Date: 13.06.2024

Kateřina Sam awarded L´Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science

In the 18th year of L'Oréal-UNESCO's prestigious For Women in Science programme, the jury was most impressed by three female experts focusing on physics and microbial and systems ecology. Among them is Kateřina Sam from the Biology Centre of the CAS. The programme focuses on supporting talented women scientists at the start of their research careers and aims to recognise the work they do perfectly despite the challenging conditions women often face in the scientific environment.

Kateřina Sam is a widely trained ecologist, with interests in multitrophic interactions, community ecology, conservation and also behavioural ecology. Her work focuses on different aspects of ecology of (tropical) birds, (tropical) insect and plants, and interactions between them. For example, she studies how birds shape arthropod populations and, conversely, how arthropod communities influence insectivorous predators. Her research involves extensive experiments and simulations in diverse environments, including tropical forests. Her comprehensive approach analyses the potential impact of the disappearance of insectivorous predators on ecosystems, including in the context of climate and environmental change.

In 2018, she won an ERC Starting grant and was only the third woman to receive this prestigious grant for a workplace in the Czech Republic.

Kateřina is a head of Laboratory of Multitrophic Interactions at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Center Czech Academy of Sciences and is also employed at Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science at the University of South Bohemia in Czech Republic. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications in impacted journals including Science.

Kateřina Sam. Photo by L'Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science


The other two Czech laureates of the L'Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science program, who were selected by the jury this year and awarded 200,000 crowns, are:

Kateřina Kopalová from the Department of Ecology at the Faculty of Science of Charles University and the Institute of Botany of the CAS. Her work focuses on freshwater diatoms, a group of algae from the Antarctic region that form the basis of local food webs. Her studies contribute to a greater understanding of microbial ecology, evolution and, in the context of the climate change crisis, the distribution and biodiversity of these organisms.

Monika Kučeráková from the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She specialises in the analysis of single crystals, i.e. complex materials consisting of several tens to hundreds of atoms.


About the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program

The L'Oréal Foundation supports women around the world, empowering them to shape their future and change society for the better. It focuses on three main areas: scientific research, inclusive beauty and climate action.

The L'Oréal-UNESCO Talent Programme For Women in Science was created in Paris in 1998 to support women scientists. The programme aims to recognise the achievements of established women scientists and the impact of their expertise on society today, but also to provide support to young women scientists at the start of their careers. Since its establishment, it has spread to many countries around the world and has honoured more than 4,400 women from 140 countries.





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

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