Courses offered by the Faculty of Science in English

Faculty of Science offers increasing number of courses in English. Below is a list of courses included in the Master in Ecology. Students must acquire at least 40 credits from the core courses. The list of additional courses is continuously growing.

Core courses

Design and Analysis of Ecological Experiments

PHEE lecturers: Jan Lepš, Petr Šmilauer
content: You will learn the basics of experimental design (emphasizing field experiments and including various nested designs) and mainly their statistical evaluation using general linear models, methods of unconstrained and constrained ordination (with Canoco), and classification methods. You will learn all this using real-world data examples.
credits: 6
links: home

Community Ecology

lecturers: Jan Lepš, Vojtěch Novotný
content: The course includes basics of community diversity research: quantifying and interpreting community diversity, relationships of community diversity with other characteristics, i.e. both diversity as response to environmental factor, and as a driver in biodiversity experiments. Further topics include community assembly rules, mechanism of species coexistence, food web research, use of the null models. It is usually preceded by a field data collecting trip.
credits: 6
links: home

Functional Traits in Ecology

lecturers: Francesco de Bello
content:The course aims to provide updated concepts and methodologies on the use of functional traits in Ecology, encompassing different trophic levels. Particular attention will be given to the use of species traits to understand ecological processes, such as niche partitioning, species interactions, community assembly and ecosystem processes, and as tools in bioindication schemes (including indication of ecosystem services).
credits: 4

Modern Regression Methods

lecturer: Petr Šmilauer
content: This course introduces you to several important families of advanced regression models, with particular attention paid to generalized linear models (GLM), generalized additive models (GAM), classification and regression trees (CART), and survival analysis, together with the linear mixed-effect models or methods of phylogenetic corrections. Work with the real-world data takes about two thirds of the course, relying exclusively on the free R software.
credits: 6

Ecology of Invasive and Expansive Organisms

lecturer: Karel Prach, Ondřej Mudrák
content: Main aspects of invasive behavior of alien and expansive native organisms, especially vascular plants, are explained. Theoretical principles of invasive ecology are accompanied by examples from central Europe as well as other parts of the World. Not only processes of invasion and expansion but also eradication of noxious organisms and restoration of native communities are considered.
credits: 4

Tropical Ecology

lecturer: Vojtěch Novotný
content: This course gives an introduction to main tropical ecosystems and further covers such themes as why there are so many species in the tropics, how they are organized in food webs, how is ecological succession going, what is happening on tropical islands, or why and how to protect tropical biodiversity. The course includes also seminars where we discuss and analyze important and interesting research papers.
credits: 4

Conservation Biology

lecturer: Jana Jersáková, Tomáš Kučera, Martin Konvička
content: This course focuses on up-to-date theory, practice and ethics of biological conservation from the level of genes, to wild populations and to entire ecosystems. The course includes several excursions to outstanding protected areas and semestral work developing an action plan for a critically endangered species.
credits: 6

Evolutionary Ecology

lecturer: David Boukal
content: The course gives an overview of the main concepts and classic methods used to study life histories and behavioral and other evolutionary adaptations of organisms to their environment. Emphasis is given on case studies that establish links between theory and empirical observations. The course also involves critical reading and discussion of both classical and recent papers and hands-on practicals with quantitative examples.
credits: 6

Field Ecology

Field ecologylecturers: Jan Lepš, Petr Blažek
content: The course gives an overview of the problematics to be faced when developing ecological surveys and experiments in the field. Several excursions will be carried out during one week, where various sampling techniques will be used, and student will carry out simple field experiments in different habitats around either Mohelno or Křivoklát. At the end, students present results of their independent projects.
credits: 4

Molecular Ecology

lecturer: Václav Hypša
content: The course provides an overview of current approaches to utilizing molecular data in ecological, phylogenetic and evolutionary research. It covers the main techniques used at the genealogical and population level (haplotype networks, multilocus analyses, coalesence-based inferences of demography, selection and other evolutionary processes) and the basic principles of molecular phylogenetics (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, Bayesian probability).
credits: 4

Creative Publishing in Community Ecology

lecturers: Jan Lepš, Francesco de Bello, Lars Götzenberger, Jan Hrček
content: This course aims at publishing one paper in collaboration with other students, with the aim of showing how to creatively choose and use data to answer possible ecological questions. Field data will be available and students, as a group, will choose how to use the data, analyze it and prepare a manuscript for publication. The process will be assisted by a former editor of J. App. Ecol. and J. Veg. Science and by a current editor of PLoS One and J. Veg. Science.
credits: 6

Population Ecology

lecturer: Jan Lepš
content: The course provides basis of population ecology, attempting balanced presentation of methods of the field research, basics of mechanisms, and mathematical models. The topics include descriptive approaches to populations size, structure, spatial pattern and temporal variability, basics of population growth (including projection matrices and integral projection models) and basics of interspecific interactions.
credits: 5

Vegetation Dynamics

lecturer: Karel Prach
content: Principles of vegetation dynamics from the population to global perspective are presented. Theoretical aspects are illustrated by real examples from different parts of the World. Practical applications in conservation biology and restoration ecology are also presented.
credits: 3

Tutorials in Ecology

lecturer: Jan Hrček
content: A course designed to improve critical thinking through working with literature, writing essays and discussing them with tutors (a panel of lecturers and postdoctoral researchers at Faculty of Science and Biology Centre). The course is modelled after Tutorials, a common way to teach at Oxford and Cambridge.
credits: 4

Science Communication

lecturer: Kateřina Sam
content: Communicate your research from the field to a conference hall and to a scientific journal.
This course will prepare you for common types of communication you will need (not only) in science. Giving presentations, but also preparing an experiment, proposal or write a grant (and possibly get it!). Other forms include letter to editor when submitting your research to a journal and advise on outreach and communicating your research to the public.
credits: 4

Plant-Animal Interactions

lecturer: Jana Jersáková
content: The course familiarizes students with the current literature, mechanisms, and conceptual bases of herbivory, pollination, seed dispersal, and plant defense, and provides understanding and practice to the scientific methods during field experience. The course includes a field trip where the students perform their own projects.
credits: 6

Evolutionary Biology

lecturer: Pavel Duda
content: This course provides and introduction to evolutionary biology. It describes key evolutionary processes, both micro- and macroevolutionary. It describes the relationship between micro- and macroevolution, evolution and ontogeny, and evolution and phylogeny and emphasizes the importance of phylogenetic approach in biology and ecology using a multitude of case studies.
credits: 3

Microbial Ecology and Genomics

lecturer: Eva Nováková
content: This course provides the students with a combination of theoretical background and practical skills in modern approaches of microbial ecology. With emphasis on symbiosis, the students will learn how to sequence, analyze and understand the functions of bacterial genomes and the structure of bacterial communities in various environments.
credits: 3

Molecular Phylogenetics

lecturer: Václav Hypša
content: The course provides an overview of basic techniques and data types in various areas of phylogenetic inference.
credits: 6


lecturer: Petr Čapek
content: An overview of biogeochemical processes on local, continental or global scales, both in natural conditions and under human impact. The course will make students familiar with cycling of major elements in preindustrial periods in the Earth crust, waters, atmosphere and soil and compare them with present and future situations modified and magnified by human activities.
credits: 2

Additional courses

Biology of Social Insects

lecturers: Petr Klimeš, Jan Šobotník, Jakub Straka
content: The course provides survey of the basic phenomena related to organization of insect societies; particularly: evolution of eusocial taxa, origination of social behaviour, ontogeny, communication, ecological and economical importance of social insects. The lecture includes overview of the most important aspects of life of social insects and place them into the evolutionary and functional context. The main taxonomic focus is on the biology, evolution and ecology of termites, bees and ants.

Biodiversity and Macroecology

lecturer: David Storch

Restoration Ecology

lecturer: Karel Prach


lecturer: Petr Blažek
content: Introduction to the basic principles of statistical thinking. Special emphasis is put on practical use of statistical analyses for data processing in R. The students should be able to process their own data for bachelor theses.

Advanced Regression Methods

lecturer: Petr Šmilauer

Ecology Seminar

content: Lectures of invited researchers from other universities, usually foreign ones.

Behavioral Ecology

lecturer: Petr Veselý

Advances in Behavioral Ecology

lecturer: Petr Veselý
content: journal club

Fungal Ecology

lecturer: Martina Vašutová

Field Mycology

lecturer: Martina Vašutová

Biology of Animals

lecturer: Oldřich Nedvěd
content: A basic course of zoology, designed for students specialized on other fields of biology, taught in two parts: The first, common part explains phylogeny and adaptations of main animal lineages. The second part is taught separately, focused either on ecology, biogeography and conservation, or on comparative approach to general zoology and an evolutionary approach to the experimental model species of animals.

Biology of Plants

lecturer: Jan Kučera
content: A basic course of botany, designed for students specialized on other fields of biology, taught in two parts: The first, common part explains phylogeny and adaptations of main plant lineages. The second part is taught separately, focused either on ecology, biogeography and conservation, or on plant anatomy, morphology, physiology and development.

Studying Plants and Fungi Belowground

lecturers: Marie Šmilauerová, Petr Šmilauer
content: You will learn the essential skills for investigating the life of plants and symbiotic fungi in the soil. The methods will cover e.g. root biomass quantification, root morphology and architecture, or observing AM fungal symbionts.

Forest Ecology

lecturers: Jiří Doležal, Jan Altman, Lukáš Čížek
content: Basic structures and functions of forest ecosystems, examples of main forest types in temperate and boreal zone in Northern hemisphere.

Ecology of Alpine Ecosystems

lecturers: Jiří Doležal
content: Fundamentals of ecology of mountains, principal groups of algae and plants there, selected localities as examples of stands, principles of adaptation to extreme conditions.

Molecular Methods in Plant Science

lecturers: Petr Koutecký, Jiří Košnar
content: Presentation of methods of molecular biology used to infer genetic variation of plants, especially at lower taxonomic levels (genus, species, populations); the main research objectives include population genetics, microevolutionary processes, phylogeography. Selected methods will be practices in the laboratory.

Practicals of Multivariate Analysis of Ecological data

lecturers: Jan Lepš, Petr Šmilauer

Modelling for Ecologists in R

lecturer: David Boukal

Language courses

You can enroll in several English-taught language courses to improve your language skills:

  • Master English (native speaker)
  • Master English - Academic Writing (native speaker)
  • Master English - TOEFL Preparation Course NS (native speaker)
  • English for Science
  • English for Workplace
  • English for TOEIC
  • Academic Writing for Crossboarder Studies


See the list of excursions in the respective section.