Paolo Bartolić

Doctoral student

I’m interested in evolutionary biology and biosystematics of plants. The main questions of my project are focusing on the relationships between the subspecies of the Cardamine amara complex, specifically on the genomic and ecological patterns connected to the speciation of the diploid high mountain subspecies from mountain ranges in Europe (Alps, Carpathians, Pyrenees, Balkan), and the interploidy gene flow in the Central European contact zone between diploid and tetraploid subspecies of C. amara. To answer those questions, I will combine different molecular approaches such as cytometry and analysis of high-throughput sequencing data (RADseq, genome resequencing), complemented by crossing experiments.
[project in collaboration with Karol Marhold]


Magdalena Bohutínská (Holcová)

Doctoral student

My main interest is how adaptation works at the genomic level. During my master project, I focused on protein evolution of meiosis after whole genome duplication and change in native plant temperature environment. Currently I am working on alpine adaptation project, identifying genomic and functional consequences of parallel alpine colonization in two wild Arabidopsis species. Google Scholar


Sonia Celestini

Doctoral student

My biggest passion has always been evolutionary biology. Specifically, I’m mostly interested in the fields of ecology, conservation and population genetics. My current PhD project aims to address the adaptive value of polyploidy in natural plant populations. I use ecological and genomic tools to understand how whole-genome duplication affects selection and adaptation of plants to new and challenging environments



Martin Čertner

Independent researcher

My research focuses on various aspects of polyploid evolution in plants, such as polyploid origin, conditions allowing establishment of new polyploid mutants in diploid populations, ploidy coexistence in contact zones and intensity of inter-ploidy gene flow. To achieve my goals, I combine traditional approaches of plant ecology and systematics (e.g. vegetation sampling, population demography methods, comparative greenhouse cultivation, manipulated pollination experiments) with flow cytometry, molecular-genetic analyses and ecological niche modelling. My projects involve several plant model systems representing various taxonomic groups (e.g. Tripleurospermum, Knautia, Arabidopsis, Butomus). Google Scholar


Dora Čertnerová

Part-time technician

I am interested in genome size evolution and its consequences, especially among microscopic algae. I focus on intraspecific genome size variation, polyploid detection, and phenotypic and ecological consequences of genome size diversity. Currently, I am also working on improving the protocols of synthetic polyploid induction in plants.


Juan Manuel Gorospe

Doctoral student

I am most interested in the evolutionary history of plants and the processes responsible for current biodiversity patterns. My work focuses on the understanding of evolutionary processes across different spatio-temporal scales using phylogenetic, biogeograpic, phylogeograpic and ecological approaches. Currently, I am studying the origin and development of tropical-alpine radiations within Asteraceae lineages.

[project in collaboration with Roswitha Schmickl]

Martha Kandziora

Independent researcher

Is it easier to move or to evolve? This question fascinates me, and drives my research on plant lineages. I currently focus on two different topics: 1) Using phylogenetics and comparative methods to understand the biogeography and diversification of lineages. 2) Bridging the gap between botany and bioinformatics - producing tools that enable me and others to analyze big datasets in a reproducible manner. Google Scholar

[project in collaboration with Roswitha Schmickl]


Filip Kolář

Group leader

I am generally interested in evolution of vascular plant diversity in nature. By leveraging cytometrical, genetic, genomic and ecological tools in a synthetic way, my research focuses on evolutionary consequences of recent whole genome duplication (polyploidy) in natural populations. I also study adaptive response of plants to stressful environments such as specific edaphic (serpentine) and high-elevation habitats.


Veronika Konečná

Doctoral student

I am generally interested in the field of evolutionary biology. I am focusing on searching for adaptive responses to parallel environmental switches. Currently, I am working on the identification of the polygenic multitrait basis of serpentine adaptations in Arabidopsis arenosa by genome resequencing. Further, I am studying the parallel evolution of Cardamine amara and Primula elatior in alpine environment and its demographic and population genetic consequences by microsatellites. Google Scholar


Nélida Padilla-García

Postdoctoral researcher

I am generally interested in plant evolution, ecology and biosystematics. In particular, I am fascinated by the role of polyploidy and hybridization to ecological adaptation and speciation processes. I am also interested in phylogeography and conservation genetics, particularly of high-mountain plants. My current project focuses on population genomics and biosystematics of Arabidopsis arenosa and Cardamine amara polyploid complexes. I combine extensive field sampling with flow cytometry, ecological and NGS data to study ecological adaptation and plant speciation within these groups. Google Scholar

[project in collaboration with Karol Marhold]


Doubravka Požárová

Master’s student

My interests are evolutionary biology, plant physiology and ecology. I am focusing on alpine adaptations in the Arabidopsis genus and mechanisms of plant responses to changing environmental conditions. Currently I am working on common garden experiment with Arabidopisis arenosa, asking how the foothill and high-alpine plants respond to different temperature and light settings.


Susnata Salony

Doctoral student

I am broadly interested in the evolution of plant diversity, particularly in high-altitude environments. In my PhD project, I employ cytometrical, ecological, and genomic tools for addressing the evolutionary consequences of whole genome duplication in mixed-ploidy populations across several flowering plant species.

[project in collaboration with Clément Lafon Placette]


Hanka Šípková

Lab manager

My work includes the every day management of the flow cytometry laboratory and support for research activities and student projects within the team.


Cristina Vives

Postdoctoral researcher

I am broadly interested in genome evolution of plants. My research interests are direct towards understanding the dynamics of transposable elements and which role they have played during evolution, from genome-wide scale analysis to the study of the impact of particular transposon insertions. I also study genomic structural variations analyzing their impact on genic function and expression.


Jakub Vlček

Postdoctoral researcher

I am broadly interested in evolutionary biology and conservation/population genetics. The fact that various molecular or population constraints can shape evolutionary trajectories jointly with adaptive processes resonate throughout my scientific adventures. I have a background in avian genomics and bioinformatics. Currently I am analysing a large Arabidopsis resequencing dataset in order to understand how polyploidisation affects selection efficiency and what advantage or disadvantage it can bring about. Google Scholar

Veronika V

Veronika Vlčková

Part-time technician


Guillaume Wos

Postdoctoral researcher

My research interests lie in the field of evolutionary biology, plant ecology and plant physiology. I am interested in studying ecological adaptation at different spatial scales, i.e. at the landscape level or along an altitudinal cline, with a particular focus on the interaction between plants and their abiotic environment. My current research addresses both phenotypic and genetic aspects of alpine adaptation in Arabidopsis arenosa. For this, I combine different approaches: common garden and reciprocal transplant experiments and transcriptomic analysis based on RNA-seq.





Utku Deniz

Erasmus intern


Magdalena Lučanová

Part-time researcher

I focus on studying mechanisms driving genome size and ploidy level variation in plants. I am also interested in plant reproductive strategies (autogamy, allogamy, reproductive barriers) and interactions among different ploidy levels within a species. In my work I combine field surveys with flow cytometry and karyology to determine ploidy and genome size variation in natural plant populations.


Emma Jane Morgan

Programme Manager at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)