Jan Hrcek
Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Ecology
Research Associate, University of Oxford

I am interested in ecology and evolution of interactions between insects and their parasites and in processes which govern dynamics of complex natural networks of these interactions. I'm building a bridge between field community ecology and typical laboratory experiments with single interactions to allow deep mechanistic understanding of complex food webs.

CV       janhrcek@gmail.com

Nick Pardikes

Broadly, my research aims to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape species interactions in complex biotic communities. I investigate antagonistic, mutualistic, and indirect species interactions using ecological networks with emphases on global change, biodiversity, and the role microorganisms play in shaping the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. I am currently a postdoctoral research in The Hrcek Lab investigating the influences of temperature and endosymbiotic bacteria on structuring a tropical Drosophila-parasitoid food web.

nickpardikes.wordpress.com       nickpardikes@gmail.com
Nick's Google Scholar

Miguel González Ximénez de Embún

My main interest is to study the effect of global change on trophic interactions, focusing on sustainable agricultural pest control. I have studied the effect of abiotic stress on plant-herbivore interactions and ecological fitting on host-parasitoid newly established interactions. During my postdoc in Jan´s lab I study the effect of Drosophila-parasitoid food web structure and diversity on its resilience to invasive species (D. suzukii) and the role of temperature in the invasion.

miguelgxe@hotmail.com       Miguel's Google Scholar

Vid Bakovic

I am interested in how new species form and I study the speciation process using genetic/genomic data. My research focused on studying populations of the same species that have adapted to heterogenous habitats. In my new postdoc position with Jan Hrcek, I intend to study populations of different species and their interactions, with the hope of getting a glimpse into later stages of the speciation continuum.

vidbakovic@gmail.com       Vid's Google Scholar

Mélanie Thierry
PhD student

I am a community ecologist interested in understanding the processes behind the structure and dynamics of natural communities. I am particularly fascinated by the ecology of parasitoids. In my PhD, I investigate the role of different types of species interaction and warming in shaping and stabilizing host-parasitoid networks. I use an empirical approach with laboratory experiments on a wild-caught tropical Drosophila-parasitoid community and a theoretical approach with mathematical models. I am also involved in a global collaborative project aiming to investigate how interaction networks respond to latitude, elevation and human pressures (LifeWebs project: www.lifewebs.net) as a data manager for host-parasitoid interaction data.

melanie.thierry34@gmail.com       Mélanie's Google Scholar

Joel James Brown
PhD student

My PhD focus is on the factors influencing interactions in our Drosophila-parasitoid food web. Specifically, I focus on how symbionts and temperature change can influence species interactions and ecology and the effects that this may have on the whole food web, using DNA metabarcoding methods. I am also involved in a project studying the microbiome of kissing bugs (Triatominae) with Dr Eva Novakova and the relationship between microbiome composition and their vectorial capacity. My broader interests include parasite ecology, herpetology and wildlife photography.

joel.brown@entu.cas.cz       Joel's Google Scholar

Martin Libra
PhD student

My main interest is in caterpillar – parasitoid interactions. I study composition of parasitoid community and parasitoid interactions with its hosts along altitudinal gradient in tropical rain forests of Papua New Guinea. I am also involved in project explaining latitudinal trends in global biodiversity of insects.

martin.libra@seznam.cz       Martin's Google Scholar

Grégoire Proudhom
PhD student

My PhD main focus is on the two-way interaction between the community structure and the dynamics of the species composing it. To this extend I will use long-term and short-term experiments in the lab on the Australian Drosophila and their parasitoids community, combined with modelling to get hints on how will the community shape itself when exposed to heat waves and invasive species.


Vincent Montbel
PhD student

I am mainly interested in genetic diversity in communities and its role in eco-evolutionary dynamics. My research focuses on the evolutionary dynamics resulting from interactions between Australian rain forest Drosophila and their parasitoids. I will explore the mechanism of natural selection and evolution at the community level and the impact of genetic diversity in interspecies interaction. I will also explore the community genetics and, in particular, fly resistance to parasitoids.


Jeni Sage Sidwell
MSc student

I have a background in evolutionary biology and wildlife ecology, and am broadly interested in answering questions about ecology and evolution with insects and population genetics. My focus in the lab centers around the role trade-offs and temperature play in eco-evolutionary dynamics using our Australian Drosophila-parasitoid community. For my research, I am using an experimental evolution approach and phenotyping and genotyping analyses to explore eco-evolutionary theory in our study system.


Anna Mácová
Research Assistant

As a molecular ecologist, I mostly focus on work in molecular lab, but also help with maintaining fly and wasp stock and help others with their experiments. As a Czech member of the team, I'm here also to help our foreign students with paperwork or with ordering material.


Tereza Holicová
Research Assistant

I focus on improving Drosophila-parasitoid breeding procedures, experimental protocols, and parasitism detection. I also help students and colleagues with practical aspects of their research. In addition, I am skilled in using various graphical tools and I help to prepare vector graphic for visualizing outputs of our research.


Michaela Borovanska
Molecular Lab Manager

I am interested in insect physiology and molecular ecology. I did a PhD in insect thermal physiology and then took up lab manager role in the molecular laboratory of the Department of Ecology. There I help students and colleagues with a wide range of molecular methods including DNA barcoding and metabarcoding, detection methods and population studies.


Anna Jandová
Research Assistant

My task in Jan's lab is to assist colleagues with the practical aspects of their daily research. More specifically, I would like to introduce and maintain highly efficient system of Drosophila-parasitoid breeding and provide reliable molecular data to support the research in the lab. Apart from that, as a parasitologist I'm naturally interested in Drosophila parasites. Currently on maternity leave.



Chia-Hua Lue, former postdoc, now postdoc at City University of New York, USA

Martin Volf, former undergraduate, now PI at Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences

Frantisek Sladecek, former undergraduate, now postdoc at Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences


Owen Lewis, University of Oxford: field experiments with the Drosophila-parasitoid system

Charles Godfray, University of Oxford: Microbial symbiosis

Jon Bridle and Eleanor O'Brien, University of Bristol: population ecology of Drosophila birchii

Megan Higgie, James Cook University: fieldwork on Drosophila-parasitoid system

Scott Miller, Smithsonian Institution: Moth taxonomy, DNA barcoding

Donald Quicke, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand: Parasitoid taxonomy

Graham Stone, University of Edinburgh: Molecular ecology, DNA metabarcoding

Vojtech Novotny, Biology Centre CAS: Food web ecology, Papua New Guinea fieldwork

Vladimir Kostal, Biology Centre CAS: Insect physiology

David Boukal, Biology Centre CAS: ecological modelling

Phillip Staniczenko, City University of New York, USA: network structure modelling

Matt Buffington, USDA: parasitic wasp taxonomy