Group of Population and Speciation Genetics


We focus our research on the genetics and ecology of speciation in two song bird species - the Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) and Thrush Nightingale (L. luscinia) - which hybridize in a secondary contact zone spanning Central and Eastern Europe. We study the evolution of reproductive isolation at all levels, including premating, postmating-prezygotic and postzygotic barriers to gene flow. Combining population, quantitative and functional genomics we aim to elucidate the genetic architecture of reproductive isolation and identify molecular mechanisms and specific genes responsible for the establishment of reproductive isolation. We are particularly interested in the role of sex chromosomes in speciation. Genetic studies are complemented by analyses of morphological, ecological and behavioral data to understand how hybridization and competition between species affect the process of speciation.

Our research benefits from several collaborations:

Jiří Reif (Institute for Environmental Studies, Charles University)
Tereza Petrusková (Department of Ecology, Charles University)
Adam Petrusek (Department of Ecology, Charles University)
Tomáš Albrecht (Institute of Vertebrate Biology, CAS)
Michael W. Nachman (University of California, Berkeley, USA)