Research Interest

                                                 word_salad

 

The main focus is the study of herpetofauna in biodiversity hotspots, areas with an exceptionally high ecosystem, species, and genetic diversity. Such regions in Eurasia represent the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia. All of them are major regions of interest.

 

The Balkans is phylogeographically less studied than Iberia or even the Apennine Peninsula despite it being richer in species and paleoendemics. Phylogeographic studies have shown that the Balkans was not only an important radiation center and the Pleistocene refugium, but it was also the major source of postglacial colonization of Central and Northern Europe. In other words, the current species and genetic diversity of Central European biota would look very different without the Balkans.

 

The Middle East and Central Asia represent a wide area with several important biodiversity hotspots lying in the Levant (Israel & Lebanon), Zagros mountains (Iraq & Iran), or the Hindu Kush, Pamir, and the Tien Shan mountains (Afghanistan, Pakistan & Central Asiatic countries).

                              

The current focus is to identify patterns in the historical biogeography and the evolution of amphibians and reptiles within these regions based on genetic, morphological, ecological, and environmental data, specifically study and resolve:

 

 evolutionary histories and uncovering cryptic diversity in Eurasia

centers of radiations, refugia, post-glacial expansions, and re-colonization routes after the Last Glacial Maximum

taxonomy and its importance for conservation purposes

 

MAIN COLLABORATIONS

Aziz Avci - Adnan Menderes University, Aydın, Turkey

Aaron Bauer - Villanova University, USA

Christophe Dufresnes - Nanjing Forestry University, China

Uwe Fritz - Museum of Zoology Dresden, Germany

Václav Gvoždík - Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

Sylvia Hofmann - Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Germany

Oleg V. Kukushkin - Karadag Research Station, Theodosia, Crimea, Ukraine

Panagiotis Kornilios - Univesity of Patras, Greece

Rafaqat Masroor - Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Pakistan

Shai Meiri - The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv, Israel

Nikos Poulakakis & Petros Lymberakis - University of Crete, Greece

Riyad Sadek - American University in Beirut, Lebanon

Jiří Šmíd - National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic

And many more!

 

Interested in joining the lab?

Check out the graduate program in Biology at Comenius University in Bratislava, or contact me at the Department of Zoology.