Main research topics

Biology of tropical cyanobacteria
In is commonly known that a center of the Earth's biodiversity is found in tropical areas. Despite this fact, most of the species of algae and cyanobacteria were described from the temperate regions, especially from Europe. Our research aims to discover new, so far undescribed species (sometimes even genera) of these organisms in the tropics and to compare their morphology, ecology, ultrastructure and genetic information with similar populations from the temperate zone. In addition to discovering of undiscovered, it also includes searching for the answer to the question of ubiquitous occurrence of cyanobacteria and algae.
The most commonly explored areas are Latin America, especially Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico, we also have projects in Southeast Asia (Philippines, Thailand), Papua-New Guinea, and Hawaii.
 
Modern approach to the taxonomy of problematic groups of algae, and especially cyanobacteria
At present, we are largely focused on the taxonomy of cyanobacteria, especially on the phylogenetic relationships of individual groups and problematic genera with regard to their morphology, ultrastructure of cells and sequences of selected genes. Recently, we also try to sequence the whole genome. The other algal groups elaborately studied in our laboratory are diatoms, euglenophytes and partly also green algae. Those interested in other taxonomic groups are also warmly welcome, and thanks to friendly relations between phycologists of the whole universe, we are (mostly) able to secure a dedicated specialist as a consultant.
Student works focused onto this area can be either laboratory or field, or a pleasant mix of both.
 
Ecology of extreme habitats
Algae and in particular cyanobacteria are able to survive extreme stress conditions. Therefore they can occur at locations where almost nothing else is able to live. For phycologists, these conditions are paradise for monitoring e.g. ecological relationships. Much of the focus is dedicated to the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic), desert regions, high mountains, hot springs and wet walls. Sometimes, this specialization can be little adventurous, but this is not necessarily a problem :-).
In particular the polar research is accomplished in collaboration with the Centre for Polar Ecology PřF JU under the guidance of Prof. Josef Elster

Our laboratory also collaborates with fellow Academy of Sciences Institutes and Universities to resolve some other research projects. These include diatom sediment analyses in archaeological and paleontological research of the Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Paleoecology of the PřF JU, or research in ecology of soil algae, which is performed at the Institute of Soil Biology AS CR in České Budějovice under hasty, overworked, but kind supervision of Dr. Alena Lukešová. She is immediately able to overwhelm a clever student with a material suitable for ten diploma theses :-).