RNDr. Václav Gvoždík Ph.D.

Position full-time researcher
Direction evolutionary history, herpetology

+420 560 590 622

Research interests

  • Evolution, speciation and phylogenetic diversification of vertebrates using molecular-genetic approaches, analyses of phenotype and biogeographic applications.
  • phylogeography, phylogenetics and biogeography of vertebrates of the Palearctic and Afrotropic ecozones,
  • molecular systematics and integrative taxonomy of amphibians and reptiles,
  • biodiversity of Africa and its conservation, Congo Basin,
  • herpetology.

Effective species conservation relies on a good knowledge of the biodiversity richness. This further helps us to better understand inter-organismal relationships in ecosystems and evolutionary processes. Africa is one of the least scientifically-explored regions of the World, particularly the Congo Basin. Knowledge of the biodiversity and distribution patterns in Africa therefore deserves detailed study.

Running Projects

ANGUIOMICS: Genomic insights into the evolutionary history and contact zones of slow-worm lizards (Anguis) (2018-2020)

Finished Projects

Amphibian species diversification across sky-island and lowland rainforests in a spatial and ecological context: genome-wide and continental transect (2015-2017)

Running projects

  • Speciation patterns in sky islands – Evolutionary history of montane amphibians of Africa (in cooperation with University of Basel, Switzerland).


  • 2003-2010: Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology
  • 2003: undergraduate study – MSc. thesis: „Interspecific and intraspecific variation of Hyla savignyi and Hyla arborea tree frogs” (supervisor: Jiří Moravec, National Museum).
  • 2010: Ph.D. study – thesis: „Phenotypic and molecular approaches in the systematics of the Palearctic and Neotropic tree frogs, Hyla and Osteocephalus (Amphibia: Hylidae)“ (supervisor: Jiří Moravec, National Museum; advisor: Petr Kotlík, IAPG AS CR).


  • 2005–2007: Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology – research assistant,
  • 2005–2013: Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics AS CR, Liběchov (2005-2009 postgrad; 2010-2013 postdoc),
  • 2012–2013: University of Basel, Biogeography Research Group, Switzerland – postdoctoral fellowship,
  • 2006–present: National Museum, Department of Zoology, Prague – scientific researcher,
  • 2014–present: Institute of Vertebrate Zoology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Brno – scientific researcher.

Academic service

  • editor of Herpetology Notes,
  • committee member of the Czech Herpetological Society,
  • reviewer for scientific journals, e.g. African Journal of Herpetology, Amphibia – Reptilia, Animal Biology, Asian Herpetological Research, Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, BMC Evolutionary Biology, Contributions to Zoology, Current Zoology, Herpetologica, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Heredity, Revista de Biología Tropical, Zoologica Scripta, Zoological Science,
  • reviewer for Czech and foreign grant agencies,
  • assessor for IUCN African amphibian assessment.

Main international collaboration

  • University of Basel, Biogeography Research Group, Basel, Switzerland (S. P. Loader),
  • Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Joint Experimental Molecular Unit, Brussels, Belgium (Z. T. Nagy),
  • Comenius University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Bratislava, Slovakia (P. Mikulíček, D. Jandzik),
  • short stays at research institutes: Great Britain – Natural History Museum, London; Spain – National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid; Germany – Natural History Museum, Berlin, Senckenberg Natural History Collections, Dresden; Italy – Trento Science Museum; Switzerland – Muséum d histoire naturelle, Geneva; Austria – Natural History Museum, Vienna; Israel – Galilee Biotechnology Center, Kiryat Shmona; Belgium – Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren,

fieldwork in several countries of Europe, Middle East, Caucasus, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa: Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania.

Current PhD students

  • Daniel Jablonski – Phylogeography of slow worms (Anguis) in the Balkans (Comenius University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Bratislava, Slovakia; advisor).
  • Matej Dolinay – Species diversification of African amphibians in spatial and ecological context (Institute of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University Brno; supervisor).

Former students

  • Petr Kůs – Genetic variation of horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus) in the Eastern Mediterranean (advisor).
  • Jan Šrámek – Genetic diversity of the Western Palearctic bent-winged bats (Miniopterus) (advisor).
  • Helena Šifrová – Genetic variation of slow worms (Anguis) in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Offered topics of Bachelor and Master thesis

please enquire by email