Degree programme specification
Ecological and Evolutionary Biology is a doctoral programme with a broad thematic scope, mainly focussing on biosystematics, taxonomy, ecology, palaeoecology, evolutionary ecology, evolutionary biology, ethology, and diversity of organisms on the level of individual species, populations, communities, and floras and faunas of various areas. Special attention is paid to the study of interactions between organisms and their environment, and the study of interspecific interactions, e.g. parasite-host or predator-prey. The broad scope of the programme is divided into five specializations: Botany, Ecology, Hydrobiology, Parasitology, and Zoology. These specializations are defined both by the taxa studied and the methods used. They are not clearly discrete, but may overlap in some topics, which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of current biology.
The programme has two main forms, the on-campus (full-time) or off-campus (combined) form, which differ particularly by their requirements for students’ permanent presence at the institution and by their participation in teaching. Students of the presence form may obtain regular scholarship depending on the Faculty rules. A change from the presence to the combined form of the study is possible upon a student’s request.
The programme’s goal is to educate high-quality specialists in the fields of Botany, Ecology, Hydrobiology, Parasitology, and Zoology. Depending on the specialization and dissertation topic, the graduates of the programme are familiar with current and advanced working methods and knowledge particularly in the field of plant and animal taxonomy, biosystematics, ecology, palaeoecology, parasitology, hydrobiology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, molecular biology and genetics. They participate in scientific discussions in these and related fields. They are able to propose research topics in the field and plan research projects using adequate methods. They are able to write and publish scientific articles in international and national journals and present their results at international and national conferences.
Individual working groups of the Department of Botany and Zoology cover a broad range of research topics, in which doctoral students are trained within individual programme’s specializations, for example:
- Plant and animal diversity and its causes
- Taxonomy and phylogeny of selected taxa
- Palaeoecological studies in selected regions and time periods
- Invasions of non-native species and their impacts
- Macroecological patterns in plant and animal assemblages
- Impact of climatic change on populations, communities and ecosystems
- Variation in plant genome size
- Molecular, ecological, evolutionary and behavioural interactions in host-parasite systems
- Diversity and phylogeny of selected host groups
- Interspecific interactions, e.g. between predator and prey
- Life strategies of aquatic organisms
- Bioindication of the ecological status of aquatic habitats
Students are motivated by a high professional quality of the research in a friendly and collaborative environment. Performance of students is evaluated financially based on the Department’s and Faculty’s rules of students’ evaluation. Students are also motivated to participate at prestigious international conferences and to research visits in scientific institutions abroad.
- Learning Outcomes
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- define scientific problems and questions and propose solutions to answer these questions
- design scientific studies, apply basic and advanced methodological approaches of data collection and analyse data using relevant statistical methods
- present the results of own scientific work in the form of scientific papers published in international and national journals and presentations at scientific meetings
- use the obtained knowledge and skills in both basic and applied research, including their application in e.g. nature conservation
- critically assess current knowledge and developments in the fields of botany, zoology, ecology, hydrobiology, and parasitology
- fluently communicate in academic English
- apply knowledge and skills gained through international cooperation
- share skills and experience with others and work in a team
- Occupational Profiles of Graduates
Graduates of this doctoral programme are prepared for independent work in academic and research institutions focusing on biological sciences, education, agriculture, forestry, veterinary and pharmacy, nature conservation institutions, nature history departments of museums, and private companies or non-government organizations focusing on nature conservation, human and animal health, and environmental protection, both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
- Goals of Theses
Dissertation contains results of the original research of the PhD student. It is written in English, exceptionally partly in Czech or in other language. It may take either a form of a series of published/accepted papers or submitted manuscripts on a single topic or a form of a larger manuscript. The first form is recommended and preferred by the programme’s committee. The series of papers must contain an introduction that puts individual papers into a common context, presents the basic outline of the topic in the context of existing knowledge, defines the main goals and summarizes the main results of the thesis. A thesis in the form of a manuscript is divided into Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, References and Appendices. The extent of the thesis is not prescribed. The main requirement for the thesis is novelty of the results, high quality of the content and high formal standard of the presentation. Author’s CV and a list of publications is included at the end of the thesis. The thesis can be accepted if it contains at least three papers or manuscripts, of which at least two have the PhD student as the first author, and at least two of them have been published or accepted for publication in a journal indexed in the Web of Science database. For papers with multiple authors the student declares his/her own contribution. It is also required that before the acceptance of the thesis for defence the student reports on selected results of the thesis in an English-language international conference or workshop. A hardback binding that cannot be taken apart is prescribed for the thesis. The thesis is submitted in at least three hardcopies and its electronic form is uploaded to the Information System of Masaryk University.
- Additional Information