TEAM

Primate Symbiont Ecology Research Group

General Ecology

The Primate Symbiont Ecology Research Group investigates relationships between hosts, symbionts and the environment. We study the diversity and transmission of parasites between non-human primates and humans in African forest ecosystems using a range of parasitology tools, ranging from traditional morphology and morphometry to coproscopy and state-of-the-art metagenomic approaches. We particularly focus on the ecology, epidemiology and impact of strongylid infections on populations of endangered great apes. We also study how anthropogenic disturbance leading to fragmentation of habitats and wildlife populations affects gut symbiont prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities in African great apes, considered sentinels of tropical ecosystems. Our group is involved in research on sympatric human and non-human primate bacteriomes and nutritional drivers of hunter-gatherer gut microbiomes and metabolomes, the latter by mining for convergent metabolic diet-microbe interaction signatures between hunter-gatherers and sympatric non-human primates. We also study the impact of diet and the gut bacteriome on the risk of cardiometabolic diseases in gorillas. Our results have implications for both human health and the conservation of endangered non-human primates.

group leader

+420 543422549, petrzelkova@ivb.cz, primatology

full-time researcher

pafco@ivb.cz, host-parasite relationship

grant funded researcher

cervena@ivb.cz, host-parasite relationship

PhD student

davi4166@umn.edu,
ilik@ivb.cz, HTS data analysis
bethanmason@sky.com, Primate parasitology
noskova@ivb.cz, ecology of parasites
sambucci@ivb.cz, host-parasite relationship