David Boukal [Head, Assoc. Prof.]

I am broadly interested in processes that shape the life histories of individuals and the dynamics of populations and entire communities. My main focus is on aquatic habitats and on the various forms of human impact (warming, eutrophication, pollution, habitat modification, fishing and other forms of exploitation, and more recently also invasive species) that usually makes life more difficult for the critters that live there.

I combine experimental and statistical approaches with mathematical models, which is my original background. 

 Claire at mesocosm sampling in August 2021

Claire Duchet [postdoc]

Claire's work focuses on the combined impacts of warming and selected pollutants on life histories and community structure of freshwater communities in small standing waters. Her approach combines standard ecotoxicological assays with long-term outdoor experiments in mesocosms.

Vojtěch Kolář [postdoc]

I defended my PhD in the spring of 2021. My main interests are freshwater ecology and conservation biology. My research in ecology has been focused on the effect of habitat complexity and top predator presence on predator-prey interactions in small and fishless pools. My main interest in conservation biology are the assemblages of aquatic beetles, heteropterans and dragonflies in standing waters. I am exploring their habitat preferences and drivers of their community structure in fishponds, sand pits, pools in spoil heaps and other man-made habitats. I am also trying to find a balance between fishpond management and habitat conservation in order to support local invertebrate and amphibian assemblages. As a side project, I have also been mapping the distribution of the endangered diving beetle Graphoderus bilineatus in Czechia.


Samuel Dijoux [postdoc]

I defended my PhD in May 2023. My PhD project was dedicated to the role of life-history and physiological traits in the structuring and dynamics of small standing water communities. Mainly theoretical, the approach I use is the development of trait-based mathematical models (with emphasis on body size and habitat domain as key traits in aquatic food webs) to investigate the impacts of climate change on the structure and dynamics of freshwater food webs.


Michael Anai Figueroa Sanchez [visiting postdoc]

Michael is visiting our lab in 2024. Her background is in the ecology of freshwater zooplankton and she will join our projects on the impact of climate change and other anthropogenic factors on the structure and dynamics of freshwater invertebrate communities.


Derya Riha [PhD student, currently on parental leave]

Derya's PhD focuses on the responses of selected freshwater invertebrates to warming, including long-term responses (i.e. changes in life histories) to constant temperatures and short-term responses to heat waves.


Barbora Zdvihalová [technician]

Bara is our lab master. 


András Csercsa [technician]

András primarily takes care of our mesocosms.


Václav Seidl [MSc student]

Václav studies the effects of beaver dams on biodiversity in the streams in the foothils of the Sumava Mts (supervised by Vojtěch Kolář).


Anand Anand [MSc student]

Anand focuses on the effects of varying temperatures on Daphnia life histories (supervised by Claire Duchet).


Jakub Krejčí [Bc student]

Jakub deals with the role of different types of littoral vegetation on macroinvertebrate communities in standing waters (supervised by Vojtěch Kolář and David Boukal).


Pavla Plevková [Bc student]

Pavla is interested in recreational fisheries. Her thesis explores the links between different fishing regulations and fish stock dynamics, with emphasis on Lake Lipno, the largest reservoir and water body in Czechia (supervised by David Boukal).


Pavel Soukup [undergraduate and PhD student in the lab, PhD thesis defended on 1 April 2022]

PhD thesis title: "Role of habitat complexity and predation in the structuring of aquatic communities"

I am a PhD student interested in freshwater ecology, particularly mesocosm and behavioral experiments unravelling the role of habitat complexity on predator-prey interactions. I have a background in teaching and IT.


Julien Mocq [PostDoc, 2015-2021]

My researches focus on the impact of various biotic (predator/prey density, traits, predation risk cues...) and abiotic (temperature, habitat complexity...) factors on trophic interactions between aquatic invertebrates, with a special interest in natural and man-made ponds.

Bruno M. Carreira [postdoc - SoWa Research Infrastructure, 2018-2020]

I study the ecological effects of climate change on wetlands. Using Mediterranean temporary ponds as model systems, I investigate temperature effects on nutrient assimilation and feeding preferences in ectotherms, and how these affect the structure and functioning of pond food webs. This experimental research uses advanced techniques (stable isotopes and metagenomics) and supports a general relationship between temperature and the trophic levels of omnivorous ectotherms. Interested in studying fitness landscapes along gradients of temperature and diet C:N:P ratios, the pathways influencing nutrient assimilation and the role of gut microbiota, I am also studying freshwater communities in urban and post-industrial habitats.

Andrea Landeira-Dabarca [postdoc - SoWa Research Infrastructure, 2018-2019]

My research has been focused on the effects of natural and human disturbance on aquatic communities and species interactions. During my early stage career, I worked on aquatic insect community variability, prey-predator interactions, chemical signaling in aquatic ecosystems, and fisheries. Then, I have been working on the evolutionary and ecological vulnerability of freshwater organisms to climate change in high altitude tropical and temperate streams, and the consequences for ecosystem functioning. And, I am currently working on the effect of human pollution and eutrophication on species interactions and their functional role in ecosystem processes in standing-water ecosystems.

Marek Svitok [postdoc, 2018-2019]

I am quantitative ecologist with broad interest in biological diversity, ecosystem functioning and human impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. I conduct research on environmental problems, including climate change and acidification, affecting glacial lakes. I am also interested in functional ecology of ponds and how invertebrate diversity links with decomposition and production processes. As a conservation biologist, I try to assess efficiency of surrogate species for biodiversity conservation. My further interests encompass taxonomy of aquatic insects, forest disturbances, biological invasions and ecological modelling.