Botany and zoology are still the fundament of biological sciences; each graduated biologist should know at least the basic representatives of our flora and fauna, their biology and ecology. However, botany, zoology and ecology have surpassed the stage of cognition and description a long time ago, having reached the stage of sophisticated analyses and syntheses explaining processes and relationships within nature.
The Department of Botany and Zoology is a modern centre of research and teaching in the fields of evolutionary biology, biosystematics and ecology. Its individual research groups study phylogenetic relationships and the classification of organisms, their diversity from the local to the continental level, and the ecological relationships of individual species, populations and communities in relation to both natural and human-induced changes in entire ecosystems.
The Department has been awarded prestigious research projects, being the host of two centres of excellence – PLADIAS (Plant Diversity Analysis and Synthesis Centre) and ECIP (European Centre of Ichthyoparasitology) - and having received dozens of grants for projects within basic and applied research.
The Department is responsible for the study programme Ecological and Evolutionary Biology, subdivided at the master’s study programme stage into the study fields of Botany (with specializations in Plant Biosystematics, Plant Ecology, and Phycology and Mycology) and Zoology (with specializations in Invertebrate Zoology, Vertebratology, Parasitology, and Hydrobiology). Concurrently, The Department is also responsible for the study programme Teaching of Biology at Secondary Schools.
In the bachelor study programme, integrated teaching is emphasized, providing common background knowledge on the phylogeny and evolution of organisms, basics of ecology and the methodology of scientific work. Within the master’s programme a wide range of specialized courses is offered, allowing specialization within particular fields of study, focusing on various groups of organisms, their communities and relationships with their environment.
The top of specialization is offered in the doctoral (Ph.D.) study programmes of Botany, Ecology, Hydrobiology, Parasitology, and Zoology. Also external teachers from other universities and the Czech Academy of Sciences are engaged in the master's and doctoral training. Identification and field courses (in the Czech Republic and abroad) are an integral part of all study degrees.