We are proud to report the first student plenary given by a member of our lab at an international conference!

Our PhD student Samuel was officially awarded the 1st prize for the best student paper by the International Society of Limnology during its centennial SIL2022 congress in Berlin. 

He gave a cracking 30-minute plenary talk in the main lecture hall in Hotel Berlin during the closing session of the congress on Wednesday, August 10. 

Congratulations to Sam as he caught the attention of the internation limnological community, and we are looking forward to present our work again at SIL. It was a great meeting with many interesting talks and people to meet!

Big congratulations to Samuel who has won the 4th SIL Student competition with his 2021 Ecology Letters paper! He is going to present it in a plenary talk at the 36th Congress of the International Society for Limnology in Berlin on 7-10 August 2022.

Dijoux S. & Boukal D. S. (2021) Community structure and collapses in multi-channel food webs: role of consumer body sizes and mesohabitat productivities. Ecology Letters 24, 1607-1618.

Earlier this week, we showed our favourite fishpond sites to a Czech TV crew filming an episode for a popular investigative series "Nedej se", this time on the dire state of many Czech fishponds. Vojta gave an interview on the importance of fishponds for aquatic insects and other invertebrates, and talked about the current challenges and opportunities of their conservation.

We thank Arthur Sniegon and his team for a highly enjoyable afternoon despite a short rain shower! 

Vojta interviewed by Czech TV

Vojta interviewed by Czech TV

On 1 April 2022, Pavel Soukup successfully defended his thesis on the "Role of habitat complexity and predation in the structuring of aquatic communities". It consisted of two published chapters (Soukup et al. 2022 WIREs Water and Mocq et al. 2021 J Anim Ecol) and one unpublished manuscript.

The thesis was reviewed by Dr. Eoin O'Gorman from the University of Exeter (UK) and Prof. Jaroslav Kobak from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland). Both reviewers provided excellent feedback on Pavel's thesis.

We were also very happy that Eoin O'Gorman could come to Ceske Budejovice in person - the first international guest after two long covid-stricken years.

We thank Pavel for all his great contributions to the lab and wish him all the best in his continuing career as a high-profile high-school teacher! 


Examples of habitat complexity experiments run in our lab


Apart from our own lab and mesocosm experiments, we are also taking part in a global microcosm experiment led by (among others) Gustavo Romero in Brazil and Pavel Kratina (QMUL, London). Our sites are located in mixed forests north of Ceske Budejovice and around the Plesne Lake in the Sumava Mts near the border with Austria and Germany. Especially the second site at more than 1100 m a.s.l. is quite scenic, and we are looking forward to go back there and retrieve the microcosms in September! On a side note, I also broke my personal best in the number of ticks brought home from a single trip: I collected five ticks in the beech forest...

(David Boukal)


Good quality and health of soil and water are essential for human society. New scientific knowledge will help to address current environmental issues. As part of the project SoWa: Soil and Water Infrastructure, which is focused on detailed investigation of all biotic and abiotic processes and interactions between soil and water ecosystems, we participated in this awesome video. Meet all the researcher involve in this amazing project!


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