Mgr. Matej Polačik, Ph.D.

Position: full-time researcher
Research topics: ecology of fish
Department: Research facility Brno
Phone: +420 543 422 557

Running Projects

Embryo and environment – annual fish as a unique model to study embryo ecology (2018-2020)

Finished Projects

Adaptive coexistence of distinct life history strategies in fish of the genus Nothobranchius



Blažek R., Polačik M., Smith C., Honza M., Meyer A., Reichard M.: Success of cuckoo catfish brood parasitism reflects coevolutionary history and individual experience of their cichlid hosts, Science Advances 4 (2018) .

Janáč M., Roche K., Šlapanský L., Polačik M., Jurajda P.: Long-term monitoring of native bullhead and invasive gobiids in the Danubian rip-rap zone, Hydrobiologia 807 (2018) 263-275.

Polačik M., Reichard M., Vrtílek M.: Local variation in embryo development rate in annual fish, Journal of Fish Biology 92 (2018) 1359-1370.

Reichard M., Lanés L. E. K., Polačik M., Blažek R., Vrtílek M., Godoy R. S., Maltchik L.: Avian predation mediates size-specific survival in a Neotropical annual fish: a field experiment, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 124 (2018) 56-66.

Vrtílek M., Žák J., Polačik M., Blažek R., Reichard M.: Longitudinal demographic study of wild populations of African annual killifish, Scientific Reports 8 (2018) .


Blažek R., Polačik M., Reichard M.: Rasches Wachstum, frühe Reifung und kurze Generationenzeit bei afrikanischen annuellen Fischen., DKG Journal 49 (2017) 131-141.

Blažek R., Polačik M., Kačer P., Cellerino A., Řežucha R., Methling C., Tomášek O., Syslová K., Terzibasi Tozzini E., Albrecht T., Vrtílek M., Reichard M.: Repeated intraspecific divergence in life span and aging of African annual fishes along an aridity gradient, Evolution 71 (2017) 386-402.

Polačik M., Smith C., Reichard M.: Maternal source of variability in the embryo development of an annual killifish, Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30 (2017) 738-749.

Polačik M., Janáč M.: Costly defense in a fluctuating environment-sensitivity of annual Nothobranchius fishes to predator kairomones, Ecology and Evolution 7 (2017) 4289-4298.

Reichard M., Janáč M., Polačik M., Blažek R., Vrtílek M.: Community assembly in Nothobranchius annual fishes: nested patterns, environmental niche and biogeographic history, Ecology and Evolution 7 (2017) 2294-2306.

Reichard M., Blažek R., Polačik M., Vrtílek M.: Hatching date variability in wild populations of four coexisting species of African annual fishes, Developmental Dynamics 246 (2017) 827-837.

Vrtílek M., Polačik M., Reichard M.: The role of energetic reserves during embryonic development of an annual killifish, Developmental Dynamics 246 (2017) 838-847.


Lanés L. E. K., Godoy R. S., Maltchik L., Polačik M., Blažek R., Vrtílek M., Reichard M.: Seasonal dynamics in community structure, abundance, body size and sex ratio in two species of Neotropical annual fishes, Journal of Fish Biology 89 (2016) 2345-2364.

Polačik M., Blažek R., Reichard M.: Laboratory breeding of the short-lived annual killifish Nothobranchius furzeri, Nature Protocols 11 (2016) 1396-1413.


Bartáková V., Reichard M., Blažek R., Polačik M., Bryja J.: Terrestrial fishes: rivers are barriers to gene flow in annual fishes from the African savanna, Journal of Biogeography 42 (2015) 1832-1844.

Polačik M., Jurajda P., Blažek R., Janáč M.: Carcass feeding as a cryptic foraging mode in round goby Neogobius melanostomus, Journal of Fish Biology 87 (2015) 194-199.

Reichard M., Douda K., Przybylski M., Popa O. P., Karbanová E., Matasová K., Rylková K., Polačik M., Blažek R., Smith C.: Population-specific responses to an invasive species, Proceedings of the Royal Society. B - Biological Sciences 282 (2015) 167-174.


Polačik M., Harrod C., Blažek R., Reichard M.: Trophic niche partitioning in communities of African annual fish: evidence from stable isotopes, Hydrobiologia 721 (2014) 99-106.

Polačik M., Blažek R., Řežucha R., Vrtílek M., Terzibasi Tozzini E., Reichard M.: Alternative intrapopulation life-history strategies and their trade-offs in an African annual fish, Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27 (2014) 854-865.

Reichard M., Polačik M., Blažek R., Vrtílek M.: Female bias in the adult sex ratio of African annual fishes: interspecific differences, seasonal trends and environmental predictors, Evolutionary Ecology 28 (2014) 1105-1120.

Smith C., Phillips A., Polačik M., Reichard M.: Male coloration signals direct benefits in the European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), Environmental Biology of Fishes 97 (2014) 335-341.


Bartáková V., Reichard M., Janko K., Polačik M., Blažek R., Reichwald K., Cellerino A., Bryja J.: Strong population genetic structuring in an annual fish, Nothobranchius furzeri, suggests multiple savannah refugia in southern Mozambique, BMC Evolutionary Biology 13 (2013) 196.

Blažek R., Polačik M., Reichard M.: Rapid growth, early maturation and short generation time in African annual fishes, EvoDevo 4 (2013) 24.

Jurajda P., Všetičková L., Polačik M., Vassilev M.: Can round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) caught by rod and line be used for diet analysis?, Journal of Great Lakes Research 39 (2013) 182-185.

Terzibasi Tozzini E., Dorn A., Ng’oma E., Polačik M., Blažek R., Reichwald K., Petzold A., Watters B. R., Reichard M., Cellerino A.: Parallel evolution of senescence in annual fishes in response to extrinsic mortality, BMC Evolutionary Biology 13 (2013) 77.


Ondračková M., Slováčková I., Trichkova T., Polačik M., Jurajda P.: Shoreline distribution and parasite infection of black-striped pipefish Syngnathus abaster Risso, 1827 in the lower River Danube, Journal of Applied Ichthyology 28 (2012) 590-596.

Polačik M., Janáč M., Vassilev M., Trichkova T.: Morphometric comparison of native and non-native populations of round goby Neogobius melanostomus from the River Danube, Folia zoologica 61 (2012) 1-8.


Dorn A., Ng'oma E., Janko K., Reichwald K., Polačik M., Platzer M., Cellerino A., Reichard M.: Phylogeny, genetic variability and colour polymorphism of an emerging animal model: the short-lived annual Nothobranchius fishes from southern Mozambique, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61 (2011) 739-749.

Francová K., Ondračková M., Polačik M., Jurajda P.: Parasite fauna of native and non-native populations of Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814) (Gobiidae) in the longitudinal profile of the Danube River, Journal of Applied Ichthyology 27 (2011) 879-886.

Polačik M., Reichard M.: Asymmetric reproductive isolation between two sympatric annual killifish with extremely short lifespans, PLoS ONE 6 (2011) .

Polačik M., Donner M. T., Reichard M.: Age structure of annual Nothobranchius fishes in Mozambique: is there a hatching synchrony?, Journal of Fish Biology 78 (2011) 796-809.

Reichard M., Bryja J., Polačik M., Smith C.: No evidence for host specialization or host-race formation in the European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), a fish that parasitizes freshwater mussels, Molecular Ecology 20 (2011) 3631-3643.


Ondračková M., Francová K., Dávidová M., Polačik M., Jurajda P.: Condition status and parasite infection of Neogobius kessleri and N. melanostomus (Gobiidae) in their native and non-native area of distribution of the Danube River, Ecological Research 25 (2010) 857-866.

Polačik M., Reichard M.: Diet overlap among three sympatric African annual killifish species (Nothobranchius spp.) from Mozambique, Journal of Fish Biology 77 (2010) 754-768.

Reichard M., Watters B. R., Wildekamp R. H., Sonnenberg R., Nagy B., Polačik M., Valdesalici S., Cellerino A., Cooper B. J., Hengstler H., Rosenstock J., Sainthouse I.: Potential negative impacts and low effectiveness in the use of African annual killifish in the biocontrol of aquatic mosquito larvae in temporary water bodies, Parasites & Vectors 3 (2010) 89.

Reichard M., Polačik M., Tarkan A. S., Spence R., Gaygusuz Ö., Ercan E., Ondračková M., Smith C.: The bitterling–mussel coevolutionary relationship in areas of recent and ancient sympatry, Evolution 64 (2010) 3047-3056.

Reichard M., Polačik M.: Reproductive isolating barriers between colour-differentiated populations of an African annual killifish, Nothobranchius korthausae (Cyprinodontiformes), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 100 (2010) 62-72.


Polačik M., Reichard M.: Indirect fitness benefits are not related to male dominance in a killifish, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63 (2009) 1427-1435.

Polačik M., Janáč M., Jurajda P., Adámek Z., Ondračková M., Trichkova T., Vassilev M.: Invasive gobies in the Danube: invasion success facilitated by availability and selection of superior food resources, Ecology of Freshwater Fish 18 (2009) 640-649.

Reichard M., Polačik M., Sedláček O.: Distribution, colour polymorphism and habitat use of the African killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri, the vertebrate with the shortest life span, Journal of Fish Biology 74 (2009) 198-212.


Polačik M., Janáč M., Trichkova T., Vassilev M., Keckeis H., Jurajda P.: The distribution and abundance of the Neogobius fishes in their native range (Bulgaria) with notes on the non-native range in the Danube River, Large Rivers 18 (2008) 193-208.

Polačik M., Trichkova T., Janáč M., Vassilev M., Jurajda P.: The ichthyofauna of the shoreline zone in the longitudinal profile of the Danube River, Bulgaria, Acta Zoologica Bulgarica 60 (2008) 77-88.

Polačik M., Janáč M., Jurajda P., Vassilev M., Trichkova T.: The sampling efficiency of electrofishing for Neogobius species in a riprap habitat: a field experiment, Journal of Applied Ichthyology 24 (2008) 601-604.