prof. Mgr. et Mgr. Josef Bryja Ph.D.

Position director of the institute
Direction molecular ecology

+420 560 590 601

Research interests

  • evolutionary history, phylogeography, speciation, adaptation, phylogeny and systematics (mainly of small mammals),
  • biogeography, distribution of biodiversity in Africa,
  • molecular ecology of vertebrates (interactions between neutral and adaptive genetic variation, conservation genetics, immunogenetics),
  • ecology of mammals (population dynamics, structure of communities).

Running Projects

Finished projects


  • 1992-1997: undergraduate study in Systematic Zoology and Ecology – Masaryk University in Brno, Faculty of Science. Diploma thesis: Structure of communities of small terrestrial mammals in various habitats of the Protected Landscape Area of Poodří. (MSc.=Mgr.).
  • 1993-1998: undergraduate study in Molecular Biology and Genetics – Masaryk University in Brno, Faculty of Science. Diploma thesis: Preparation of truncated variant of gene coding for RXR alpha and its transfer to monoblast cell line BM2. (MSc.=Mgr.).
  • 1997-2000: Ph.D. study in Zoology – Masaryk University in Brno, Faculty of Science. Ph.D. thesis: Demographic characteristics of the common vole (Microtus arvalis) population in southern Moravia. (PhD.).


Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno (IVB):

  • 1997-1998: research assistant, Brno
  • 1998-2009: junior researcher, Department of Population Biology of IVB, Brno and Studenec (responsible for the running of the Laboratory of molecular genetics in Studenec)
  • 2010-present: senior researcher, head of the Research Facility of IVB in Studenec
  • 2011-2019: scientific secretary of IVB
  • 2012-present: head of the IVB´s Board

Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno:

  • 2003-2009: research assistant (part-time)
  • 2009-present: Associate Professor (part-time), Lectures: Molecular ecology, Genetic methods in zoology, Advances in zoology of vertebrates, supervising of M.Sc. and Ph.D. students.

International experience

  • 2004-2006: postdoctoral fellow, Centre de Biologie et Gestion des Populations, Montferriez sur Lez, France (projects on wildlife immunogenetics).
  • short visits and invited lectures at research institutes in France, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, Romania, etc.,
  • numerous field expeditions in Africa, more than 1 year in total (Senegal, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Madagascar).
  • 2009-2013: Member of the consortium ConGRESS (Conservation of Genetic Resources for Effective Species Survival), 7th Framework Programme of EC; 2012 – organization of two international workshops on conservation genetics (Slovakia, Hungary).
  • 2018 – CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Porto, Portugal (guest researcher, 6 months)
  • 2019 – university course of Molecular Ecology at Mekelle University (Ethiopia)
  • 2019 – main organizer of the 13th African Small Mammal Symposium in Ethiopia

Selected current collaborations

  • University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic (R. Šumbera)
  • Centre de Biologie et Gestion des Populations, Montferrier sur Lez, France (M. Galan, N. Charbonnel, L. Granjon, G. Dobigny, C. Brouat)
  • Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris, France (V. Nicolas, C. Denys)
  • University of Antwerps, Belgium (H. Leirs)
  • Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA (J. Kerbis Peterhans, T. Demos, A. Ferguson)
  • Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium (E. Verheyen)
  • Pest Management Centre, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania (R. Makundi, A. Massawe)
  • Mekelle University, Ethiopia (Y. Meheretu)
  • A.N.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, Moscow, Russia (L. Lavrenchenko)
  • CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Porto, Portugal (Z. Boratynski)

Other scientific activities

Actual Ph.D. students

Former Ph.D. students

  • Mizerovská Daniela, 2023: Evolution at steep elevational gradients: assessing the role of genetic and ecological factors in speciation process. Masaryk University, Brno.
  • Turbaková Barbora, 2023: Conservation genetics of European lynx in Central Europe. Masaryk University, Brno.
  • Krásová Jarmila, 2023: Diversity and phylogeny of East African montane rodents. České Budějovice. (co-supervised by R. Šumbera)
  • Těšíková Jana, 2022: Diversity and evolutionary history of selected rodent-borne viruses. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised J. Göuy de Bellocq)
  • Hánová Alexandra, 2021: Factors affecting population genetic structure of rodents in savannahs. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised A. Konečný)
  • Mazoch Vladimír, 2019: Phylogeography of small mammals in the Zambezian savannahs. University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice. (co-supervised by R. Šumbera)
  • Bartáková Veronika, 2018: The effects of non-native species on host-parasite relationships. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised by M. Reichard)
  • Aghová Tatiana, 2018: Comparative phylogeography of the Somali-Maasai region in eastern Africa using selected rodent species as a model. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised by R. Šumbera)
  • Čížková Dagmar, 2015: Major histocompatibility complex variation in the house mice hybrid zone. Masaryk University, Brno.
  • Wasimuddin, 2014: Genetic variation of selected pathogens in the house mouse hybrid zone. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised by J.Gouy de Bellocq and J. Piálek)
  • Zemanová Barbora, 2014: Genetic structure of chamois populations in Central Europe. Masaryk University, Brno.
  • Fornůsková Alena, 2013: Genes of innate immunity and their significance in evolutionary ecology of free living rodents. Masaryk University Brno and Université Montpellier II. (co-supervised by J.F. Cosson)
  • Patzenhauerová-Konvičková Hana, 2013: Bathyergid rodents of mesic tropical regions: Phylogeography, kinship structure and mating systems. Masaryk University, Brno.
  • Promerová Marta, 2011: Major histocompatibility complex genes: their variation and impact on fitness in a socially monogamous passerine. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised by T. Albrecht)
  • Poláková Radka, 2011: The effect of genetic factors on reproductive success in a socially monogamous songbird. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised by T. Albrecht).
  • Říčanová Štěpánka, 2011: Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the European ground squirrel. University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice. (co-supervised by F.Sedláček)
  • Konečný Adam, 2009: Consequences of anthropogenic changes on rodent communities and populations: study cases on native and introduced species in Eastern Senegal. Masaryk University, Brno and Université Montpellier II. (co-supervised by J.M. Duplantier and J.F. Cosson)
  • Hájková Petra, 2008: Conservation genetics of the Eurasian otter. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised by P.Jurajda)