doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Josef Bryja Ph.D.

Position head of the facility
Direction molecular ecology

+420 560 590 601

Research interests

  • molecular ecology of vertebrates (interactions between neutral and adaptive genetic variation, immunogenetics, sexual selection, conservation genetics, immunogenetics),
  • ecology of mammals, especially rodents (sex ratio, population dynamics, structure of communities),
  • phylogeography, phylogeny and systematics of small mammals, especially in Africa.

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, ASCR, 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-present: scientific secretary of IVB
  • 2012-present: head of the IVB´s Board

Department of Zoology and Ecology, 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, Evolutionary analyses), 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, Italy, Slovenia, Romania, etc.,
  • field expeditions in Africa (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).

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, J.M. Duplantier, G. Dobigny, C. Brouat, etc.)
  • Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris, France (V. Nicolas, C. Denys)
  • University of Antwerps, Belgium (H. Leirs)
  • Field Museum in Chicago, USA (J. Kerbis Peterhans, T. Demos, M. McDonough)
  • 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).

Actual Ph.D. students

  • Aghová Tatiana: Comparative phylogeography of the Somali-Maasai region in eastern Africa using selected rodent species as a model. (co-supervised with R. Šumbera)
  • Bartáková Veronika: The effects of non-native species on host-parasite relationships. (co-supervised with M. Reichard)
  • Králová Tereza: The effect of life histories on the variation of immune genes in passerines – a comparative approach. (co-supervised with T. Albrecht and M. Vinkler)
  • Mazoch Vladimír: Phylogeography of small mammals in the Zambezian savannahs. (co-supervised with R. Šumbera)
  • Těšíková Jana: Quantifying viral gene capture, and the host’s response, during passage across a species barrier: Murine cytomegalovirus in a house mouse hybrid zone. (co-supervised with J. Göuy de Bellocq)
  • Turbaková Barbora: Conservation genetics of European lynx in Central Europe. (supervisor)
  • Krásová Jarmila: Historical biogeography of mountain regions of Eastern Africa using small mammals as a model. (co-supervised with R. Šumbera)
  • Hánová Alexandra: Factors affecting population genetic structure of rodents in savannahs. (co-supervised with A. Konečný)

Former Ph.D. students

  • Čížková Dagmar, 2015: Major histocompatibility complex variation in the house mice hybrid zone. Masaryk University, Brno. (supervisor)
  • Wasimuddin, 2014: Genetic variation of selected pathogens in the house mouse hybrid zone. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised with J.Gouy de Bellocq and J.Piálek)
  • Zemanová Barbora, 2014: Genetic structure of chamois populations in Central Europe. Masaryk University, Brno. (supervisor)
  • Fornůsková Alena, 2013: Genes of innate immunity and their significance in evolutionary ecology of free living rodents. Masaryk University and Université Montpellier II. (co-supervised with J.F. Cosson)
  • Patzenhauerová-Konvičková Hana, 2013: Bathyergid rodents of mesic tropical regions: Phylogeography, kinship structure and mating systems. Masaryk University, Brno. (supervisor)
  • Promerová Marta, 2011: Major histocompatibility complex genes: their variation and impact on fitness in a socially monogamous passerine. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised with T.Albrecht)
  • Poláková Radka, 2011: The effect of genetic factors on reproductive success in a socially monogamous songbird. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised with T.Albrecht).
  • Říčanová Štěpánka, 2011: Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the European ground squirrel. South Bohemian University, České Budějovice. (co-supervised with 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 with J.M.Duplantier and J.F.Cosson)
  • Hájková Petra, 2008: Conservation genetics of the Eurasian otter. Masaryk University, Brno. (co-supervised with P.Jurajda)