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Small African mamals research

Our research is focused on two areas of the biology of small mammals. These includes various aspects of the biology of subterranean rodents and taxonomy together with phylogeography of small African mammals. As for the first topic, we study different adaptations how mammals face to the stressful environment of subterranean burrows. Although solitary and social African mole-rats from Central and Eastern Africa still have been the main objects of our research activities, we have started studying other subterranean species such as the big headed root-rat in Ethiopia, the blind mole rat in Israel and Chinese zokor recently. During our research, we combine both field and experimental approaches. We study mainly activity and other behaviours by applying radio-telemetry and also intraspecific communication or species ecology in the wild, while we focus on sensory ecology, communication once again, morphology, physiology, social behaviour a mating systems in the lab. Our second research area deals with the analysis of genetic diversity of rodents, insectivores and bats in the region of the Great Rift Valley in Eastern Africa and also on the Pan-African scale in some cases. Thanks to detailed sampling and employing appropriate methods, we are able to reconstruct genetic relationships among particular species and populations. Knowledge of historical geological and climatic factors resulting in the change of vegetation allow us to identify the factors responsible for the current genetic diversity of studied taxa and their geographic distribution. Besides, we carry out morphological analysis and description of new species as well.

Head: doc. Mgr. Radim Šumbera, PhD.
e-mail: sumbera@prf.jcu.cz
tel.: +420 387 772 240

Researchers:
MSc. Ema Hrouzková, PhD.
MSc. Matěj Lövy, PhD.
MSc. Jan Okrouhlík, PhD.
MSc. Jan Šklíba, PhD.
MSc. Jarmila Krásová
MSc. Lucie Pleštilová
MSc. Tereza Vlasatá
MSc. Lenka Dovičicová

Collaborating institutions:
Ústav biologie obratlovců AV ČR v Brně; Department of Zoology, University of Duisburg-Essen; Přírodovědecká fakulta, Univerzita KarlovaInstitute of Evolution, University of Haifa, IsraelUniversity of Oxford, Great BritainChancellor College, University of Malawi, MalawiMekelle University, EthiopiaSevertsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, RussiaUniversity of Antwerp, BelgiumMuséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, FranceSokoine University of Agriculture, Pest management Centre, TanzaniaNairobi National Museum, Kenya

Selected posters:
Charakteristiky srsti podzemních hlodavců ve vztahu k jejich termální biologii (Vejmělka a Šumbera 2016)
Fylogenetická rekonstrukce vnitřních vztahů komplexu Mus triton (Smiešková et al. 2013)
Subterranean specialisation of the ear morphology in Chinese zokor Eospalax fontanieri: Indication of an acustic fovea (Pleštilová et al. 2016)
Impact of giant mole rat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) on Afroalpine ekosystem (Šklíba et al. 2014)

References:
Rypoši na Přírodovědecké fakultě Jihočeské univerzity (iDnes)
Život pod Afrikou (Lidé a země)
Planeta Věda (Česká televize)
Příběh africké expedice (Česká televize)
Život zvířat v podzemí (Český rozhlas)