Research Groups

Avian Evolutionary Ecology Group

Principal investigators: Tomáš Albrecht, Veronika Javůrková
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Our research is based on a variety of topics concerning ecology and evolution of birds in temperate zone as well as tropics. Current work deals with several overlapping topics: (1) variation in life history and physiological traits in birds across geographical (latitudinal, altitudinal) gradients (macrophysiology), (2) mechanisms (physiological, genetic, social) maintaining the honesty of signalization of individual quality via secondary male ornamentation, (3) mechanisms of mate choice and the evolution of multiple male mating (female promiscuity) in birds, (4) post-copulatory sexual selection and the evolution of avian sperm, (5) trade-offs between allocation to sexual signalling and ageing in free-living and captive bird populations, and (6) the role of feather-degrading bacteria in the evolution of moulting strategies in passerine birds

Ecophysiology Group

Principal investigator: Zuzana Starostová
Web page:
Ecophysiology group is part of larger interdepartmental group called “Gecko Team - reptile reproductive biology group”; however we do not strictly focus on reproductive biology or reptiles only. Our current topics include 1) influence of environmental temperature on growth, reproduction and overall energetics in lizards, 2) metabolic costs of tail regeneration in lizards, or 3) the role of cell size in metabolic rate scaling in vertebrates.

Group of Population and Evolutionary Genetics

Principal investigators: Pavel Munclinger, Radka Reifová, Jakub Kreisinger, Zuzana Musilová, Jan Zima
Web page:,
We are employing modern population genetic and genomic approaches to study general evolutionary and ecological questions using mainly birds, mammals and fish as model organisms. Currently, we are focusing on the following projects: (1) Evolution of reproductive isolation in the common nightingale and the thrush nightingale, (2) Coevolution of parasites and their hosts using bird parasites (avian malaria and feather lice) as models, (3) Interactions between gastrointestinal microbiota and their vertebrate hosts, (4) Adaptive evolution of visual system in teleost fishes and (5) Hemoglobin evolution in cichlid fishes.

Laboratory for Evolutionary and Ecological Immunology

Principal investigator: Michal Vinkler
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Our research is focused on mapping of animal interspecific and intraspecific genetic variability responsible for variation in disease resistance. We are interested in the association between genotype and environment in forming immunophenotype in health and disease. Since any knowledge on genetics of evolutionary adaptations in immunity should lead to improvements in biomedicine and biotechnology, our goal is also to support the transfer of the results of our basic research into applied practice in agriculture and nature protection.

Laboratory of Reproductive Biology (BIOCEV)

Principal investigator: Kateřina Hortová
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The laboratory focuses on sperm-egg interaction and fusion, sperm preparation for fertilization (capacitation and acrosome reaction) as well as on epigenetic regulation of early embryogenesis, epigenetic markers associated with human infertility, spermatogenesis and sperm parameters assessment after endocrine disruptor challenge, using genomic and proteomic approach. The laboratory is a part of Biotechnology and Biomedicine Center of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Vestec (BIOCEV).

Laboratory of Sensory and Evolutionary Neurobiology

Principal investigator: Pavel Němec

Lipocalins in Modulation of Mammalian Reproduction (BIOCEV)

Principal investigator: Pavel Stopka
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The laboratory focuses on genetics of communication in rodents (Mus, Apodemus), with a special focus on lipocalins and their role in modulation of mammalian reproduction. The laboratory is a part of Biotechnology and Biomedicine Center of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Vestec (BIOCEV).