CURRENTLY OFFERED TOPICS FOR THESES


Currently offered topics for Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. theses at our Department
(updated April 09, 2020)


Topic/Title: eDNA screening of selected potential human & fish pathogens

Type of work:
Ph.D. thesis

Supervisors:
prof. RNDr. Tomáš Scholz, CSc. and doc. RNDr. Roman Kuchta, Ph.D. (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description:
eDNA-based techniques have a large potential for detecting and quantifying infectious agents. The development of eDNA tools is hence critical for disease ecology as human health and wildlife conservation management efforts require reliable identification and monitoring of pathogens. eDNA metabarcoding will be used to detect larval stages of selected groups of helminth parasites (such as Dibothriocephalus, Diplostomum, Schyzocotyle, Trichobilharzia) in water reservoirs, fishponds and natural habitats.

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Topic/Title: Population genetics of host-parasite system in area of the secondary contact

Type of work:
the extent of the work can be modified for all degrees of study (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.)

Supervisor: Václav Hypša

Short description:
Usually there is a significant congruence in the population structure between the parasites and their hosts. This is mainly due to the dependence of the parasite on the host during its spread in the environment. Detailed study on population structure in the parasite-host system is, therefore, important for understanding the evolutionary, genetic, but also epidemiological aspects of parasitism. From the biological point of view, the topic focuses on a particularly interesting case, which is a secondary contact of two populations after the re-colonization of Europe (field mouse of the genus Apodemus, louse of the genus Polyplax).

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Topic/Title: Pangenomes of symbiotic bacteria of parasitic insects and horizontal gene transfer

Type of work:
the extent of the work can be modified for all degrees of study (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.)

Supervisor: Václav Hypša

Short description:
For their survival and reproduction, parasitic insects require intracellular symbiotic bacteria that provide them with several important substances. During the evolution, symbiosis has occurred repeatedly, and symbionts have originated from different groups of bacteria. The topic focuses on genome comparison of symbiotic bacteria and their free-living relatives: the objective is to identify the genetic background suitable for the symbiosis, and the importance of horizontal gene transfer for acquisition of necessary capabilities.

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Topic/Title: Origin of parasitism in the Neodermata (parasitic flatworms): from morphology and ultrastructure to phylogenomics

Type of work: Master (can be also Bachelor)
laboratory processing of parasite samples including bioinformatical analyses; literature review is also possible

Supervisor: Jan Brabec, Roman Kuchta, Tomáš Scholz (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: The early phylogeny of parasitic flatworms (including the notoriously known cestodes and trematodes) is not yet satisfactorily resolved.
We approach this problematics primarily through the bioinformatic analyses of de novo-characterised phylogenomic data (mainly transcriptomes)
of basal representatives of the key neodermatan lineages and interpreting individual morphological/ultrastructural traits in the light of these data.

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Topic/Title: Diversity and phylogenetic relationships of North American tapeworms and their co-evolution with freshwater fish

Type of work: Master (can be also Bachelor)
laboratory processing of parasite samples

Supervisor: Tomáš Scholz, Jan Brabec, Roman Kuchta (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: Representatives of several cestode lineages infect a range of North American freshwater fish groups, including the most primitive lineages
of ray-finned fishes. We are interested in describing the diversity of their cestode parasites as well as understanding the mutual interrelationships
of the cestodes using combination of classical morphology and electron microscopy techniques as well as molecular phylogenetic approaches
including both Sanger- and high-throughput sequencing.

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Topic/Title: Extracellular vesicles of tapeworms

Type of work: Master (can be also Bachelor)
experimental work focused on electron microscopy and proteomics

Supervisor: Hynek Mazanec, Roman Kuchta (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: Study focuses on a biogenesis and cargo characterization of extracellular vesicles being released from tapeworms’ surface and their potential effect on the host.

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Topic/Title: Life cycle of the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus

Type of work: Master (can be also Bachelor)
experimental work focused on cultivation of the tapeworm and its ecology

Supervisor: Roman Kuchta, Hynek Mazanec (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: In support of other studies, our laboratory focuses on maintaining the life cycle of the host-manipulating tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus.

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Topic/Title: eDNA detection of causative agents of human and animal parasitic diseases

Type of work:
Master (can be also Bachelor)
field studies and laboratory processing of the samples; literature review is also possible

Supervisor: Roman Kuchta, Jan Brabec (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: A novel approach, environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding, will be used to overcome problems related to finding parasites within their respective hosts, which will enable us to quantify known and discover unknown diversity in aquatic habitats, and study disease ecology by monitoring
of human and fish pathogens.

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Topic/Title: Diversity of larval trematodes in selected freshwater ecosystems in the Czech Republic and their phylogenetic relationships

Type of work:
Master (can be also Bachelor)
field collections of potential hosts and intermediate hosts, and laboratory processing of the obtained parasites; literature review is also possible

Supervisor: Anna Faltýnková, Miroslava Soldánová (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: -

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Topic/Title: Diversity and geographical distribution of strigeid trematodes (Diplostomida: Strigeidae) in Europe

Type of work:
Master (can be also Bachelor)
field studies and laboratory processing; literature review is also possible

Supervisor: Anna Faltýnková (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: -

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Topic/Title: Occurrence and species composition of larval stages of plagiorchid trematodes (Digenea: Plagiorchiidae) in freshwater snails in Europe including high Arctic

Type of work:
Master (can be also Bachelor)
field studies and laboratory processing; literature review is also possible

Supervisor: Anna Faltýnková (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: -

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Topic/Title: Circadian rhythms of trematode cercariae and their contribution to the energy transfer in food webs

Type of work:
Master (can be also Bachelor)
laboratory experiments

Supervisor: Miroslava Soldánová (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: -

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Topic/Title: Trematode cercariae as a prey in aquatic food webs

Type of work:
Master (can be also Bachelor)
laboratory experiments

Supervisor: Miroslava Soldánová (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: -

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Topic/Title: Behaviour of trematode cercariae in the presence of non-host predators

Type of work:
Master (can be also Bachelor)
laboratory experiments

Supervisor: Miroslava Soldánová (Laboratory of Helminthology PAÚ BC CAS)

Short description: -

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