On 14 February 2020, a new Director of the Nature Research Centre, Prof. Dr Habil. Sigitas Podėnas, was introduced to the community of the centre. S. Podėnas is an entomologist, he has been working at the Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Centre since 2006.

       Prof. S. Podėnas was born in Biržai town and finished Secondary School No 1 of  Biržai. In 1986, S. Podėnas graduated from Vilnius University, Faculty of Natural Sciences. In 1995, he defended his doctoral dissertation at the Neuchâtel University, Switzerland. After successful completion of habilitation procedure at Vilnius University, he acquired the academic title of professor. Prof. S. Podėnas is a Chief Researcher of the Nature Research Centre, an associated member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (USA), a former member of the World Amber Council for Lithuania, a member of the editorial board of a scientific journal Zoology and Ecology, and an editor responsible for Tipulomorpha at a scientific journal Zootaxa.

        The principal areas of research of Prof. S. Podėnas are investigations of Diptera in Lithuania and other countries of the world. He is a globally known researcher of insects (mostly Tipuloidea) as inclusions found in the Baltic, Dominican, Burmese, Mexican, Jordanian, and Lebanese amber.

       Prof. S. Podėnas has described about 190 insect species new to science, including about 50 found in the Baltic amber.

        The most recent scientific interests of S. Podėnas cover Diptera from Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Fiji Islands, Taiwan, and Koran Peninsular.