Workplace: Vegetation Science Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Thesis Topic: (1) Effect of urbanization on the diversity of plants
(2) Ecological determinants of phylogenetic and functional structure of plant communities
Supervisor: Doc. RNDr. Zdeňka Lososová, Ph.D., contact: lososova@sci.muni.cz
Type of Cooperation: PhD fellowship (more information on PhD study programmes at the Faculty of Science here)
Expected Start Date: 1. September 2021
Application Deadline: 30 April 2021

About the Workplace

We are looking for highly motivated graduates to join the Vegetation Science Group at Department of Botany and Zoology. The Vegetation Science Group is an international research team at the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University that is focused on the diversity of plant communities and its underlying factors. The area of interest is all of Europe. Research of the supervisor, Zdeňka Lososová covers two areas: Biodiversity of large European cities and Functional and phylogenetic diversity of plant communities. For both projects we are seeking for a student.

Masaryk University is the second-largest university in the Czech Republic with nine faculties, more than 5000 staff, and more than 30 000 students. As a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing, our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education.

Faculty of Science, a proud holder of the HR Excellence in Research Award by the European Commission, is a research-oriented faculty, offering university education (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree programmes) closely linked to both primary and applied research and high school teaching of the following sciences: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth sciences.

The Department of Botany and Zoology is a modern centre of research and teaching in the fields of evolutionary biology, biosystematics and ecology. Its individual research groups study phylogenetic relationships and the classification of organisms, their diversity from the local to the continental level, and the ecological relationships of individual species, populations and communities in relation to both natural and human-induced changes in entire ecosystems.


Selected student(s) will have an opportunity to work in friendly, international working environment.

The PhD candidate interested in urban ecology will conduct a study integrating spatial data on biodiversity within a city. The goals are: (1) To find out how biodiversity change in highly urbanized environment. (2) To detect the most important drivers of this change. (3) To evaluate if the same drivers affect also other taxonomic groups within the city (e.g. birds).

The PhD candidate interested in determinants of phylogenetic (PD) and functional (FD) diversity of plant communities will combine field-work with analyses of large datasets of vegetation plots on the European scale obtained from European vegetation Archive. The aims of the study are, for target vegetation type: (1) To detect PD and/or FD of studied plant communities; (2) To detect main factors driving these changes; and (3) to predict how these characteristics of plant communities will be affected by the ongoing climatic change.

Offered Conditions

Studying at our Faculty is an opportunity to live in a modern and dynamic city and one of 10 best student cities.

In addition to the standard PhD scholarship at Masaryk University (CZK 12 000 per month), additional funds are provided through departmental resources (involvement in research projects, additional scholarships). Additional support includes performance-based bonuses (scholarships for successfully published papers) as well as support for international mobility or attendance of conferences.

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Master degree in Botany, Ecology or related (required at the time of enrolment in the PhD study programme)
  • Basic knowledge of European flora
  • Experience with handling and analysing ecological data preferably in R
  • Good communication skills (oral and written) in English
  • High level of commitment to complete the PhD studies

How to Apply

Please send your curriculum vitae, cover letter with a concise summary of your previous research activities till 15. April 2021 to: lososova@sci.muni.cz.

Selection Process
Received applications will be continuously reviewed and carefully considered. Shortlisted applicants meeting the requirements will be invited to an interview.

Please note that your application does not substitute an official admission process to Ph.D. studies at SCI MUNI. Details including discussion about the research topic, required documentation or formalities will be a subject of the interview with successful candidates. Only upon the informal pre-agreement with potential future supervisor, a formal application for PhD studies at Faculty of Science, Masaryk University can be submitted.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!