Department of Zoology

Graphosoma lineatum italicum (O.F. Müller, 1766); foto: J. Kodada

The DEPARTMENT OF ZOOLOGY was established in 1939 at the Faculty of Philosophy and a year later became one of the first departments emerging at the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

For applicants interested in an undergraduate study, our team provides courses of Systematic Biology1 and Biology1. For those who accept our unique challenge, a Master1 and PhD2 degree in ZOOLOGY are also available. The course starts with teaching classical morphology, systematics and phylogeny of animals as well as the basics of entomology at the Bachelor level. Gradually, other subjects such as applied statistics, phylogenetics, molecular ecology and phylogeography are added. The theory is complemented by numerous hours of field work and trainings in the application of various methods widely used within zoological research. Modernized classrooms and laboratories are equipped with new instruments and teaching of ZOOLOGY is combined with the extensive exploitation of our rich collection of animals.

Graduates going through our programs will have a theoretical and a practical knowledge of the diversity, morphology, reproduction, development, systematics and phylogeny of animals. They manage the basic scientific methods of zoological research, apply them creatively and contribute to the development of scientific knowledge. They have the potential to work in a wide range of research institutions focusing on biological, agricultural, forestry, environmental, medical and pharmaceutical sciences. During their studies graduates can also be trained to work at different stages of research and environmental sector management, agriculture, food industry or healthcare, Natural History museums and nature conservation institutions.

Research* is dedicated mainly to the exploration of biodiversity, clarification of the phylogenetic relationships and reconstruction of evolutionary history, taxonomy, phylogeography, parasitology and behavioral ecology of birds from the aspects of bioacoustics. We study the evolution, the function of bird song as well as the breeding biology and reproductive strategies in native bird species.

Apart from animals, the Department of Zoology also focuses on protists. Using a combination of classical microscopical and modern molecular approach, questions about species boundaries and evolutionary history of ciliated protists are addressed. Special attention is paid to understand the role and bioindication value of ciliates in freshwater ecosystems. We also concentrate on the development of drugs and their impact on parasitically important species of the genus Acanthamoeba.

In the Danube region our activities are focused on the revitalization of the Danube River and on the restoration of water regime of river branches and adjacent wetlands in a collaboration with Regional Association for Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development in Bratislava.

The Department cooperates* on research with the Institute of Zoology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), Parasitological Institute of the SAS and the Department of Zoology of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University (both in Košice) as well as the Natural History Museum of the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava.

[1 courses in Slovak only, 2 PhD in English on request, *for the entire research interests and international cooperation see the publications of staff]