Principal investigator

Martin Reichard [list of all publications]
evolution of ageing, brood parasitism, reproductive tactics

After Ph.D. in zoology, Martin took a series of postdoctoral positions and fellowships in the UK (Queen Mary London, Leicester, St Andrews) before establishing a lab in Brno.

His recent research is primarily focused on
1. understanding the evolution of lifespan, ageing and its life history consequences (this includes broader studies on the ecology and evolution of annual fishes in Africa and the Neotropics.)
2. impact of invasions on coevolutionary dynamics (largely based on the association between parasitic bitterling fishes and their host mussels)
3. mate choice, sexual selection, and reproductive tactics in fishes (using killifish, bitterling and other fish taxa)

Permanent Research Scientist

Matej Polačik [web][list of all publications]
killifish life history, including embryonic period

Matej’s primary goal is to understand embryo ecology over the long months of their diapause and the consequences of that unique development for post-hatching lifespan

Matej’s PhD project was on comparative biology of native and invasive populations of gobies. He joined the lab as a postdoc to study bitterling-mussel coevolution and continued with investigations on alternative life strategies in African annual fishes. After a stay at Jason Podrabsky’s lab in Portland State University, OR, USA, Matej took permanent position at the institute.

Postdoctoral researchers

Radim Blažek [web][list of all publications]
killifish life history, brood parasitism

Radim is devoted field and experimental biologist. His current research is split between the cuckoo catfish brood parasitism and the applied side of our killifish research (defining driver mutations in killifish neoplasia).

Milan Vrtílek [web][list of all publications]
life history and ecomorphology in killifish

Milan succeeded in our ambitious plan to follow replicated wild killifish populations over their lifetime. Over 30,000 km of car travel and 5 months camping in the Mozambican bush, a unique set of data and samples was secured!

Milan studied the effect of invasive species on the bitterling-mussel relationship for his MSc., followed by a PhD. (2014) on experimental and field-based investigations into variability and reaction norms in the reproductive allocation of female killifish. He then completed a two-year internal postdoctoral fellowship, a short-term stay at CEREEP (with Tom Van Dooren, CNRS France; 2017) and six months postdoctoral fellowship in ANU, Canberra, Australia (with Mike Jennions).

Lisandrina Mari [list of all publications]
experimental and molecular ecology in coevolutionary relationships

Lisandrina works on the interface between behavioural, immunological and genetic traits that shape host-parasite relationships. Her primary study system is the bitterling-mussel relationship, linking resistance and susceptibility to parasitic stages (mussel glochidia and bitterling embryos) in this reciprocal association. She combines field studies with controlled laboratory experiments and with analysis of MHC variability.

Holger Zimmermann [list of all publications]
brood parasitism

Holger joined us to work on cuckoo catfish trickery to exploit its host cichlids as well as on cichlid defence mechanisms to avoid this parasitism. Holger has long-term interest (and experience) working with Lake Tanganyika cichlids, with a focus on their diverse reproductive biology. He will combine field, experimental and genetic approaches to understand the evolution and maintenance of cuckoo catfish brood parasitism.

PhD students

Jakub Žák (since 2017) [list of all publications]
biology of ageing in killifish

Jakub volunteered during the extensive 2016 fieldwork in Mozambique and now joined the lab as PhD. student enrolled at Charles University in Prague.

Jakub pursues experimental approach to study various aspects of ageing in African killifish.

Pre-graduate students

Klára Siudová (since 2018)
ecology and evolution of African annual fishes


Adam Veleba – lab manager

Václav Homolka – aquarium facility

Jiří Farkač – aquarium facility

Babora Turbaková – molecular lab

Former Postdoctoral Researchers

Pierick Mouginot [list of all publications]
game theory modeling in coevolutionary relationships

Pierick has joined our lab to combine theoretical work with empirical tests of predictions from his models. He worked on cuckoo catfish brood parasitism and bitterling-mussel reciprocal parasitic relationship.

Caroline Methling [list of all publications]
fish physiology

Caroline worked with us twice, separated by her position at National Institute of Aquatic Resources at Technical University of Copenhagen.

She quantified the energetic costs in bitterling-mussel relationship and studied physiological parameters associated with extraordinary life history of annual killifishes.

Pedro Morais (2014-2015) [web][list of all publications]
invasion ecology

Pedro’s work aimed to understand competitive interactions between native and invasive freshwater mussel species, with a focus on population-specific details. He is now postdoc at UC Berkeley.

Romain Rouchet (2013-2015) [list of all publications]
bitterling-mussel coevolution

Romain used experimental approach to look at the effects of non-native populations being transferred within species range, especially their impact on coevolutionarily-driven interactions.

Past PhD students

Daniel García (2015-2019) [list of all publications]
life history and ageing in Neotropical annual killifish

Veronika Bartáková (2013-2018)
population genetic and population aspects of biological invasions

Milan Vrtílek (2010-2014)
evolutionary ecology of annual fishes

Radomil Řežucha (2010-2014) [list of all publications]
personalities & sexual selection

Radek worked on the link between personalities, alternative reproductive behaviour and mate choice, using a spectrum of our fish models (bitterling, Endler’s guppy, annual killifish).

Markéta Konečná (2006-2009) [list of all publications]
individual and population consequences of sexual selection

Markéta combined fieldwork, mesocosm experiments and behavioural observations to understand how sexual selection affects individuals and populations of the European bitterling fish.

Past MSc. students

Lucie Kubická (Charles University, defended 2016)

– cognition and behaviour in African killifish

Veronika Bartáková (Masaryk University, defended 2013)

– African killifish phylogeography

Milan Vrtílek (Masaryk University, defended 2010)

– effect of invasive molluscs on bitterling populations

Radomil Řežucha (Masaryk University, defended 2010)

– linking personality and reproductive tactics in the bitterling

Yvona Petrášová (Masaryk University, defended 2009)

– diversity and ecology of fish communities in the Gambia River, Senegal