doc. RNDr. Jan Štefka, Ph.D.

Job Position: Head of Laboratory - Laboratory of Molecular Ecology and Evolution , Editor - Folia Parasitologica

Contact details

Phone: +420 387775409
Room: PARU II, 618



Curriculum vitae

Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Ecology and Evolution (Biology Centre CAS + University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science), Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic                             


Date of birth:   April 25, 1979


2008: PhD degree: Parasitology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia (USB). PhD thesis topic: Host specificity, genetic variability and genealogy in populations of model parasite species.
2003:Master degree: Zoology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, USB. Thesis: Ecological aspects of hybridisation between fire-bellied toads Bombina bombina andBombina variegata., 27 pp.
2001: Bachelor degree: Introductory Biology Programme, Faculty of Biological Sciences, USB.

Further education in molecular analyses and genomics:

2009: Workshop on Molecular Evolution, Europe (Český Krumlov, Czech Rep.)
2011: Workshop on Genomics, Europe (Český Krumlov, Czech Rep.)
2012: RADseq Workshop (GENECO, University of Lund, Sweden)

Professional appointments:

2014-present: Research scientist – Laboratory head, Biology Centre, CAS.
2014-present: Research scientist & lecturer (both part time), Faculty of Science, USB.
2011-2013: Postdoc researcher, Biology Centre, CAS  & Faculty of Science, USB.
2009-2011:Marie Curie Galapagos Fellow, Entomology Department, NHM, London.
2005-2008:Research assistant, Faculty of Science, USB.
2003-2008:Research assistant, Biology Centre, CAS.

Organisation of international scientific meetings:

2015 & 2013Workshop on Molecular Evolution, Europe, Czech Rep., Co-director.
2012: Workshop on Genomics, Advanced Topic Sessions, Czech Rep., Associate co-director.
2010: Workshop on Molecular Evolution, Europe, Czech Rep., Teaching Assistant.

Research interests and expertise:Studies of molecular ecology biogeography and evolutionary processes in vertebrates and parasites. Reconstructions of population genetic and phylogenetic relationships using molecular and computational biology tools, analyses of multilocus and genomic data. Conservation genetics and invasive species. Field sampling of metazoan biological material.

Fieldwork abroad:Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, several EU countries, Russia.

Five selected publications:

Martinů J, Sychra O, Literák I, Čapek M, Gustafsson DL, Štefka J (2015) Host generalists and specialists emerging side by side: an analysis of evolutionary patterns in the cosmopolitan chewing louse genus MenacanthusInt. J. Parasitol., 45: 63-73.

Bouzid, W, Štefka J, Bahri-Sfar L, Beerli P, Loot G, Lek S, Haddaoui N, Hypša V, Scholz T, Meddour R, Ben Hassine, OK (2013) Pathways of cryptic invasion in a fish parasite traced using coalescent analysis and epidemiological survey. Biol. Invasions, 15: 1907-1923.

Štefka J, Hoeck PEA, Keller LF, Smith VS (2011) A hitchhikers guide to the Galápagos: co-phylogeography of Galápagos mockingbirds and their parasites. BMC Evol. Biol., 11: 284.

Štefka J, Hypša V, Scholz T (2009) Interplay of host specificity and biogeography in population structure of a cosmopolitan endoparasite: microsatellite study of Ligula intestinalis (Cestoda). Mol. Ecol., 18: 1187–1206.

Štefka J, Hypša V (2008) Host specificity and genealogy of the louse Polyplax serrata on field mice, Apodemus species: A case of parasite duplication or colonisation? Int. J. Parasitol.,38: 731-741.

Selected awards and fellowships:

2014:   Otto Wichterle Award, received from the Czech Academy of Sciences.
2009-2011:    Marie Curie Fellowship (IEF, FP7). Natural History Museum, London, UK. Project GALAPAGOS - Cophylogeny of ecological replicates: the coevolution and biogeography of Galápagos mockingbirds and their ectoparasites.

2008:   Dean’s Award, Faculty of Science, University of S. Bohemia, Czech Rep. Price awarded annually to two phd students for excellent scientific and study results.

Invited conference lectures:

Štefka J(2015) Plenary lecture:Population structure, co-evolution and speciation in hosts and parasites. (in Czech) Zoological Days (Brno, CZ).

Štefka J(2014) Plenary lecture:Population Structure of Bird and Mammal Lice, 5th International Conference on Phthiraptera, Aug. 2-7, 2014 (Park City, Utah, USA).

Štefka J, Bouzid W, Hypša, V, Scholz T (2007) Ribosomal DNA spacers: Eligible tool to resolve low-level phylogenetics in helminths?10th International Helminthological Symposium, Sept. 9-14, 2007 (Stará Lesná, Slovakia).

Horák A, Štefka J (2005) Inter- and intraspecific genetic variability of diphyllobothriid tapeworms, 13th helminthological days, May 9 – 13, 2005 (Ředkovec, CZ).

Teaching and Mentoring:

Defended theses:  two MSc. and two BSc. at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia (FS USB).
Currently supervising: three PhD, two MSc &one BSc. theses, co-supervisor of one PhD thesis at the FS, USB.

Teaching (at FS USB): Conservation Genetics (currently), practicals in: Molecular Ecology (2011, 2014), Molecular Phylogenetics (2015), Bioinformatics (2009) and Field Zoology (2006-2008).

Abroad stays and fellowships:

2009-2011:NHM, London, UK. Cophylogeography of ecological replicates: the coevolution and biogeography of Galapagos mockingbirds and their ectoparasites. Marie Curie Fellowship.
2007 (Nov.-Dec.):Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil. Field sampling with focus on the helminth fauna of endemic fishes.
2006-2007 (several short-term stays):Université Paul Sebatier Toulouse, France, Laboratoire Evolution Diversité Biologique, Research theme: Genetic variability in European populations of Ligula intestinalisBarrande fellowship.

2006 (Apr.-Jun.):University of Glasgow, UK, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Research theme: Microsatellite characterization in Ligula intestinalis (Cestoda: Pseudophyllidea), Socrates/Erasmus fellowship.

Peer review:

Molecular Ecology, Journal of Biogeography, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, PLoS ONE, International Journal for Parasitology, Parasitology, Journal of Parasitology, Folia Zoologica, Aquatic Invasions.

Foreign collaborations (selected, last 5 years):

Prof. Peter Beerli (Florida State University, USA)
Dr. Paquita Hoeck (San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, USA)
Prof. Lukas Keller (Zurich University, CH)
Dr. Martin Kowalewski (Estacion Biologica Corrientes-MACN, Argentina)
Dr. Ivica Králová-Hromadová (Institute of Parasitology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, SK)

Dr. Vincent Smith (Natural History Museum, London, UK)

Language skills:

Czech (native), English (fluent), Spanish (intermediate), German (basic), Russian (basic)


Total found: 39 records
Nazarizadeh M., Martinů J., Nováková M., Stanko M., Štefka J. (2022) Phylogeography of the parasitic mite Laelaps agilis in Western Palearctic shows lineages lacking host specificity but possessing different demographic histories BMC Zoology 7 : 15.
DOI: 10.1186/s40850-022-00115-y
Nazarizadeh M., Peterka J., Kubečka J., Vašek M., Jůza T., Ribeiro de Moraes K., Čech M., Holubová M., Souza A., Blabolil P., Muška M., Tsering L., Bartoň D., Říha M., Šmejkal M., Tušer M., Vejřík L., Frouzová J., Jarić I., Prchalová M., Vejříková I., Štefka J. (2022) Different hosts in different lakes: occurrence and prevalence of Ligula intestinalis plerocercoids in Czech water bodies Folia Parasitologica 69 : 18.
DOI: 10.14411/fp.2022.018
Quijano F.R., Debora G.R., Štefka J., Kowalewski M.M. (2022) Lice in Howler Monkeys and the Ancient Americas: Exploring the Potential Cost of Being Past Pets or Hunting Games In: B. Urbani, D. Youlatos, A.T. Antczak (Eds.), World Archaeoprimatology: Interconnections of Humans and Nonhuman Primates in the Past. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 183–197.
Radačovská A., Čisovská Bazsalovicsová E., Šoltys K., Štefka J., Minárik G., Gustinelli A., Chugunova J.K., Králová-Hromadová I. (2022) Unique genetic structure of the human tapeworm Dibothriocephalus latus from the Alpine lakes region – a successful adaptation? Parasitology 149 : 1106-1118.
DOI: 10.1017/S0031182022000634
Štefka J., Votýpka J., Lukeš J., Balvín O. (2022) Parasite of the month: Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus (Bed bugs) Trends in Parasitology 38 : 919–920.
DOI: 10.1016/
Balvín O., Bubová T., Sasínková M., Martinů J., Löv J., Raška T., Štefka J. (2021) Tropické štěnice v evropských domácnostech Vesmír 07 : 460-463.
Balvín O., Sasínková M., Martinů J., Nazarizadeh M., Bubová T., Booth W., Vargo E.L., Štefka J. (2021) Early evidence of establishment of the tropical bedbug (Cimex hemipterus) in Central Europe Medical and Veterinary Entomology 35 : 462-467.
DOI: 10.1111/mve.12522
Drábková  M., Flegrová T., Myšková E., Hypša V., Štefka J. (2021) Genetic analysis of dicyemid infrapopulations suggests sexual reproduction and host colonization by multiple individuals is common Organisms Diversity and Evolution 21 : 437–446.
DOI: 10.1007/s13127-021-00493-0
Yousefi S., Sharifi M., Štefka J. (2021) Comparative phylogeography of two bat species and their mites in Iran shows impact of host sociality and vagility on population structure Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 59 : 1557–1582.
DOI: 10.1111/jzs.12559
Bazsalovicsova E., Kráľová-Hromadová I., Juhásová L., Mikulíček P., Minárik G., Štefka J. (2020) Comparative analysis of monozoic fish tapeworms Caryophyllaeus laticeps (Pallas, 1781) Lühe, 1910 and newly described Caryophyllaeus chondrostomi Barčák, Oros, Hanzelová, Scholz, 2017 using microsatellite markers Parasitology Research 119 : 3995-4004.
DOI: 10.1007/s00436-020-06898-8
Martinů J., Štefka J., Poosakkannu A., Hypša V. (2020) "Parasite turnover zone” at secondary contact: a new pattern in host-parasite population genetics Molecular Ecology 29 : 4653-4664.
DOI: 10.1111/mec.15653
Vlček J., Štefka J. (2020) Association between louse abundance and MHC II supertypes in Galápagos mockingbirds Parasitology Research 119 : 1597–1605.
DOI: 10.1007/s00436-020-06617-3
Drábková  M., Jachníková N., Tyml T., Sehadová H., Ditrich O., Myšková E., Hypša V., Štefka J. (2019) Population co-divergence in common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) and its dicyemid parasite in the Mediterranean Sea. Scientific Reports 9 : 14300.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-50555-9
Jirsová D., Štefka J., Blažek R., Malala J., Lotuliakou D.E., Mahmoud Z., Jirků M. (2019) From taxonomic defation to newly detected cryptic species: Hidden diversity in a widespread African squeaker catfish Scientific Reports 9 : 15748.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-52306-2
Bazsalovicsova E., Kráľová-Hromadová I., Xi B.W., Štefka J. (2018) Tour around the globe: The case of invasive tapeworm Atractolytocestus huronensis (Cestoda: Caryophyllidea), a parasite of common carp. Parasitology International 67 : 366-374.
DOI: 10.1016/j.parint.2018.02.004
Bazsalovicsová E., Koleničová A., Kráľová-Hromadová I., Minárik G., Šoltys K., Kuchta R., Štefka J. (2018) Development of microsatellite loci in zoonotic tapeworm Dibothriocephalus latus (Linnaeus, 1758), Lühe, 1899 (syn. Diphyllobothrium latum) using microsatellite library screening Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 225 : 1–3.
DOI: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2018.08.003
Brabec J., Scholz T., Štefka J. (2018) Development of polymorphic microsatellites for the invasive Asian fish tapeworm Schyzocotyle acheilognathi Parasitology International 67 : 341-343.
DOI: 10.1016/j.parint.2018.01.007
Martinů J., Hypša V., Štefka J. (2018) Host specificity driving genetic structure and diversity in ectoparasite populations: co-evolutionary patterns in Apodemus mice and their lice Ecology and Evolution 8 : 10008–10022.
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4424
Jirsová D., Štefka J., Jirků M. (2017) Discordant population histories of host and its parasite: A role for ecological permeability of extreme environment? Plos ONE 12 : e0175286.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175286
Juhásová L., Kráľová-Hromadová I., Bazsalovicsová E., Minárik G., Štefka J., Mikulíček P., Pálková L., Pybus M. (2016) Population structure and dispersal routes of invasive parasite, Fascioloides magna, in North America and Europe Parasites & Vectors 9 : 547.
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-016-1811-z

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Biology Centre CAS
Institute of Parasitology
Branišovská 1160/31
370 05 České Budějovice

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