Population structure, genealogy and host specificity in parasites
In the frame of my phd and postdoc research I focused on studying genetic structure of parasite populations. Several parasitic taxa were adopted as models to reveal processes, which take part in the lineage formation and speciation of parasites (e.g. population history and dynamics, geography and affiliation of genetic strains to particular hosts).
Two different groups of parasites were selected as model organisms:

 ·   endoparasite - flatworm Ligula intestinalis

                             








(L. intestinalis parasitizes body cavity of various freshwater fish species)

 

·    ectoparasites - sucking lice of the genera Hoplopleura and Polyplax.
                         - chewing lice of the genera Myrsidea, Brueelia and

                           Menacanthus.

                         - astigmatid mites of the genus Analges.











(Myrsidea nesomimi, parasite of the Galapagos mockingbirds)


Hybrid zones
Hybridizing species (or populations) are favourite with biologists, because they allow them to take a look into the final stage of speciation. The study subject of my master’s thesis was a Bombina hybrid zone lying southwards of České Budějovice, Czech Republic. The study aimed to reveal relationships between the genetic structure of populations inside the hybrid zone and the ecological demands of the two parental toad species. In accord with studies performed earlier in other transects (Poland, Croatia) considerable differences in the ecology (and genetics) of both parental species (Bombina bombina and B. variegata) were attributed to maintain the shape of the hybrid zone (Master thesis, PDF). 









                       

                        (live specimens of B. variegata temporarily narcotized to allow

                             collection of genetic material)

 

Research Info