificial surfaces can act as polarized ecological traps for polarotactic insects, because these surfaces are inappropriate for the development of eggs laid by the deceived insects. The mortality associated with PLP may threaten populations of endangered aquatic insect species. We pointed onto some possible benefits and/or disadvantages of predators (spiders, birds, bats) feeding on the polarotactic insects attracted to different sources of PLP. We also suggested several remedies of PLP, which is a byproduct of the human architectural, building, industrial and agricultural technology, and it may allow to function feeding webs composed of polarotactic insects and their predators. We emphasized that conservation planners should pay much more attention to aquatic insects because of their positive polarotaxis and their demonstrated vulnerability due to PLP.
 Polarization tabanid traps - TabaNOid technology
To know how tabanid flies locate their host animals, terrestrial rendezvous sites and egg-laying places would be very useful for control measures against them, because the haematophagous tabanid females are vectors of some severe animal/human diseases/parasites. In choice experiments we discovered that both males and females of several tabanid species have positive polarotaxis, i.e. they are attracted to horizontally polarized light stimulating their ventral eye region. The novelty of this is that polarotaxis has been described earlier only in connection with the water detection of aquatic insects ovipositing directly into water. A further particularity of our discovery is that in the order Diptera and among blood-sucking insects the studied tabanids are the first known species possessing ventral polarization vision and definite polarization-sensitive behaviour with known functions. The polarotaxis in tabanids makes it possible to develop new optically luring traps being more efficient than the existing ones. The development of our patented protective system, called TabaNOid, against tabanids for eco-farms, graziers and race-horse breeders is in progress.
Research topics (principal investigator, participant)
 2007-2011 principal investigator: Direct and indirect polarotaxis in caddis flies and true flies", Hungarian Science Foundation (OTKA K-68462)
 2009-2011 participant: EU 7. TabaNOid: Trap for the Novel Control of Horse-flies on Open-air Fields. No. 232366, Research for the Benefit of Small and Medium Enterprises, 265.000 EUR)
 1997 Hundidac Gold Prize by: Ministry of Education and Hundidac Society Achievement: Life of wetlands I. – film (70 min.) – ELTE
 1997 Hundidac Bronze Prize by: Ministry of Education and Hundidac Society Achievement: Three-dimensional visual aid
 1999 Hundidac Gold Prize by: Ministry of Education and Hundidac Society Achievement: Life of wetlands II. – film (70 min.) – ELTE
 2001 Hundidac Gold Prize by: Ministry of Education and Hundidac Society Achievement: Újpest and the surrounding area's natural values – film (60 min.) – Ocean TV
 2009 Researcher of the Month (January 2009) by: Hungarian Science Fund Achievement: Polarized light pollution, polarization insect traps
 2011 Innovative Researcher of the Year 2010 of the Eötvös University by: Eötvös Loránd University Achievement: Polarization insect traps, Reduction of polarized light pollution (2 Hungarian patents)
 2013 Master Teacher Gold Medal by: National Scientific Student Council Achievement: talent management
Role in scientific community:
 2006 - Member of the Hungarian Biological Society: Didactical Department
 2007 - Instructor and dissertation supervisor of SzIE Doctoral School of Environmental Sciences
 2007 - Member of the Hungarian Biological Society: Zoology Department
 2007 - Member of the Hungarian Hydrological Society
 2007 - Member of the National Scientific Student Council, Comittee of Education Methodology and Technology
 2008 - 'The teaching of biology - methodology journal', member of the editorial board
 2013 - Member of the adhoc comittee of HAS
Appearance in Nature and Science
Ádám EGRI, Ákos HORVÁTH, György KRISKA, Gábor HORVÁTH (2010) Optics of sunlit water drops on leaves: Conditions under which sunburn is possible. New Phytologist 185: 979-987 + cover picture
Nature Photonics - volume 4, number 3, page 128 (1 March 2010) Research Highlights - Environmental Optics: Sunburn myth dispelled
Gábor HORVÁTH, Miklós BLAHÓ, György KRISKA, Ramón HEGEDÜS, Balázs GERICS, Róbert FARKAS, Susanne AKESSON (2010) An unexpected advantage of whiteness in horses: The most horsefly-proof horse has a depolarizing white coat. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277: 1643-1650
Nature - volume 463, number 7283, page 852 (18 February 2010) Research Highlights - Ecology: Why horses wear white
György KRISKA, Gábor HORVÁTH, Sándor ANDRIKOVICS (1998) Why do mayflies lay their eggs en masse on dry asphalt roads? Water-imitating polarized light reflected from asphalt attracts Ephemeroptera. Journal of Experimental Biology 201: 2273-2286
Nature - volume 394, page 425 (30 July 1998) by Alison Mitchell: News and Views - Ecology: Polarized flight.
Ádám EGRI, Miklós BLAHÓ, György KRISKA, Róbert FARKAS, Mónika GYURKOVSZKY, Susanne AKESSON, Gábor HORVÁTH (2012) Polarotactic tabanids find striped patterns with brightness and/or polarization modulation least attractive: an advantage of zebra stripes. Journal of Experimental Biology 215 (5): 736-745 + electronic supplement
Science - Jane J. Lee: Mystery of zebra's stripes finally solved?
Gábor HORVÁTH, György KRISKA, Péter MALIK, Bruce ROBERTSON (2009) Polarized light pollution: a new kind of ecological photopollution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7: 317-325
Science - 7 January 2009 - Phil Berardelli: When a building is like a pond
Science Podcast - Transcript 9 January 2009
Kriska, G.; Csabai, Z.; Boda, P.; Malik P.; Horváth, G. (2006) Why do red and dark-coloured cars lure aquatic insects? The attraction of water insects to car paintwork explained by reflection-polarization signals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273: 1667-1671
Science - volume 313, number 5783, issue 7, page 25 (July 2006) Random Samples: Great moments in entomology.